Friday, August 30, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 61 - Mario Kart Double Dash

Mario Kart Double Dash is definitely the odd duck of the Mario Kart franchise. Criticized for both being too different - changing power sliding and having the wacky two-person karts - but also being too similar to the rest of the franchise in terms of track design and overall gameplay. It was sort of doomed from the start because gamers are fickle hypocrites who don't know what they want. Gamers are also blind sheep that follow whoever screams the loudest as the de-facto "correct" opinion on far too many things, which then becomes the accepted consensus among the hive mind. It turns out that with Mario Kart Double Dash, however, they might have actually been right. Read on for more.

I went into this video not terribly familiar with MK Double Dash. I played it back in the day when it came out and kind of got bored of it and moved on pretty quickly. I didn't think it was bad, it just wasn't as fun as the other games. Although, I'm one of those apparent "crazies" who thinks Mario Kart 64 is great, but there are loads of people online who scream loudly that it sucks at any opportunity, so what do I know. All I know is that Double Dash was OK-ish and I approached this video thinking it was going to be fine.

And it was fine to start with. I went in all "This isn't bad. I don't know what people hate about it" but the further I got, the less fun I had. It is kind of incredible how the video goes from bright eyed optimism to just feeling defeated and worn down by the end. 

What, ultimately, did I find to be the issue? For one, the tracks kind of suck. There are some OK ones, but there are also some just absolute stinkers with intentionally designed bottlenecks and corners and "things" designed to stand in the way of any fun you might be having. The item balance and A.I. balance is also absolutely, totally, out of wack. This game is surprisingly difficult because the A.I. is absolutely brutal and relentless. You kind of get tired after a while of getting your ass kicked and ending up in 3-4th place while generally running perfect laps when you aren't getting bombarded by attacks. It feels unfair and isn't particularly fun. 

So, I guess I figured out why people don't like Mario Kart Double Dash. It was a fascinating learning experience along the way, though. I'm pretty sure these weren't the reasons why people hated it in 2003, because people were / are dumb petty morons, but they definitely stand out in 2019.