Mario Kart: Double Back

Just 100%ed Mario Kart: Double Dash today. I don't feel like I can go too much into depth since it's Mario Kart and we all know what Mario Kart is, so this is gonna just be a short list of what I liked and what I didn't.

What I liked:

- Very solid roster for 2003. Toadette probably seemed like a gimmicky character at the time, since this was her first appearance, but she's such a staple Mario character at this point that it doesn't seem weird. Petey Piranha and King Boo, inversely, seem like strange picks now but were a lot more relevant in the Gamecube era.

- The dual-character mechanic, while not as fleshed out as it could have been, still offers a little more strategy than other kart racers with regards to item pickups and usage. It's handy to be able to store good items for later while still being able to pick up new ones.

- The addition of special items, plus items being left on the track when someone gets hit, gives the item system more stage presence without being complete chaos. Except on Baby Park, but that's the appeal of that stage imo.

What I didn't like:

- The controls. There's a small delay when turning, which is more accurate to a real vehicle, but makes precisely weaving through obstacles difficult. The drifting is also fickle, and many times a drift wouldn't activate when it felt like it should, or would end prematurely and force me off my trajectory. This could be an issue with my controller, but it doesn't give me problems in other games and even tested well using the 20XX live input test.

- The stage list is kinda meh imo. There's some good ones, like Baby Park or Daisy Cruiser, but a lot of stages feel too hilly and the game doesn't let you take advantage of that in any meaningful way like later titles do. Waluigi Stadium and DK Mountain are some notable examples.

- The All-Cup tour is kind of a lame unlockable. It definitely feels like padding to make you play through every course again back-to-back. Admittedly I don't hate it that much since I listened to podcasts while playing this game and the roughly-45 minutes to beat the All-Cup tour is a perfect length for that, but it still feels pointless.

In general, it's a good game. I enjoyed revisiting the game, and it has some really cool ideas that I'd like to see return to the series, but I still think there are several other Mario Karts that I'd rank higher than this one.

Also I didn't touch the Battle Mode because I have no one to play with. :(

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