Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Bonus Disc
Those that pre-ordered Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for the Nintendo GameCube, or got to the store fast enough, got a bonus disc with 5 playable demos in their case. Let's take a look at what it contains shall we. (After you...)
The disc comes right in the Mario Kart case (just like the 2 disc Resident Evil case), and the cover is marked so you don't forget it's inside.
When you boot it up you are treated to the GameCube "whisper" now seen in Nintendo's TV commercials. (I guess they are going for the opposite of the Sega scream.) The menu is the same style as seen in their last demo disc and in all the GameCube kiosks. But since this is the Mario Kart: Double Dash!! bonus, the menu background is Mario Kart and the music is the title song right from MK:DD. There are 5 demos and 7 movies. Plus a nice bonus for Fire Emblem GBA owners.
Here's a rundown of the demos and my quick impressions of each:
F-Zero GX: This is the same as the one in GC kiosks since August. Just race as Captain Falcon, in his Blue Falcon, for 3 laps on Mute City: Twist Road. Just go get the full game already.
Mario Party 5: Mario Party games can be enjoyable, to rent. I'm not a huge fan of the series now somehow in its 5th incarnation. You get to try out 5 of the mini-games (1 or 2 human players). They are: "Coney Island" where you run around and try to catch scoops of icecream in your cone as they fall from the sky (4 player game). "Button Mashers" (2 player game) where a block falls from the sky with a button printed on it. You must keep pushing that button over and over as fast as you can, and when new blocks fall with a new button, you must now push all of these as fast as you can. In "Shy Guy Showdown" (2 player game) Shyguy will flash a sign with a button on it, and the first to hit it, wins! Beware because sometimes he will first show blank signs. Next is "Dinger Derby" (4 players) where balls are thrown at you at various speeds and you must hit them out using A. Lastly is "Push Penguins" (4 player) where a ton of penguins (both small and large) are running out to sea and you must avoid them or fall into the sea yourself when they push you. All of these are kind of fun, but this is in a FREE demo without the boring game board.
Star Wars: Rouge Squadron III - Rebel Strike: This again is the same Hoth level demo as in kiosks, and also the one on the Rebel Strike pre-order bonus disc. It starts with a cool movie clip. Then you find yourself on-foot being attacked by Stormtroopers. You must rope yourself up under an AT-AT (those tall 4 legged machines) to lay a bomb (watch the on-screen commands, and look for a dark hole once you cut open its underside). It's a cool concept, but somewhat simplistic in execution. Once you destroy 2 of these that way, you hop on a Tauntaun (one of those beasts Luke cut open and hid inside to stay warm). You follow another rider for awhile, always shooting at Stormtroopers in your path, until you come to a stationary gun. Using the gun you must shoot down 3 AT-ST's (those 2 legged machines). Once that is done, hop aboard your X-Wing and shoot down a fleet of Tie Bombers attacking your ships. Phew. Even with the variety in gameplay, this still feels very much like a Rogue Squadron game. The menu system is even the same. If you liked RSII, you'd probably like this. Though I'm not sold on the on-foot sequences since the control seems 'off'. Oh yeah, somehow the graphics are better than ever for this already good looking series.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: They finally return! I always loved the old TMNT arcade games. Simple in nature, but so much fun. However, in this new version I think Konami has failed to capture that same fun. Maybe we ask for more these days, but it still seems 'flat'. Even the cel-shaded graphics seem dull at times. You can use the d-pad or stick, A/B is weak/strong attack, Y is your 'Shurken' which at start seems to be throwing stars, and L/R/Y are dash/juggle/jump respectively. The demo plays 'Area 2: Streets' as Leonardo. There is no boss, the level just suddenly ends. By the end you will be so sick of using "Slice & Dice!" (A-A-B to perform a nice spin attack) on the same 3 types of enimies. You can smash boxes for pizza (life), but it's so easy only exploding barrels really hurt me. I just can't believe in 2003 guys still appear out of thin air for you to attack. I mean WTF?! To be fair, this was single player only, and TMNT was always more fun with a friend. A fun demo, but I'd never get the whole game.
Sonic Heroes: This was the demo I was most looking forward to (partially because it's the only game not out yet), and so maybe that's why it also disappointed me the most. There are 2 stages to try, Level 1 - Seasside Hill as the 'good guys' (Team Sonic: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles) and Level 8 - Bullet Station as the 'dark side' (Team Dark: Shadow, Rouge, E-102 Gamma). In a nutshell, this game seems to play just like any Sonic Adventure Sonic stage. Which is a good thing since those were always the best. All 3 guys run together, 2 usually following the current leader, and you can switch to any other at will using Y/X (don't worry if one of the 'following' characters fall, they'll just catch right back up). Sonic is the main 'speed' guy and plays like Sonic of Adventure fame; Knuckles is 'power' and can punch, glide, and throw the other 2; and Tails can 'fly' carrying the other 2 below him (Team Dark plays similarly). You must switch between them to get past various obstacles (watch the monitors), and it does add a lot to the gameplay. So where does it go wrong? Well first, it looks just like Sonic Adventure! The graphics don't seem to have gotten any upgrade at all, or at least very little. But what really kills me is just like Sonic Adventure, the camera pretty much sucks. I know it's just a demo, but you would of thought with all the criticism over the camera in the Adventures, it would of been priority 1. Once Tails disappeared completely! It takes getting used to, and I don't know how many times I fell off the edge in frustration. Though really that was also due to floaty controls, VERY floaty controls. If Sega fixes these problems, it might turn out decent. However even then, I don't think this is a game I'm looking forward to.
Protip: Don't ever pause too long, otherwise the demo will restart.
Here is a list of the included movies:
- NBA Live 2004
- Spongebob Square Pants: Battle for Bikini Bottom
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup (It's just a CG movie so you don't see any actual gameplay.)
- Kirby Air Ride (You are first shown a promo for "Right Back at Ya!", Kirby's 'Fox Box' Saturday morning cartoon.)
- Pokemon Colosseum
- 1080°: Avalanche
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicals
Lastly there is a bonus for anyone who owns Fire Emblem GBA. Just hook up your GBA to GC, load this up, and Bam! Free stuff!
Protip: Turn on your GC without any controller attached, and the game will go straight to a random movie. I know, wow! It's cool stuff like this you will *only* find here at NBrid.
All in all, it's a nice free bonus. Not nearly as good as the Soul Calibur II demo disc, which besides SC2 had a kick ass demo for another kick ass game (Viewtiful Joe), but it is a fun diversion between games of Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
If you didn't get this disc, I wouldn't feel too bad though (if you hurry, stores who usually don't take pre-orders like K-Mart might still have it, EBgames.com might too, or wait for it used at GameStop or eBay). Worst come to worst, these demos (and movies) can be played at a GC kiosk near you. At least be thankfull you don't have that tacky "Includes Bonus Disc" bar on the lower-right of your MK:DD cover...