Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nintendo Hates Multiplayer Gaming!

Be forewarned that the following entry is written by someone so incredibly frustrated with one of his favorite video games that he has no choice but to vent. The following review is based on an actual product. The names, dates and places have not been changed....because what would be the point of that?

Why I hate Mario Kart now
A short rant by a frustrated gamer

Part 1.

I have decided that Nintendo as a company basically HATES the idea of gamers getting together to have fun.

It all started with the Nintendo Gamecube. Many moons ago, Nintendo released an excellent game called Mario Kart Double Dash and advertised it with the promise that you'd be able to hook multiple cubes up for some serious multiplayer racing fun. Fans of the Mario Kart series were thrilled. My friends and I bought it the day it came out.

Now, if the Gamecube worked like the Xbox...you'd connect a few of the damn things together via an ethernet hub, you'd turn them on and you'd be racing with 15 friends in mere moments. It would be the best Mario Kart experience of your life....and you might possibly be able to die right there after playing it.

Unfortunately, the people who designed the multiplayer feature for the Gamecube were the same people who created those plastic indestructible packages video game controllers and Costco phones come wrapped in, internet viruses, telemarketers and speed bumps. I'm pretty sure they're also somehow behind the last two Matrix movies sucking so badly. In other words, somehow they were able to find one of the world's most efficient teams of professional engineers skilled at pissing other people off and hire them all to work on this one feature of an otherwise excellent game.

First of all, to play multiplayer Mario Kart on the Gamecube, you had to buy a 40 dollar network card that you couldn't find ANYWHERE. I only got mine because I know someone who works for the company and I was lucky enough to get one not just for myself, but a few extras for my friends as well. These days you can only find one on Ebay, so I'm convinced I bought one of the last few in existence. Assuming you found one of these, you'd then hook up your Gamecube via ethernet to the Cubes of any one of the six other people in the world who found one....and expect your fun to begin.

With Mario Kart Double Dash, the fun never began. Apparently connecting two GameCubes together activates some sort of Wonder-Twin "Suck" power that didn't exist before the connection between the two was made. Suddenly when starting a race, you are unable to select which track you want to race on. I might have been able to overlook that, but I soon found out you can't choose your kart either. The whole setup process is completely random. Even if I'd managed to overlook that fatal flaw and found a bunch of other friends that could ignore it for awhile too....there's yet another problem. When it's in network mode, the GameCube doesn't keep score.

To sum it up, besides a confusing interface, the inability to select your kart or your track...you can't even keep track of who's winning without a pen and paper.

Mario Kart Double Dash is one of the first multiplayer experiences in history that actually made the game more fun to play alone on one box.

Tomorrow: Part Two. Mario Kart DS

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