Ann Arbor Mario Kart: Double Dash Tournament

Last December I participated in a moderately large Mario Kart: Double Dash tournament for people over 18 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

To start with, they had 8 Game Cubes networked together along the walls with a video editing team that would display player’s screens on a projector in the middle of the room along with the current rankings of the entire competition.

One person was at each of the eight stations. This was done so that the selection of drivers and karts were random. All courses, karts and players were unlocked, but we only raced the 150cc with all items. All players cycled through the systems until everyone had raced 4 races. Points were divided as they are in Grand Prix mode and the top 8 overall players then qualified for the semi-finals. Four balloon battles were then run allowing the winner of each to advance to the semi-finals as well. Two more races were run and the top four overall made it to the final. After the final race, prizes were awarded to whoever placed first, second and third.

For anyone concerned with the blue shell, out of all races played it almost made a factor in only one. It was in Bowser’s Castle and the leader had just cleared the final jump when he was hit with a blue shell. However, he was far enough in the lead that he still pulled out the victory by a couple seconds.
Personally, I liked the LAN mode for this competition because players were assigned a new random team and kart for every race/battle. Therefore everyone had the same chance to get a great combination. Also, depending on your skill compared to that of the other players, you can usually win a race with just about any combination if you’re half-way decent at the game, especially if you factor in weapons.

In regards to weapons, although having a no-weapons mode does allow players to purely race without having to worry about losing to someone due to a shell, it’s can’t hold peoples’ interest for very long due it its bland nature. I had as much fun watching the other people play and listening to the color commentary while I was waiting for my next turn as I did actually playing. There’s nothing like watching someone come from 8th place, get a star and take a huge shortcut in Dry Dry Desert to end in the top three. What I’m trying to say is that Mario Kart was intended to set itself apart from other games in the racing genre because of the use of weapons during play. Every match is setup in such a way that usually anyone in the top four can win at any time, and that makes a game great to watch by karters and non-karters alike. What makes Mario Kart unique is the entire package, and that’s the way it should be played.

For anyone interested in more information on the Michigan tournament, head on over to
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About the Author

Having over 25 years of gaming experience, Zach knows a thing or two when it comes to one of his favorite entertainment activities. Additionally, he has also written many articles previewing and reviewing titles which can be found in various places around the net, including