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Nintendo Adds Character
Final Fantasy compliments Kirby, F Zero X, Pikmin, and Mario
 
Long known for its strong character-based games, Nintendo is bringing familiar faces back in a number of sequels and spinoffs. In addition, the highly acclaimed Final Fantasy franchise is debuting on GameCube.
 
A favorite Nintendo character since the days of the original NES, the pink alien Kirby makes his debut on GameCube in 2003-but in an adventure game rather than his standard fantasy racing game. Kirby's Air Ride lets gamers play from a typical 3D perspective or switch to an old-school top-down 2D view. The simple control scheme uses just a single button.
 
The next installment of the racing game F-Zero GX offers gamers a way to link the GameCube with the arcade version of F-Zero Arcade. Players will be able to use GameCube Memory Cards in an F-Zero arcade machine to access pilots, ships, and parts they've earned in the GameCube game.
 
Following up on the first Pikmin game, Pikmin 2 offers a new plot but retains the familiar gameplay of raising and managing Pikmin. Pikmin 2 offers gamers the expanded option of cooperative two-person gameplay.
 
Mario Kart: Double Dash takes the popular Mario Kart of the N64 one step further by adding a second character to each cart; the two characters split combat and driving duties. Included characters represent the gamut of Nintendo favorites: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Yoshi, Birdo,Wario, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Bowser, and Bowser Jr. are all featured. Nintendo is also featuring the GameCube link capabilities in the new Mario Kart. Players can connect to a game using the broadband adapter to link as many as eight GameCube systems and televisions.
 
Mario is also hitting the links in a new version of Mario Golf for the GameCube. The fantasy-based golf game also has a full chorus of Nintendo characters, such as Yoshi and Mario's nemesis, Wario. Wario will also get his own GameCube title. Wario's World is a 3D action adventure in the same vein as Nintendo's N64 adventure Donkey Kong 64.
 
Finally, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles will make an exclusive appearance on GameCube when it ships later in 2003. The RPG adventure lets up to four players join the quest using the GameBoy Advance.
 
-By John Marrin
 
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