Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you want to catch up on previous Retro Vaults, check out the CVG Retro Vault archive.
November 2003 - Mario Kart Double Dash!! artwork
Ever since Super Mario Kart arrived on the SNES 22 years ago, every new Nintendo system has received one new entry in the Mario Kart series. None have been more controversial, however, than Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and not just because its exclamation marks made it a nightmare for journalists to write about it.
Double Dash!! was the GameCube's version of Mario Kart and brought with it a raft of changes. The most immediately noticeable one was the compulsory addition of two-person karts, in which one character drove and a second character stoof on the back of the kart, firing weaponry.
Naturally, this change divided fans, with some welcoming the change (and the subsequent co-op mode it allowed for) and others bemoaning the lack of any option to just have 'normal' one-person karts.
Although the karts were the most noticable change, they weren't the most notable. That goes to the completely designed game engine, with a new look and feel that made it the first game of the 'modern' Mario Kart era, one which has continued with entries on DS, Wii and 3DS.
It will continue further with Mario Kart 8, which arrives on the Wii U on May 30. Although it will be the first ever HD Mario Kart, its overall feel is still clearly descended from that of Double Dash!!. Read our massive Mario Kart 8 preview to see why we reckon it might end up being in the best in the series yet.