Anyway! Speaking of old GameCube titles, I wanted to talk about a couple that probably slipped under your radar. Like the Dreamcast and Playstation, the GameCube had an arcade counterpart with nearly identical hardware. That machine was called the Triforce, and it was the exclusive home of two Mario Kart games. The Mario Kart Arcade GP games were rare in arcades and prohibitively expensive to play, so until recently, you would have been extremely lucky to experience them for yourself.
Fortunately, Nintendont has made it a whole lot easier. This "virtual machine" lets you play GameCube games on later Nintendo systems, but it's also compatible with the small handful of titles released for the Triforce... and it works beautifully with Mario Kart Arcade GP and its sequel. Here, have a look for yourself!
Yep, that's Pac-Man. Namco worked on the two Mario Kart arcade games, so you kind of had to expect his addition to the cast. The sequel was released after Namco became Bandai-Namco, and adds Mametchi from the Tomogotchi series as a racer. No, he can't throw swirly turds at his opponents to slow them down.
What's most striking about the two Mario Kart arcade games is how gorgeous they look a decade after their respective debuts. They're faster and even prettier than Mario Kart: Double Dash, and their graphics make a stronger impression than the rather plain and flat visuals in Mario Kart Wii... a game which I'll remind you was running on more powerful hardware.
Unfortunately, the two games have a few not-inconsequential issues. Being originally designed for a steering wheel means you can't hold down the analog stick and throw items behind you to trip up the other racers. There are plenty of items available, but they're also plenty strange, with a pan replacing the traditional green shell and a Boo who clings onto your wheel, making it heavier. (I don't know how a ghost can make anything heavier, but eh, just go with it.) The sequel also adds unwanted color commentary, delivered by the world's most enthusiastic android. You'll frequently hear lines like "PAC-MAN! throws an item! WADDIO! now has square wheels! PAC-MAN! takes the lead!," making you want to reach for either the mute button or the announcer's tin-plated throat.
Despite these irritations, the two Mario Kart Arcade GP games are very much worth experiencing, and it's a shame Nintendo hasn't released home versions. They run on a Wii U with just a little bit of hacking... how hard could it be to make an official home port?