Oldschoolvideogamez - your best way to recall classical video games of the past. Old school video games: DIDDY KONG RACING Old school video games: DIDDY KONG RACING

Thursday, November 7, 2013


How it was?

Once in a while a game comes along, that redefines a whole genre. Quake did this for the first-person perspective shoot-em-up (or Doom Clone), Fresh good looking graphics and a new twist on the gameplay meant that Quake was awarded some of the highest accolades of any game ever.

But what, you might ask, am I rambling about now?

Diddy Kong Racing is to Mario Kart, what Quake was to Doom. A Game that uses the best elements from a classic game and updates them, Surrounds them in silken fabric and makes a game so outstanding that everyone is left breathless at the mere mentioning of its name.

Yes, Diddy Kong Racing (DKR) is a Mario Kart Clone. But that's like saying that a William's F1 car is a copy of a Wheelbarrow.

You can probably tell by now that I simply adore DKR.

I have to admit it. I've been looking forward to this game for the past month. Ever since I saw a quicktime movie of it moving I had a gut feeling it was going to be something special and I'm pleased to inform you, That I'm not disappointed.

Lets get this out of the way right now. DKR is huge. There are 30 courses spread over 5 distinctly different worlds. From a hot and dusty Dinosaur-in-yer-face level, to a snow packed level filled with Christmas trees. Adventure mode, Track Mode, TT Mode, Challenge Mode (get the picture). And everything is accessed from a central level al'a Mario 64. What instantly grabs you is the quality of the visuals. Nothing before this game has been this good graphically (on the N64 at least). If you can imagine the graphics of Mario 64, minus the pop-up and lack of texturing, You'll be getting somewhere close. But then get this all moving at 30fps. And you'll know exactly what DKR looks like, sheer brilliance! The intro is especially noteworthy of a mention. If critics weren't swayed about real time cut scenes when they saw LylattWars get-em in front of this! Whatever Real-time Dynamic Animation does, It does it very, very well.

As we have come to expect from Rare, attention to detail in this game is second to none. From the start you'll notice that Diddy's cap reflects the light depending on the direction he is travelling. When a character reverses, they turn their heads to look behind them. Things like that don't add to gameplay. But do show what kind of commitment the team has shown in producing this game.

The sound effects and music are simply awesome. The tunes, whilst cute, are complex arrangements with even the hint of lyrics on some levels!! The SFX are perfectly right for the game with excellent voices for each of the main characters performed by members of the Rareware teams.

The music though, it changes subtlety between areas, so that your listening to one tune in the main area and fly through to another covered in snow, and jingling bells sweep into your ears in perfect timing.

The gameplay is Mario Kart on steroids. The game just sits there and DEMANDS to be played! 3 different vehicles: Kart, Hovercraft and Aeroplane can be selected at will to take you around the central area, which links all of the levels, trophy board and Taj the Genie (Who changes the vehicles for you). The Levels you play on have been designed to perfection. The learning curve is just right with easy levels to begin with, (that any Mario Kart nut will get through very fast). To incredibly hard levels that will test your skills as well as your temper. The addiction level on this game has to be up there with class A drugs. It simply is so compelling. The proof in my home if a game has been crafted well, is that my Wife wants to play. And I have to tell you that I had a fight on my hands getting to the game before she did!

A mention about the multi-player mode. Mario Kart's strongest point was the 2 player game. And DKR is no exception, except you can have four players! Add to this the ability to use whichever of the three vehicle types you wish simultaneously against your mates and its time for some major battles! Incidentally a multiplayer game can have up to 6 players, 2-4 human players and the remainder CPU controlled. It's something that adds that little extra spice yet again.

All in all Diddy Kong Racing has got to be one of the best reasons to have an N64 this Christmas. Its excellent graphics, sound and gameplay are unsurpassed by any of the current Christmas releases on any platform. And the huge challenge it represents will keep you coming back for more and more for a long while into the new year (at least until Banjo & Kazooie comes out anyway!)

Now I have got to go, or the Wife will have collected more balloons than I will by lunch!


Graphics -- 10/10 Truly Awesome! RDA does seem to make the difference.

Sound -- 9/10 Excellently performed Tunes and SFX that fits perfectly to the game.

Gameplay -- 9/10 Truly Sublime. Easily the best of all N64 titles.

IQ -- 7/10 Easy to start with. But very tough latter on. That means those of you who only play beat-em-ups all day, may need assistance. (only kidding)

Value Added -- 9/10 UNDER £50.00!!! A huge challenge means that you'll be playing this long after Tomb Raider 2 has become the largest second hand seller of all time! The manual is clean and to the point, with clear instructions on which buttons do what. Upto 4 players means that you'll likely to still be playing this next Christmas!

Overall -- 96% Personally I think that this is the game of the year! It's a must buy. But if you're a Gen X'er the cute Graphics might get you down. Nice one Rareware!
Rated 4.1/5 based on 21 reviews

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