Gamer's Town

Classic Nintendo Games: Diddy Kong Racing


Diddy Kong Racing

Nintendo 64

Background

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When you think of Nintendo 64 racing games I would bet that most of the time, Mario Kart 64 is the first game that comes into your mind. Mario Kart 64 was a fun game, but Diddy Kong Racing to me did everything, Mario Kart did……… and much more.


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Diddy Kong Racing was a smash hit when it was released and one of the big games for Christmas of 1997. Diddy Kong Racing was one of the top ten selling games on the Nintendo 64. RARE did a fantastic job on the game and at the time (well here in the UK) it was one of the most heavily advertised Nintendo 64 games that I had seen.

Presentation

Diddy Kong Racing was one of the best looking console games on the market when it was first released. As a matter of fact I think that the game still holds up very well to this day! It features bright and colourful graphics, fantastic level design with five different worlds. Dino Domain, Sherbet Island, Snowflake Mountain, Dragon Forest and Future Fun land. Each of these worlds had a great selection of tracks that all looked different to each other.

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Diddy Kong Racing actually had a story which was pretty cool a story that would include a few what are today famous faces. First of all we have Krunch who is a Kremlin from the Donkey Kong series. But Conker the foul mouthed squirrel from Conkers Bad Fur Day and Banjo from the smash hit, Banjo Kazooie are also involved. Diddy Kong Racing has a great selection of characters who each have their own style and driving abilities. In all this is just a fantastic looking game and to tell the truth, RARE on the Nintendo 64 really could do no wrong they really could get the best out of the system.


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One other thing I want to take time to mention about, Diddy Kong Racing is the soundtrack. It is incredible! This game has so many fun songs that just fit the look and the feel of the game perfectly. My personal favourite has to be the songs from Snowflake Mountain it just has such a Christmas feel to it that it makes, Diddy Kong Racing a game I make a point to play every Christmas.

Game Play

To me this is what makes, Diddy Kong Racing the best racing game on the Nintendo 64. The handling of the carts is just perfect and despite its cutesy looks, Diddy Kong Racing is much more of a skill based racing game than, Mario Kart 64 and dare I say it is just much more fun to play! While you raced in karts, Diddy Kong Racing kicked things up a notch by allowing you to race in hovercrafts and take to the air in little planes. Most tracks would allow you to pick what kind of vehicle you wanted to race in which was pretty cool.

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Diddy Kong Racing has all of the four player modes that Mario Kart does. It has your battle, your racing, but it also has one that Mario Kart 64 did not. Four player Grand Prix….. that is right many people do not realise that the great Mario Kart 64 did not offer a 4 player Grand Prix/tournament mode. This I know for me and my friends made, Diddy Kong Racing our go to, four player racing game back in the day.


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In addition to the excellent four player modes, Diddy Kong Racing has a fantastic, single player adventure mode. This mode is not only very fun to play, but it is also challenging as well. Once you pick your character you go on an awesome adventure that will not only see you have to take part in races, but you will have to collect balloons, take on bosses and do little mini challenges with the Genie of the Lamp as well……… And once you have beaten the game it starts all over again with a more challenging mode called Adventure 2.

Final Thoughts

Diddy Kong Racing is a game that is every bit as good today as it was back in 1997. The game was re-released for the Nintendo DS which was a great port, but the Nintendo 64 version is the best! This is an essential game that needs to be in your collection and also it is a game that can be picked up fairly cheaply these days.

9/10




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