Diddy Kong Racing (DS) Reviews

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Diddy Kong Racing (DS)

By: Rex Inego | Mar 24, 2007 11:54 PM

When I first heard about this game, I wasn't too excited, because of some of the other N64 conversions that didn't turn out to be as good as the originals. Over the months however, I started to have more and more faith in this game, with news of WiFi compatibility, track creators etc. Now, I'm glad it turned out as it did, because this is the only racing game on DS to rival Mario Kart...

The story to DKR is basically the same as the original (Wizpig takes over the island, the animals call Diddy and co. for help), but with an added cutscene at the start of the game.

The main focus of the game is basically the same as the original. You have to win races to earn balloons, which are then used to enter new races. There are about 5 races in each world, including a boss race when all normal races are completed.

When each boss is completed, they give you a 'Balloon Touch Challenge', which is new to the DS version of the game. Here, your character rides Taj's magic carpet and you use the touch screen to move the view around by dragging the stylus, pop balloons by, well I'll let you guess that one, and drag coins into a small pouch in the bottom-right hand corner of the screen. This is quite good fun, but VERY challenging if you hope to get all of the balloons and coins in the same run. When you complete all of these, you revisit the boss for a 2nd race with them, then if you beat that, they will give you a 'Boss Touch Challenge'. This is just well, to put it simply, stupid. You control your car by drawing the path it goes in. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong. You have to spin a wheel in the bottom-left of the screen to move for a while then you go out of control and have to spin it again. By the time you spin the wheel again, you end up falling off of the cliff and failing the race! Items are used by double-tapping either the boss of your character on the map. Again, pointless and frustrating.

The controls for the game are pretty much the same as the ones used in Mario Kart DS, (A to accelerate, B to brake, L to fire weapon etc.) so there's nothing new there, whereas the handling of the cars may take some getting used to again unless you've been playing the original DKR for a long time. The plane and car are very easy to control, but the hovercraft on the other hand requires a certain amount of skill to even control, let alone master. This doesn't deter anything from the games enjoyment though, as the races are always fun, no matter what position you come in, or what you're racing in.

Graphically, this game is just as good as it's predecessor, perhaps better. The characters movements are smooth and the level's details are always in view, no matter how far away you are. No glitches or framerate problems so far. Another big achievement for DS.

As for the WiFi miltiplayer, ther's only one word for it...wow. This is the only racing game that beats Mario Kart in online matches. There is the option of racing either 2, 4, or 6 other people from around the world, and the track selection is pretty much the same as Mario Kart, where everybody picks one, and then it's up to vote or random selection. Again no glitches or framerate problems to be found here, so that's another win for DKR.

Probably the only other bad things I can say about this game are the lack of really good weapons like Mario Kart has to offer, and the character's voices. They don't necessarily talk as such, but it's just the way that their voices have changed from the last game (and other games). Diddy's voice sounds like it he's just hitting puberty, and Taj (the elephant genie) now has, instead of an Arabian accent, a cheesy British-sounding voice. It's only slightly annoying and again, doesn't ruin anything really. The track creator also feels slightly limited.

Pros: Graphics look brilliant. Controls are easy to learn. Nice challenging gameplay. WiFi multiplayer beats even Mario Kart. Loads of unlockables and vehicle customations. Track creator is a good implement to the game.

cons: Annoying voices from characters. Lack of brilliantly devious items unlike Mario Kart. Although quite rare, Hovercraft races can get difficult and can get frustrating. Starting boost idea doesn't work too well (except the hovercraft). Boss Touch Challenge is just another miserable attempt at driving with the stylus alone.

conclusion: Overall, this game is brilliant,and if your not a SERIOUSLY hardcore Mario Kart fan, you should definitely believe this is to be nearly as good.

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