Title: Diddy Kong Racing DS
Developer: Rare, Ultimate Play the Game
Platform: Nintendo DS
Category: Racing, Adventure
Release Date: February 5, 2007
How we got the game: I got it as a gift long ago
Diddy Kong Racing will always have a special place in my heart. I remember playing this game originally on the Nintendo 64 when I was a kid, not that I was any good at it. I believe I got the Nintendo DS version for my birthday or Christmas the year it came out. Picking it up again, it was certainly a fun trip down memory lane.
This is a racing game so, of course, you choose a character and you race through various courses. The roster isn’t huge with only eight playable characters plus four more to unlock making a total of 12 playable characters. Still, that’s not too bad considering the time the game was originally made. Also, instead of playing as Banjo or Conker, they were replaced with Tiny Kong and Dixie Kong.
In the regular adventure mode, you choose a character, a vehicle, and a track. Then you race. There are three different vehicles to choose from – kart, hovercraft, or plane. I was only good with the kart. The hovercraft was okay to control, but I was horrendous with the plane. These vehicles can be used in most of the tracks. Some tracks allow all three while other tracks allow certain vehicles. For example, you can’t use a kart or plane in Pirate Lagoon because it’s mostly water.
Speaking of tracks, there are six different areas, each one with four racing courses for a grand total of 24 tracks. Each course has balloons scattered about which give you an item. There aren’t too many items in this game and you get a certain item depending on which color balloon you pop. For example, a red balloon will give you a missile. You can upgrade your items by collecting Rareware coins that are scattered about the tracks. However, I mostly through my items blindly because I was too focused on trying to stay on the road.
There is a story mode to this game, one that I didn’t complete. Taj the Genie is a blue elephant that rides around on a magic carpet. He aids you by giving you new vehicles and the like. Of course, to unlock them you need to beat him in a race and… well, that plane. As I said, I was horrendous with it.
Anyway, long story short, we need to race in order to stop Wizpig from taking over the island when Timber’s parents go away on vacation. Timber can’t fit Wizpig alone, so he calls on Diddy and the rest of the gang to help him out.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s just a way to unlock more tracks and characters, which is a pretty clever way to do things. Although, I don’t think this particular game really needed a story.
Graphics-wise, this game is definitely better than when it was originally released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64. Still, I don’t think the graphics are great. I’m not complaining though. It’s still charming.
The music is probably the best thing about this game. The beats are so energizing that even if I haven’t played the game in a while, I find myself humming the main menu tune.
This game is fun to play if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic. I’m sure I’ll get back to it and play it again at some point in my life, though this isn’t a game I’d go to all the time. It’s fun to play once in a while though.
Diddy Kong Racing DS gets…
4 out of 5 lives.