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Submitted by Mark Simons on January 1 1970 - 01:00

Diddy Kong Racing

<p>Diddy Kong Racing<P><br>If you own an N64 then you probably know a bit about Diddy Kong that it's a primary coloured racing game firmly in the Mario Kart mould, but the similarities between the two end there. <br><br>Whereas Mario Kart 64 was a good game many people found it too easy and it sadly stuck to the age old standard race formula. This meant it offered nothing new compared to the S.N.E.S. original, except for it's 3D graphics. To many people it was a disappointment, especially as the longitivity wasn't too good, partly due to the opponents A.I. allowing them to miraculously catch up with you even if you were miles ahead. It had one redeeming feature, battle mode, this made the game very good if you had four controllers and a few mates and raised it from an average racer to a very good racer. <br><br>Diddy Kong Racing on the other hand departs from the racing norm and is much more like Super Mario 64 than the aforementioned racing game. Instead of collecting stars as in SM64 you collect balloons and you do this by winning races. After collecting all the balloons from a world you race the boss, beat the boss and you do the silver coin challenge. Complete this and you race the boss again, after beating this boss you do the trophy race where you race over the four circuits to win a trophy. You do this over four worlds and then you face the big boss Wizpig. Lastly in each world there is one key that allows you to do one of the battle arenas, and again departing from the norm, only two of them are standard last one standing' battles. The other two are slightly more tactical with you either getting eggs to you basket and hatching them or getting a certain amount of bananas. In my mind the battle arenas are not as Mario Kart but the one player makes up for this. <br><br>Like Mario Kart, Diddy Kong has three types of racer; small with Tiptup and Pipsy equivalent to Peach, Toad and Yoshi. Then the medium average racer with Timber, Diddy, Conker and Bumper equivalent to Mario and Luigi. Lastly there are the heavy weights, Banjo and Krunch, their equivalents are Bowser, Wario and Donky Kong. Generally if you like a heavy character in Mario Kart then you'll like the heavy characters in Diddy Kong. Oh and there are two secret characters. <br><br>The similarity with Mario 64 is also apparent in the lavishly designed foyer area where you select levels and speak to Taj the genie or T.T. Taj can change you from racing in a car to plane to hovercraft and all have very unique handling abilities. T.T. allows you to see your progress and turn time trial mode on or off. The graphics, sound , learning curve and secret areas are all done to the highest quality and demonstrate Rare's mastery of the N64, possibly to a degree higher than Nintendo's. There are so many subtle touches that only become apparent after many hours of play and the cunningly designed levels match anything Nintendo can offer. And to cap it all this game has gone through a great PAL conversion and has no borders and is very fast. To release this and Goldeneye in the same year shows that Rare are at the forefront of the third party N64 developers, and I hope there is as much to see and do in Banjo-Kazooie (Rare's forthcoming platform adventure game) as there was in Diddy Kong.<br><br>Overall Diddy Kong Racing combines the traditional racing game with the adventure style of Mario and it comes off brilliantly. A must have for all N64 owners.</P> <br /> <P><a href="mailto:deputy@totalvideogames.com">Mark Simons</a></P> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <p> <p>  <br /> <br /> <br />

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