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Diddy Kong Racing; March Game of the Month
Topic Started: Mar 1 2018, 03:08 PM (877 Views)
stinger9142
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Endure and survive...
DKR was one of my most favorite N64 titles. I have a fair bit to say about it. I still play it occasionally, as my daughter likes the characters.

I enjoyed Mario Kart 64 back in the day, but never owned it until several years later. I did however own DKR. I was a big fan of Rare, and of kart racers at the time. I liked how they wanted to add adventure elements and a story. I believe they accomplished that goal successfully. I remember picking the game up and spending a lot of time over Thanksgiving break playing it. I wasn't as skilled a gamer back then, and the boss races and silver coin challenges drove me nuts! Playing through a couple times a few years later, I found them to be much easier, though rocket riding Whiz Pig was no joke :lol:

My preferred racer was Tip Tup. My favorite vehicle was the conventional kart. I enjoyed the addition of the plane and hovercraft, but was nowhere near as good with them. The multiplayer was enjoyable, though not as much as Mario Kart to me. I thought it was a lot of fun finding secrets on the main map too.
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Grizzmeister
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I imagine there will be a lot of discussion this month since Diddy Kong Racing is held in such high regard among the N64 cognoscenti. :huh:
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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ItalianBaptist
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19-20 years later and I still havenít gotten very far in this game. Iíve gotten all the tracks for the first four worlds available in multiplayer - so the same as mk64. But no secret characters. And no space land.

Why is this you ask? Three words. SILVER. COIN. CHALLENGE!!! It is still the bane of my existence to this very day.

Iíll play it again this month and tell my findings. But I just needed to get this off my chest :p

EDIT: I tried to use Gameshark to unlock the remaining stuff, but just got a maniacal laugh from Wizpig and a black screen. I had to erase the files, which meant I lost all my progress :(

Not sure if I can bring myself to replay the adventure mode over again, but will offer up some sweet memories I have with the game over the years later. Letís just say I prefer Mario Kart 64 now. Call me impatient :p
Edited by ItalianBaptist, Mar 1 2018, 06:40 PM.
It must be exciting to never have played a Zelda game before - No64DD
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Cabanon
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take time and learn how to use the boost. it will be frustrating by time yes but very doable once you get the hang of it.
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Shellshocker18
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Starshot will never have his time in the sun. But Diddy Kong Racing is good too, actually scratch the too, Starshot sucks. Speaking of suck, IB that sucks you are stuck, I love the Silver Coin Challenges. I like the hovercrafts as well, they remind me of the airboat from Body Harvest. I played this once back in 2016 when I first played all my Rareware games here.

http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Forever/topic/420579/32/#post10002418

I was just a pup back then. But at the time I ranked Diddy as my initial favorite, though I've revisited Perfect Dark and Goldeneye many times since then and haven't touched Diddy. Played as Banjo, I don't even care if he objectively has inferior stats according to speedrunners.

Really crazy how soon after Mario Kart 64 Rare came out of the gates with a full 3D racer with so many track decorations and so much color. They are really apples and oranges games, I don't like direct comparisons of them. I feel Diddy and Snowboard Kids 2 have more in common with bosses and minichallenges and what not.

(A little more suckage, god my old impressions of Rareware games sucked. I love Blast Corps now. I'm confident my skill and patience have come a long way since then. I guess I shouldn't have played so many long games in a row. My Mischief Makers S ranks are also in that thread, I'll take every opportunity to point those out.)
Edited by Shellshocker18, Mar 1 2018, 08:41 PM.
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No64DD
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Starshot doesn't suck!
I thought it was going to win GOTM.

What's funny is that my favorite character is Tip Tup. I beat the Korean version, and it feels like there is a lag in framerate with that version played in america.
Nevertheless, a very good game.
Edited by No64DD, Mar 2 2018, 08:50 AM.
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stinger9142
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I sympathize with you I.B. DKR was kind of my turning point with patience and perseverance. Specifically the octopus and Whiz Pig boss stages.

Sometimes I know I must have retried a race 50 to 100 times before suceeding. The silver coin challenges were a beast. So much so in fact - we once had to ban someone due to their extreme hatred of the silver coin challenege :lol: In case nobody remembers he wrote fictional stories claiming the developers were on drugs and trying to ruin the game. He demanded they fix it...nearly 20 years later. Then he called me a communist when I asked him to stop. See what those challenges do to people :lol:
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ItalianBaptist
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I think the salt is out of my system now :)

I totally agree with Shellshocker on the hovercraft. They took a while to get used to the handling, but I learned to love them to the point where they're my go-to vehicle. My favorite track to use them on has to be Hot Top Volcano; I love that the lava is just really bright orange water lol.

Definitely some iconic tracks (though as mentioned earlier I have yet to experience all of them) with fantastic music to boot. Favorites for me would be the aforementioned Hot Top Volcano, along with Jungle Falls for the music, Walrus Cove, Crescent Island, Treasure Caves, Greenwood Village and Haunted Woods.

The "battles" were different but mostly fun; both Icicle Pyramid and Darkwater Beach were great traditional battle courses. I still can't wrap my head around Fire Mountain but it's a great concept - I think it was the plane controls there that gave me the most headaches.
It must be exciting to never have played a Zelda game before - No64DD
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The White Falcon
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My brother and I beat this game back when you could still rent it from Blockbuster, but I havenít played it since, though I bought it recently. Iíll pop it in this weekend.
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stinger9142
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Here are my favorite levels for each themed section. For Dino Domain - Jungle Falls, Snowflake Mountain - Frosty Village, Sherbet Island - Treasure Caves, Dragon Forest - Haunted Woods, Future Fun Land - Darkmoon Caverns

I enjoyed the music overall for the whole game as well :yeah:
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Pimpin Mainer
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I always loved Jungle Falls just for the music. Looks like I gotta pop this game in and beat it soon!
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Jsboger
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I hated this game because I sucked so bad at it... I'll just stick with MK :P
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buddy1983
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Another game I have but haven't played yet, keep hearing goods things about it so one day I'll get around to you.
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stinger9142
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I am hoping to get some time to play it with my daughter some time this month. What was everyone's least favorite track? Mine is probably Greenwood Village. It isn't that I do not enjoy the track, I just had a much harder time consistently winning on that track :lol:
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No64DD
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Some tracks can be tricky throughout the game, but the boss races, including WizPig, will always top the list for me. Very irritating.
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ItalianBaptist
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Least Favorite Tracks? There aren't that many that I can say are "bad" now that I look back. Bear in mind though that I've been playing an incomplete copy of the game since 1998 (No Future Fun Land).

The tracks that stick out to me as my least favorite would be the ones that scream generic, and Snowball Valley is definitely on that list. Ancient Lake gets a pass because it's the first course just like Luigi Raceway, and Fossil Canyon has fantastic music.

Another condemning factor for me are the tracks that use airplanes. They just feel incredibly slow and when the option is presented to use another vehicle I'll pick the car or hovercraft in a heartbeat. Hot Top Volcano goes from one of the worst to one of the best by changing to the hovercraft. Everfrost Peak and Windmill Plains use planes as the default, but when switching to the car or hovercraft they fall into the generic category.

I'm not sure if the Challenge levels count as racetracks or not. In Tracks mode they're available for selection right alongside the races which I actually prefer over Mario Kart's battle mode being completely separate. Fire Mountain unfortunately suffers from being airplane exclusive; again, it's a neat concept as an alternative to "last man standing; hit everybody with weapons", but the execution hurts it for me. If Smokey Castle did something similar instead of just using bananas it would probably be one of my favorites but that particular mini-game just gets lost in the crowd.

So if I had to make a top 5 least favorite tracks list, it would be:
5. Smokey Castle
4. Everfrost Peak
3. Fire Mountain
2. Windmill Plains
1. Snowball Valley
It must be exciting to never have played a Zelda game before - No64DD
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Pimpin Mainer
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Well I popped in DKR today and beat adventure one in 3 hours. Such a fun game and a good trip down memory lane. Its weird how I remember where all the keys are hidden after almost 15 years... Glad I'm using up that brain space for important stuff
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Shellshocker18
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Somebody actually played the game of the month during the month. That's a first I've seen.

There are plenty of N64 games and some on other consoles I can walk through entire levels or the whole game just in my brain. Science is amazing but Diddy Kong Racing isn't one of them because I've only beaten it once. Full memorization takes at least 2 good playthroughs
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Grizzmeister
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To be completely honest, I never really gave Diddy Kong Racing a fair shake since Mario Kart 64 is my favorite game on the Nintendo 64. My friends and I agreed at the time that MK64's multiplayer mode was ultimately just more fun to play so we stuck to it when we got together. Since I rarely if ever play single-player titles DKR just didn't interest me that much. :-8
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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stinger9142
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I have always been conflicted a bit on which I prefer. I hold Mario Kart higher in terms of being a classic, and superior multiplayer. DKR has prettier graphics, a really fun adventure feel, and fun coin challenges/boss battles.

If I had to pick one to never play again, I really don't know which way I would go.
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ItalianBaptist
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Oh, Iíd get rid of dkr in a heartbeat. And I wouldnít feel like iím slighting Rare at all because they made the sprite for DK in Mario Kart 64.

I suppose part of it is that iím like Grizz and prefer multiplayer and rarely play single-player. But I really have to wonder now. For all intents and purposes Diddy Kong Racing should have easily overtaken Mario Kart 64 because it did everything the other game did and then some. Yet MK is considered one of the definitive 64 games while DKR faded into relative obscurity over the years.

I have a couple theories. For one, the Mario branding is incredibly powerful and that canít be ignored. Banjo and Conner would become famous later but they were blank slates at this point. The other thing I have to wonder is about the presentation. Iíd like to think iím not someone who gets embarrassed by things that are considered ďkiddyĒ - iím a Nintendo guy for goodnessí sake. But Mario Kartís music and overall style still seem to hold up well as something both kids and adults can enjoy together, while DKR seems to have gone for a distinct kid focus.
It must be exciting to never have played a Zelda game before - No64DD
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buddy1983
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Started playing DKR last night, beat the first boss and stopped there. I'll go back to it in a couple of days but seemed pretty good, planes are a bit of a nightmare though.
Edited by buddy1983, Mar 9 2018, 02:48 AM.
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Grizzmeister
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ItalianBaptist
Mar 7 2018, 09:17 PM
The other thing I have to wonder is about the presentation. Iíd like to think iím not someone who gets embarrassed by things that are considered ďkiddyĒ - iím a Nintendo guy for goodnessí sake. But Mario Kartís music and overall style still seem to hold up well as something both kids and adults can enjoy together, while DKR seems to have gone for a distinct kid focus.
I suspect you're on to something here especially when you compare Diddy Kong Racing to a similar game in Crash Team Racing on the PS1.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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buddy1983
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I showed my boss it and he told me I should stop playing "infant" games :lol:
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ItalianBaptist
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Curious now: what does your boss think of Mario Kart 64?
It must be exciting to never have played a Zelda game before - No64DD
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buddy1983
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To be fair all he plays is F1 games and football manger
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The White Falcon
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This game is sadistic. ;_;
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stinger9142
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The childish look sure didn't match the difficulty curve :lol:

I hadn't mentioned this before, but I prefer the weapon selection on Mario Kart. Obviously the 3x strength options were nice, but the variety was not as cool.
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buddy1983
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Completed the first set of levels easy, onto the second its back on the shelf X_D Might go back to it one day
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ItalianBaptist
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So was it the silver coin challenge that did you in, or did you make it to Adventure Two?

Again, the weapon selection is something that should have been objectively better but wasnít. Knowing what item you were getting and being able to upgrade offered the opportunity for strategy. I thought of a possible game based off Mario Kart 64ís battle mode, and a weapons system like this would be better for the strategic aspect rather than the random chance of the ? boxes. But in DKR all I can see is missed potential.

Random thought: Could the fact that unlike turtle shells, rockets donít travel on the ground have something to do with it? I distinctly remember rockets being harder to aim in this game, perhaps because of the added dimension?

It could also just be that the items are just too generic. Turtle shells and banana peels gave MK even more personality.
It must be exciting to never have played a Zelda game before - No64DD
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