8.5

A good competitor of Mario Kart DS...

Recommend---Fans of the original game on the N64, people who love kart racers, and fans of Rare

Not Recommend---People who hated the original (which a lot did)

Diddy Kong Racing DS might just be one of the most underrated titles of all time. I don't know why this game has gotten so many dull reviews. In my opinion, it's great! It has so much variety and depth, even more than Mario Kart DS. That doesn't mean it's better, though, but it's still a great competitor. Let me just start off with the negatives so I can get them off my back. The BEST characters from the original, Banjo and Conker (Rare classics), aren't in this game for obvious reasons (Rare going to Microsoft). So instead, they're replaced with Tiny Kong (from DK 64) and Dixie Kong (from DKC 3) who are horrible replacements, yet it's nice to see some nostalgic factors added in. Also, one of the main characters who helps you along in the game, Taj (an Arabian elephant), had his original voice (which was great) replaced by some average Joe voice that doesn't even fit his character. This was an incredible stupid decision. Another incredibly stupid decision is the way you boost before a race. This is one of the only times you use your stylus. If you're riding a kart, you use your stylus to spin a wheel really fast; if you use a plane, you do the same thing; and if you use a boat, you blow into the microphone. Note: Try spinning a wheel as fast as you can with a stylus, and then having to drop the stylus out of your hands right after as soon as the race begins to start using the buttons. Stupid, right? I thought so. It's pointless and hard to do. Now that all the negatives are out of the way (at least what I can remember), let me get to all the positives. The graphics from the original are largely unchanged, but they do look better on the bright DS screen (provided you own a DS Lite). The sound is also the same, which was a big turn-on to me when I first played the original game. The main thing that separates this kart racer from others is that it actually has an adventure mode (in vein of Rare, or course). It's like a weird mix of Banjo Kazooie and a great kart/boat/plane racer, to a lesser extent. You drive/fly around a huge overworld which acts like a hub, and from there you enter different worlds which have hubs of their own. These hubs have the actual courses you'll be racing in, and there are A LOT of these. You collect all kinds of things along the way, too. Collecting balloons and coins is addicting, and you can purchase unlockables with these coins. Things like secret characters, karts, courses, and miscellaneous things. There's even a LEVEL EDITOR!!! Even though it's the weakest level editor I have ever seen, it is still a nice addition that adds to the replay value. In some stages, there are mini-games that are really addictive where you have to pop as many balloons as you can (replaces the blue coins found in the original, but this old mode can be unlocked). This is probably the only good use of the stylus I've seen. Besides the adventure mode, there's also single races where you can choose to race wherever you want with any character you want. You can even play online over Nintendo Wi-Fi just like Mario Kart DS. As I said in that review, my Wi-Fi doesn't work for some reason, but i bet it's really fun. You can still play multiplayer wirelessly whether the person you play against owns the game or not. All together, this is one amazing package.

Overall---Basically a kart racing game that goes beyond what most racers have, offering intense depth and replay value for anyone in search of it. The best part, however, is the Rare touch that's added to it.

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