The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

Diddy Kong Racing

It’s common knowledge that every successful Nintendo 64 Rareware game has to involve nauseatingly cute characters, as evidenced by the jiggy-em-up Banjo Kazooie with bouncing carrots, Monkey em-up Donkey Kong 64 with beetles, monkeys and Beavers and Squirrel em-up Conker’s Bad Fur Day with sweet corn, Nazi teddy bears and giant pieces of poo.
Of course, all of these are spun-off from one spin-off, which is a spin-off of something else in the first place, which even that could be considered a spin off…You’d think a gaming universe aimed at children would be simple, rather than more convoluted and stupid than a Dan Brown novel.

Diddy Kong Racing came out in 1997 as the alternative to Mario Kart, offering more than just silly cartoon characters in carts. This one offered silly cartoon characters in Hovercraft and planes. Whilst Mario Kart was all vroom vroom, thwack, finish track onto the next zany race, Diddy Kong Racing offers that, but adds a story mode that’s so pointless, it may have just been called “Diddy Kong drives around a tiny island like a simian Jeremy Clarkson for no real reason” Not that you can get more simian than Jeremy Clarkson.

It’s like Top Gun re-enacted by Wind In The Willows

According to the manual, because otherwise there’s no indication of any kind of story. Timber the tiger’s parents, who for some reason are incredibly rich, leave him to babysit their island, because that’s obviously good parenting, and he then loses it to outerspace pig wizard genie thing Wizpig, who then turns the four guardians of the island, whose very existence make Timber pointless, against the tigers. Timber then decides to do what anyone would do in that situation, call up a monkey, a bear, a mouse, a turtle, a badger, a squirrel and a crocodile.

Double rainbow! What does it mean? Sod all in this instance.
In total, there are 10 playable characters and each one has a more annoying voice than the last from quintessentially English badger Bumper, who appears to be slapping himself to awkwardly dancing Timber The Tiger,to be honest,  the character select screen looks more like a police identity parade at a theme park.

The characters happily dance, serial killer just out of shot.

The main point of adventure mode is to collect plot coupons symbolised as Balloons. Collect more and you unlock more areas in the form of DINOSAURS! SNOW! OCEAN! FIELDS! SPACE! and its a good thing they’ve kept all the clichés out of this game, I’d be really pissed off if all of these were in any other games I’ve played.
After collecting enough balloons and winning enough races, you eventually get to face Wizpig in a race that’s about as fair as an arm wrestling contest with Ryu when you have no arms yourself. Throughtout playing, I don’t understand why he didn’t just zap them, he’s described as a wizard, so obviously despite this advantage of being able to do hocus pocus stuff, he just goes “Oh you won fair and square, I’m going to stop being evil now, besides, I have to go, my planet needs me” and all the characters celebrate and party with an awkward conga line.

Pork vs Chicken, now all we need is a cow and the banquet is complete.

And that’s Diddy Kong Racing, a patronising waste of my time. Racing games don’t need stories, they’re about as needed in racing games as they are in porn or web reviews. The actual racing isn’t bad, but’s littered with rubbish power-ups that cancel each other out whenever you accidently pick up another one and the characters are annoying, so not even loop the loops, snowballs with faces, a Death Star Trench Run parody and jelly ice randomly in a track save it from being an unfair, annoying game. Now, good day.

Hours later…

Suddenly, there awoken a crash from outside, The Zero leaped away from his badly written web reviews to see a car crashed outside his house. It was outside, therefore it was none of his concern. He shrugged and started thinking about porn after that last sentence of his reviews. Suddenly, the door to his room flew open, there in a leather jacket and wearing sunglasses, he saw…himself?
“Come with me now, or you’ll surely die within the next few hours,” It was his voice, but in a different, yet identical body. The Zero Shrugged.
“Later, I want to watch someone fall down on youtube”
“We don’t have time to…” He then saw the video that Zero was on, “Oh I’ve seen this, this is hilarious,” and sat down next to him.
“Do you want, like, a pizza or something?” The Zero asked.
“Sure, what flavour have you got?”
“Ummm. Pepperoni, Meat feat, ham and pineapple”
“Err. I’m a vegetarian,”
“Oh yeah, spoilers and stuff, but in the future, you become a vegetarian,”
Zero frothed in rage and tightened his fists…



2 responses to “Diddy Kong Racing

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