RIP Ralph Baer
I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...
First off I feel the need to apologize for the title of my review. Sadly, I possess the self-control of a small child. Usually in polite company this is a problem, and has resulted in the ending of a few of my relationships. However, I had always thought that the DS was going to be a place where I could just be a kid. Especially with a game like Diddy Kong Racing that screams little kid, it seems only natural that one would consider the name DS and child hand in hand. While there have been some games that break away from that mold lately, on the whole it seems to be pretty consistent. Imagine my surprise when Diddy Kong Racing turned out to be anything but...
This game is too difficult for most children. The computer is amazingly good at stomping out any chance you have of winning without trying more than a few times. While the controls do feel tight and responsive, the need to hit what feels like every shortcut and power-up gets old quickly. Racing games should make getting to the next level easier than this, especially when playing on a platform like the DS in which precise control can be damn near impossible sometimes.
The game also just doesn't do anything as well as Mario Kart. I am all for competition on the DS, but not like this. The go-cart world only needs so many games, and we have reached the maximum on the DS in Mario Kart. I understand Rare wanted to milk the license a little more, and its not like they are alone in the game of bringing old games to the handheld world and marketing them as if they are new to the world, but this is one that could be left behind.
All in all, this is a fine game. It works, and it will provide you with a few hours of fun. Other than that though, I would stay away from it. It just doesn't have the polish that we have come to expect from Nintendo as of late, and while it does include a few gimmicks, it lacks the kind of punch and sheer fun that DS games have really brought to the table in terms of gaming lately. A great buy for a Donkey Kong diehard or someone who loved Mario Kart and wants something a little different. Other than that though, do yourself a favor and stick with the original.