News Article

Month Of Kong: The Making Of Diddy Kong Racing

Posted by Martin Watts

How a diddy development team made a huge impact on the kart racing genre

Donkey Kong has had a long and vibrant history on the video game scene. To honour his most recent Wii U adventure, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, we've declared February to be the Month of Kong, a celebration of DK and Co.’s impressive journey from their arcade roots right through to the modern day.

Of course, no examination of Donkey Kong’s history would be complete without taking a closer look at Rare’s involvement with the franchise. During the 1990s, the British development studio played a crucial role in not only keeping DK fresh and at the forefront of gamers’ minds, but also in shaping the entire future of the franchise; Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, for example, is very clearly inspired by the impressive legacy that Rare created.

When developing the original Donkey Kong Country series, the gang at Rare not only worked hard to make great use of the franchise, but it also used it as an opportunity to leave its own mark. One of the most noticeable ways in which it did this was by creating a host of new characters, the most notable of which was Diddy Kong. We don’t need to give you a long list of reasons why this was so significant; the fact that it was recently announced that the little chimp will be returning in the next Super Smash Bros. games should be evidence enough. Despite being a wholly new creation in 1994, Diddy Kong quickly became a popular Nintendo character, taking the lead role in 1995’s Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest before finally getting a game to truly call his own in 1997: Diddy Kong Racing.

This game was not only huge for Diddy Kong’s street cred, but it was also a massive deal for Rare. Fitting neatly into the kart racing genre, Diddy Kong Racing was the first real contender to challenge Nintendo’s dominance over the kart racing genre with Mario Kart 64. And in many ways, Diddy Kong Racing is most certainly the better game; it added a host of new and engaging gameplay features, while also offering much tighter controls. When it released in late 1997, it was a huge hit for a Rare.

We recently caught up with Lee Musgrave, who worked as a 3D artist on Diddy Kong Racing and a number of other Rare titles before eventually going to become the studio’s Head of Art. He gave us an insight into the game’s fascinating development, as well as what it was like to work at Rare during what many consider to be the studio’s golden era.

For a game that went on to sell an impressive number of copies, not to mention achieve near universal critical acclaim, Diddy Kong Racing’s origins were remarkably humble. “Right back at the beginning it was just me and Chris Stamper [one of Rare’s co-owners]”, Musgrave tells us. “We’d just finished Killer Instinct II and while some of the team went off to work on Killer Instinct Gold for the N64, we tried to start making a racing game”.

"Just before Diddy Kong Racing, there was a month's worth of work on a strategy game that I did with Chris Stamper, but that was in the style of Command & Conquer and not related"

Moreover, Diddy Kong Racing’s raison d'etre is slightly less grandiose than you may have previously thought. “We simply didn't have something of the sort in the Rare line-up”, admits Musgrave. This in itself is certainly a testament to Rare’s once impressive versatility and willingness to try new things in the field of game design, which contrasts starkly with today’s industry, in which development studios tend to stick quite closely to certain franchises and genres.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s worth noting that Diddy Kong Racing didn't start off life in the form that we know it today. Instead, the initial prototype – which consisted of a small car that drove around a flat plain – evolved into Pro-Am 64, although this wasn't a direct follow-up to the earlier NES and Game Boy titles. For reasons unknown, a rumour persists online today that the game’s very first concept was in fact a real-time strategy game with a caveman/time-travel theme, however Musgrave confirms that this was never the case. “Just before Diddy Kong Racing, there was a month's worth of work on a strategy game that I did with Chris Stamper, but that was in the style of Command & Conquer and not related. I rendered a few catapults, but other than that it didn't go anywhere and died after a month. We had a go at it, but in the end it looked like the racing game had more legs”.

But when — and more importantly, how — did Pro-Am 64 actually become Diddy Kong Racing? Musgrave fills us in: “Pro-Am 64 had gotten to a stage where it was being called exactly that; the title screen was done, and it had all new IP invented characters. We got to July 1997, and it turned out that Banjo-Kazooie was going to be the game for Christmas”.

However, N64 owners at the time will recall that Banjo-Kazooie didn't actually release until the next summer. “The team behind Banjo-Kazooie had loads of stuff in the game, but they thought they could really push it towards being a Super Mario 64 killer”, Musgrave explains, “So they wanted to do more on it, which meant that they were going to miss the Christmas slot.” It was a wise move; Banjo-Kazooie was another huge success for Rare, both critically and commercially.

"Nintendo enjoyed the fact that we chose Diddy Kong over Donkey Kong; I think that it was us trying to build on the fact that Diddy was ours, and DK was theirs"

Not only that, but suddenly Pro-Am 64 became the only viable choice for Rare’s Christmas ‘97 game, although there were doubts as to whether the IP was strong enough to capture the attention of consumers. “I don’t know how the politics of it worked, but the decision was made that rebranding the game to Diddy Kong Racing would work better, especially as a Christmas AAA release”. According to Musgrave, the decision to choose Diddy Kong rather than Nintendo’s famous gorilla was their own to make: “Nintendo enjoyed the fact that we chose Diddy Kong over Donkey Kong; I think that it was us trying to build on the fact that Diddy was ours, and DK was theirs”.

With a big IP attached to the project, it was now a case of adapting the game’s visuals to represent this. Lee and his colleagues rushed like madmen to change the assets. “Thankfully, the tracks were mostly done, and the pick-ups were arbitrary, made-up things. It was just kind of a rush job to change the packaging of it”.

The team’s speedy work – combined with a dearth of notable N64 releases in the latter half of 1997 – meant that Diddy Kong Racing acquired nearly all of Nintendo’s attention when it came to advertising the title, a luxury which Musgrave says the game likely wouldn't have received if it hadn't been given the coveted Christmas slot. A mass media campaign — involving plenty of TV advertising — meant that the game went on to be a huge success for Rare, selling roughly 4.5 million copies — a staggering number for the time.

Despite releasing shortly after Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing’s development wasn't influenced by the latter to any real degree. “I suppose the only thing — the struggle — was trying to make it run as fast as Mario Kart 64”, states Musgrave. The speed in Nintendo’s 64-bit kart racer was partly achieved through the use of sprites for the characters, whereas Diddy Kong Racing featured almost fully-3D models. “The wheels in Diddy Kong Racing are in fact sprites”, Musgrave admits, “Rob Harrison, one of our software engineers, created this tech which worked out where the camera would be looking in relation to sprite. It resulted in this really nice effect: 3D cars with sprite wheels that looked solid and real”.

"I suppose the only thing — the struggle — was trying to make it run as fast as Mario Kart 64"

Fans of both games could argue until the end of time about which is better, but it’s fair to say that Diddy Kong Racing not only did a lot of things better than Mario Kart 64, but it also added a wealth of new and exciting features. In particular, Diddy Kong Racing offered a comprehensive adventure mode, complete with boss battles and a light, yet engaging story. Moreover, it added far more depth to the mechanics when it came to control — not to mention that players could also race their way around the tracks in planes and hovercrafts. According to Musgrave, this wasn't a massive or overly ambitious undertaking, but rather the team was looking to provide players with a different experience so that direct comparisons couldn't be drawn. “We had the opportunity to do it, and it didn't feel like a lot of work to add that stuff in”, he asserts, “It was more design and implementation work, as well as having to get the overworld drawn, but it wasn't a huge task”.

The technical wizardry that the team was able to achieve with Diddy Kong Racing, as well as other projects, was borne out of a great work environment. As has been widely reported in the past, Rare’s owners, the Stamper brothers, cultivated a strong sense of competition between teams, which resulted in new games that consistently raised the bar. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to attribute Rare’s technical success solely to the culture it employed; the period in time when Diddy Kong Racing was being developed had just as much to do with it. Musgrave provides some perspective: “At the time, everyone was still learning. Today, look at how many game engines there are, everyone knows how geometry and lighting work; at the time, no one even knew why what they created had to be triangles”.

It was a different time, and one which looks infinitely more exciting in retrospect. The tools available to the team were extremely clunky by today’s standards, and there wasn't much in the way of guidance or resources. “People were learning as they were going, and getting the best out of the N64 was kind of a succession of cunning tricks with which you had to kind of try and out-trick the guy next door”, states Musgrave. The culture, combined with the desire to make your project truly stand out, is what drove the staff to go the extra mile with their projects.

Not only that, but Rare’s bonus scheme was set up so that success was lucratively rewarded. Many of Rare’s N64 titles passed the million copies sold mark by quite a margin; GoldenEye 007, for example, reached around 8 million copies sold, which it achieved within what was then a much smaller, more specialist market.

What makes this seem even more incredible is the fact that games such as Diddy Kong Racing were developed by very small-sized teams within Rare. In this particular instance, a team of around 14 people worked full-time on the project, which Musgrave believes is the absolute sweet spot in terms of working effectively, knowing what everyone else within the team is doing and having fun. Drawing a comparison with today, the former Rare man believes that some of the problems with how things are now is that there is a lack of creative ideas because the money and the teams are simply too big.

"The Stamper brothers were very good at giving you the freedom to do stuff you wanted to do, so everyone on the team felt like it [Diddy Kong Racing] was theirs"

We only need to look back to the era of the N64 to know what sort of impact Rare had on the games industry as a result of its constant drive for perfection. In the seven years that the N64 was on the market, the UK studio developed 11 titles, the majority of which were received warmly by gamers. It is often considered a golden era for the developers, to the extent where it could be argued that it saved the N64 from complete failure.

Musgrave looks back on his time Rare with much fondness. “The culture of the place was whatever you were working on absolutely felt like yours. The Stamper brothers were very good at giving you the freedom to do stuff you wanted to do, so everyone on the team felt like it [Diddy Kong Racing] was theirs”. As a result of this, overtime seemingly wasn't much of an issue for staff, who would happily put in a considerable number of extra hours during the evenings and weekends.

When asked if there was anything that he would change if he could do it all again, it’s apparent that Musgrave still holds himself to the same high standards that he did during his time at Rare. “I was part of the team that developed Mickey’s Speedway USA, which we got to run at a constant 30 frames per second, whereas Diddy Kong Racing doesn't. If I could do it all again, I know I could get it to run at that”.

Diddy Kong Racing may have since disappeared from the mainstream gaming scene – having only reappeared again as an enhanced remake for DS in 2007 – but its legacy still lives on in the memories of many gamers. When you take into account the constant changes the game underwent during its development, the relatively small team that made it and what they managed to achieve as a result, you soon realise that Diddy Kong Racing really is one of those Rare gems that’s truly worthy of all its praise.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Lee Musgrave for taking the time to speak with us.

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User Comments (79)

Pit-Stain

#2

Pit-Stain said:

I always loved this game. It's really good to know about the creation of the game.

Luke8400

#4

Luke8400 said:

I had no idea it was almost Pro-Am 64. R.C. Pro-Am is probably my all time favorite 8-bit racing game. Also, I've always felt that this was the better game over Mario Kart 64. Call it blasphemy, but I never bought MK64, and to this day, I still own my N64 without it. I had a friend with MK64, and I had DKR...never felt the need to buy it. DKR had better tracks, better battle arenas, better vehicles, and an adventure mode complete with boss challenges and an overworld that really made it feel like an adventure game. Mario Kart today is still missing many things that DKR had, which is why it's my favorite kart racer to this day.

tom_q

#5

tom_q said:

I wish Nintendo would make a Mario Kart with a hub world like this, it made the races more worthwhile.

47drift

#9

47drift said:

I only dream that some day this will come out on Virtual Console. It was my most played N64 game.

Folkloner

#10

Folkloner said:

The only game i've ever completed 4/5 times. Every couple of years I go back to it. I swear its the music, you can hum those tunes all day. ALL DAY!

ReigningSemtex

#11

ReigningSemtex said:

A brilliant read. I really miss the days of rare wowing me with the majority of the games they made. Me and my brother spent many hours on Diddy Kong Racing.... time well spent!

NintyMan

#12

NintyMan said:

This game is a complete classic. I don't know how many hours I spent as a kid playing with family in racing and battles. I liked playing Diddy Kong and Krunch. Wizpig actually terrified me. The music was also so whimsical and catchy and still is today. It's apparent that Diddy Kong Racing was lovingly crafted and with a small team with each person dedicated to add their own creativity to it, it's no wonder.

retro_player_22

#13

retro_player_22 said:

One of the best multiplayer racing game for the N64 next to WipEout 64, F-Zero X, Mario Kart 64, Top Gear Overdrive, Hydro Thunder, 1080 Snowboarding, Wace Race 64, Beetle Adventure Racing, and Snowboard Kids 1 & 2.

SuperZelda64

#14

SuperZelda64 said:

I think I've heard form DYKGaming that Pro-am 64's change to Diddy Kong Racing was because Miyamoto hinted it.

XyVoX

#16

XyVoX said:

Well back in the day this game was legendary, and amongst most of my N64 owning pals this was preferred over MK64, Still got the character select screen tune playing in my head after seeing the 2nd photo in this article.

Nintendaholic

#17

Nintendaholic said:

By far my favorite game on the n64, just beat adventure 2 for the 5th time the other day as i like to beat it at least once a year!

NiBar

#18

NiBar said:

I really tried to love Diddy kong racing but like many n64 games and most Rare games the frame rate was only around 16fps. I am sensitive in that area. I felt it was unplayable. Mario kart was much smoother and I loved it together with Wave Race, F-Zero and 1080 Snowboarding. True classics indeed.

PrincessEevee9

#20

PrincessEevee9 said:

Truly enjoyed this game more then Mario Kart miss the chance that this marvelously overlooked game will be very get the true sequel it deserves. Sigh

aaronsullivan

#21

aaronsullivan said:

@tom_q @PricessEevee9
Diddy Kong Racing is probably still my favorite kart racer. Would always rather have more of these than Mario Kart.

Still love Mario Kart right from the first one until now, but Diddy Kong was the direction I wish Mario Kart had gone in.

@Luke8400
I never owned Mario Kart 64 either back in it's day. I own it on Virtual Console now and I did play it an awful lot with friends family though.

Xtremetdifan

#22

Xtremetdifan said:

Nice article, I enjoyed reading about this but...
Month of the kong?
Seriously?
Click on the thumb link there are two articles and there's only a week left in February

Dr_Corndog

#23

Dr_Corndog said:

Awesome game. Not as good as MK64 for playing against friends, but that single-player mode is killer.

SetupDisk

#24

SetupDisk said:

It's so sad that the real rare has died. If only all the old team could come together again in a new company.... YOU HAVE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS NINTENDO, DO IT!

Dr_Corndog

#25

Dr_Corndog said:

"[T]here is a lack of creative ideas because the money and the teams are simply too big."

I'd like to hang that quote at the top of every gaming website.

Samurai_Goroh

#26

Samurai_Goroh said:

Diddy Kong Racing was my childhood. Everything Mario Kart 64 did right, Diddy Kong Racing did better. It felt good being an N64 kid back in the day.

TruenoGT

#27

TruenoGT said:

DKR was such a rich experience... the environments and variety were amazing. Like others have said, truly the loss of N64-era Rare is one of the great tragedies of gaming history. Nintendo could really use their prolific-ness and creativity today on the Wii U.... Think of amazing stuff those Rare teams would have done with the gamepad! :(

kenzo

#29

kenzo said:

How topical.

I just bought the Diddy Kong Racing DS card for $5 from a second hand shop.

Backfilling my collection of classic games.

ajcismo

#30

ajcismo said:

I remember being skeptical of this game, until my buddy brought it over and we had a marathon session of racing back in college. So much fun, it became part of our regular rotation with Mario Kart 64 and Goldeneye. Ahh good times.

copeland4

#31

copeland4 said:

"And in many ways, Diddy Kong Racing is most certainly the better game..."

"...it’s fair to say that Diddy Kong Racing not only did a lot of things better than Mario Kart 64..."

Let's try not to let our personal biases get in the way of an otherwise pretty good article. We know way more people playing Mario Kart 64 nowadays than DKR, so MK64 must not be that horrible. There are many things that MK64 did great that DKR could not reproduce with as much success (e.g., item system, multiplayer), and there are several things DKR introduced that were rather unwelcome (e.g., unforgiving difficulty in several areas, sometimes confusing and race-inhibiting stage design). It's almost hard to even compare the two: MK64 is purely racing and multiplayer, while DKR is action-adventure racing with a plot. Both are great games, but remain objective in your writing, no matter how much you favor one over the other.

unrandomsam

#33

unrandomsam said:

@copeland4 Just because more people are doing something doesn't mean anything either. My favourite game of this sort is Wacky Races on the Dreamcast. (Don't think that is widely played either). All Stars Racing Transformed (At least the PC version) is much better for anything other than playing against opponents that have never played a racing game before. Mario Kart is like riding a bike with stabilisers. (Useful but pointless for very long).

PrincessEevee9

#34

PrincessEevee9 said:

@copeland4 Comparing the two is poor as Diddy Kong Racing reins superior. Mario Kart 64 is fun but it's not even close to the pure adulterated joy that Diddy Kong Racing brought. The music, characters, tracks you name it and Kart just can't compete.

tebunker

#35

tebunker said:

Since it seems like Nintendo refuses to do N64 VC titles, hopefully we can get the DS version on the VC.

NathanVS

#37

NathanVS said:

Nintendo should make Diddy Kong Racing 2. Give Diddy a starring role again.

Heck, I don't know why they haven't done it yet. With numbers like DKR and DKC2, Nintendo should really capitalize on the Diddy Kong brand. He is very popular character up there with Yoshi and Luigi. Nintendo shouldn't miss the opportunity.

Dezsi

#38

Dezsi said:

I love Mario Kart, especially the first one, but I'd much rather play other genres — that is, I'm not much of a racing fan. And that's the reason I find it amazing that RARE could make a game that I enjoyed and played as much as if it was another genre, like, you know, a platfromer or an adventure game, both of which entertain me much more than racing games.

Even though I have Mario Kart 64, I remember not liking it at all ever, since, after first having played DKR, there wasn't much of a reason for me to play it.

The funny thing is that I STILL haven't completed DKR, despite having owned it for more than 15 years. Seriously, isn't the second wizpig race just ludicruous? :D Wait, am I THAT bad?!

RARE was a gold mine for Nintendo cash-wise, but more of a gold mine to us, gamers, well, joy-wise.

Gamer83

#39

Gamer83 said:

I remember not being overly impressed when I first heard about the game. Then the months went by and I got more hyped and when I finally got to play it, well, it quickly became my favorite 'kart' racer. Probably still is.

SirQuincealot

#40

SirQuincealot said:

@NiBar so you arent sensible then, you are sensitive, a sensible person would have the sense to realize frame rate doesnt really matter

Kirbybrawl

#41

Kirbybrawl said:

I prefer diddy kong racing over mario kart 64. I wish we could get a wii u version one day. I know mario kart 8 will be so much fun but an alternative racer would be great as well. I know i won't be playing mario kart 8 until nintendos next console so variety would be great

Ailingforale

#42

Ailingforale said:

I agree, DKR was better thank MK64. I don't know what it was, but my friends and I stopped playing Mario Kart after Diddy Kong arrived. I miss the hovercraft...

Yeh, a good sequel would be great.

Chris720

#43

Chris720 said:

Why isn't there a Diddy Kong Racing 2? Probably due to Mario Kart, but still, I think it deserves its own game.

FullbringIchigo

#45

FullbringIchigo said:

oh I know i'm going to get it for this so SHEILDS UP! but I really didn't like this game I found it dull, but I do see how it helped the genre be what it is today

I just didn't like it

GalacticMario28

#46

GalacticMario28 said:

It's good to see some love for Diddy Kong Racing; I spent more time than I probably should have playing it. I don't think it's really fair to compare it to Mario Kart 64, though. In my experience, DKR provides an amazing single-player experience, much more thorough than MK64, but MK64 provides a more fun and chaotic multiplayer experience. I'm glad that each game was able to do so well what the other struggled to do at all, for me at least.

Jaunty

#47

Jaunty said:

I put so many hours into this game back then, unlocking TT and all that. I have a lot of good memories from it. It's good to hear about how it came about.

Sitting hear listening to the soundtrack for the first time in years. Awesome stuff.

Whopper744

#48

Whopper744 said:

So many hours spent on this back then... They just don't make 'em like they used to sometimes.

Kirk

#49

Kirk said:

Boy would I love to see another Diddy Kong Racing game. There was some awesome stuff going on in that game that still hasn't been matched to this day; like the hub area level select or the boss battles and even the whole idea of having a basic story. It looked really nice too with it's simple clean flat shaded visuals that actually still hold up very well today and even the audio was great. Such a cool game.

FireHorsePrime

#50

FireHorsePrime said:

I ignored DKRacing when it was first released, writing it off as a MKart clone. But after having reacquired an N64 a few months ago and deciding I was going to focus on best loved games for my retro collection, I saw the game was above MK on many Greatest Hits lists, so I bought a used copy and now I'm totally in love with it, and have no intention of getting a replacement copy of Mario Kart. Truly one of the best racing games ever.

BearClaus

#51

BearClaus said:

I only rented this game. I probably would've cared more about it had I not already played the excellent Crash Team Racing, which, as it turns out, was clearly inspired by this one. :)

mamp

#52

mamp said:

I totally agree that this game was better than MK 64 in just about every way. Also yeah not enough creativity going on nowadays.

NiBar

#53

NiBar said:

@SirQuincealot Thanks for your help. I'm from Denmark so it can sometimes be a little hard to explain my opinion in english, but again for me a solid frame rate is very important and sadly Diddy Kong Racing and a lot other N64 games couldn't deliver. I respect that a lot people had fun nevertheless and luckily for me Nintendo's own games(except Rare's) always had a smooth frame rate:)

Bizzyb

#55

Bizzyb said:

The thing I like about this site is that you guys havethe most iinteresting content, I.e. editorials, articles giveaways etc. Even your reviews seem really fair anf balanced. What's more interesting is that you guys are primarily based in the UK, a region where Nintendo doesn't do so well..kinda ironic

Anyway ontopic, DKR was one of my most played N64 games ever. I remember getting those promo VHS (yes VHS) tapes in the mail and salavating over it's release. This was waaay before the age of the internet. In some ways I liked those days better...less bickering and negatively

ULTRA-64

#56

ULTRA-64 said:

My favourite driving game bar none .....mk could learn allot from this even now!!
I didn't know there was a ds release!! Does that mean, since ds games are coming to Wii u I could play it on that one day???

khululy

#58

khululy said:

@tom_q I know this is totally offtopic but I love your Terranigma pic, that game is also a great game of back then, well even more back than, then.

I never got the chance to play this game on N64 I was one of those unlucky kids who had a pc at that time with a 166 mhz cpu and tnt2 graphic card so i was playing on that :P

VolcanoFlamesNL

#60

VolcanoFlamesNL said:

Hmm... MK64 was a bit... uncontrollable for me, since I was used to modern MK. I've played DKR on DS, and my ONLY complaint is that drifting doesn't bring sparks.
Sigh... I miss RARE!

mikeyman64

#61

mikeyman64 said:

One of my favorite memories. Loved the ability to travel around the "overworld" and chose different craft to use. Also has one of the hardest final bosses of it's era.

Blue-Thunder

#62

Blue-Thunder said:

DK racing is a good game but it is not better than MK64. MK64 is a legendary piece of software.

FritzFrapp

#63

FritzFrapp said:

Good article. Still one of the very best single-player karting games and definitely one of Rare's best games overall.

"Drawing a comparison with today, the former Rare man believes that some of the problems with how things are now is that there is a lack of creative ideas because the money and the teams are simply too big."

He's bang-on with that quote. Thankfully Iwata and Nintendo realised that before it was too late (for the company) and sensibly have been courting indie developers whilst changing their future business strategy. I said at their reveals that PS4 and Xbone have taken the wrong approach and will be very costly mistakes for their respective companies and the industry as a whole, and don't see any evidence to change that view. You do have to wonder how long this whole generation will last.

LunaticPandora

#64

LunaticPandora said:

You know l'd kill for Nintendo to pick up where Rare left off and make a fully realised Donkey Kong Racing. From the previews way back then it looked like it could've been one of the Cube's best games.

The-Ninformant

#66

The-Ninformant said:

@Luke8400 you should really do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Mario Kart 64. My friends and I played Mario Kart 64 and Goldeneye more than any of the other great games on the console. It's just a great game with a really fun Battle Mode (minus the short stage selection), but they haven't gotten it right since. The Ds one wasn't bad, but playing it online was not the greatest. Hopefully the Wii U version will finally do Battle Mode justice again (please no team only matches and timed matches). Don't get me wrong I too enjoyed Diddy Kong Racing but if you have a working 64, 4 controllers and local friends Mario Kart 64 is just as fun today as it was then (it's also a heck of a lot faster than the newer iterations)!

bizcuthammer

#67

bizcuthammer said:

When i was a kid, i liked Mario Kart 64 a bit more. Now, though, DKR is easily my favorite of the two. The inclusion of Adventure mode and the story are what make it different from other kart racers. I'd love to see Nintendo hire all the former Rare devs and create a new, first party studio where their talents can be used properly.

WesCash

#68

WesCash said:

One of favourite N64 games. I have the DS version but It doesn't quite do the original justice. I think it might benefit from the 3DS circle pad though, I'll have to give it a try.

TurokJr

#69

TurokJr said:

To me is a better game than Mario Kart 64. Great controls and the Adventure Mode is amazing. Come to think about with so many limitations, developers do great things in the past and push for the good of gameplay (and not just graphics, lighting effects and cinemas)

Veloster

#70

Veloster said:

This was one of those great childhood games. I remember when we used to play this on split-screen, my fellow racers couldn't quite get to grips with the hovercraft, so they used to hate it when I used it and was so much faster! :D

Neferupitou

#71

Neferupitou said:

I remember playing the hell out of this with my pals on the old good days!
oh how to no mention the countless races until i unlocked T.T? oh my god.

Dark-Link73

#72

Dark-Link73 said:

Diddy Kong Racing is still (and probably always be) my second favorite Kart game of all time. :-)

JuanitoShet

#73

JuanitoShet said:

This game WAS (and still IS) better than Mario Kart 64. In fact, this WAS my Mario Kart 64; I never got to play Mario Kart 64 as a child, but a cousin of mine owned a copy of this title and we played the HELL out of it!

Over a year ago now I got my hands on a copy of this game for the Nintendo 64 that I've owned all of my life. And I'm happy to say that I still play it here and then.

Truly one of the greatest Nintendo 64 titles ever created. Definitely deserves all the praise. :)

Falkor

#74

Falkor said:

I feel obligated to let you know that this is a wonderful article. THIS is why I come to Nintendo Life. More articles like this, please!

JebbyDeringer

#75

JebbyDeringer said:

This game had so much replay. The coin collecting and then reverse world added so much gameplay and I never really got tired of it. The added air racing and water racing made it much more than a Kart game. This and Goldeneye made me constantly push myself to improve.

xKing_Koopahx

#76

xKing_Koopahx said:

this game is one of the best games.. Ive ever played.. I remember spending hours and hours during my summer breaks playing with Friends.. I even bought it twice because my first one broke. NERD RAGE!!! friend got mad.. but yeah.. man.. Miss this game.

SparkOfSpirit

#77

SparkOfSpirit said:

This game was leagues ahead of Mario Kart 64 which is still one of my least favorite Mario Kart games.

It's such a shame there was never a proper sequel. An adventure mode (Co-op adventure at that!), many different vehicle types, an amazing soundtrack (David Wise!), and fun multiplayer games make this so much fun to revisit. It's truly a shame Mario Kart never took any of the features from this game into any sequels. The adventure mode alone would do so much good for the series.

If only the remake came to 3DS or the e-shop it would have probably been much better and would have made a bigger splash.

Manaphy2007

#78

Manaphy2007 said:

just looking at the name or hearing the name makes me think of the misic, i honestly like the original better than DKR DS

Henmii

#79

Henmii said:

Nice article and great game! Never knew that it was actually a rebranded game, so that they could get more brand recognition!

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