Flashback Games: Diddy Kong Racing

The basic premise:

Diddy Kong Racing is, at its core, a racing game.  Imagine that.  The adventure portion of the game involves driving around Timber’s Island unlocking different areas by collecting keys and shit.  And by collecting keys, I mean getting first place (gold medals and trophies) in a bunch of races.  In addition to the regular racing go-karts, there was also the option to use hovercrafts and planes.  This really mixed up regular racing tracks and added new challenges.  It was cool.

There’s also a stopwatch named T.T who you can try and beat on every track to unlock him as a playable character.  What kind of reward is that?  I hated him and his dumb high-pitched voice.  “HI, I’M T.T.!”  Yeah, suck it T.T.  Anyways, outside of the regular races there are also battle stages at the end of every area.  Usually they involve sabotaging or beating the crap out of other players with rockets, bombs, etc until you’re the last one standing.  Neat.

Why it’s so mother-effin’ awesome:

1.  The Hovercraft.  I was the jerk who picked the hovercraft levels every time.  When it came to driving this fine piece of machinery, I was a God.  I knew all the secret passages and tricks to screwing other people over.  I’m sure my friends hated me.  Whatever.

2.  Paired with Aqua, this game has been burned into my memory as some kind of candy pop acid trip.  I have really fond memories of going over to my neighbor’s house and playing for hours while listening to Aqua: Aquarium.  Most notably, I recall the song Dr. Jones blasting in my friend’s room while we played Darkwater Beach.  I’m surprised I don’t have some crazy attention disorder from all of that.

3.  Banjo and Conker.  There are a number of characters you can choose to race with (and plenty more that are unlockable.)  Banjo is by far the…dumbest and goofiest character you can choose.  So oblivious.  Conker was bat shit crazy.  If I had a sound clip of his high-pitched scream when he hit people, I’d put it RIGHT HERE.  But I don’t.  These were my go to racers.  Funny enough, they both got their own spin-off games.  Banjo Kazooie ended up being one of my favorite games of all time.

So what you can take away from all this is that:

a)   Middle School me sticks with what she’s good at when it means she can throw her controller down on the floor in a victory dance rubbing her sweet success in her opponent’s face.
b)   I apparently prefer characters who are either stupid or crazy.  Discuss.
c)   Diddy Kong Racing is better than other racing games because there are many secret passages and places to explore.  I never actually told you that before.  But it’s awesome and you should know that.

Diddy Kong Racing brings back a ton of fond memories and I can happily report that I actually have this game for my N64.  So, if all ya’ll want to come over and play, give me a call.  I will totally kick your ass at the hovercraft.  Maybe.  Probably not.  HOWEVER, I would love to race you in a go-kart in the moat on the banana-collecting level, Smokey Castle.  Are you game?


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