YMMV / Diddy Kong Racing

  • Breather Level: Bluey is significantly easier than Tricky is, despite being the second world's boss.
  • Broken Base: The DS port. On one hand, it adds a ton of new content, like new tracks, new modes, new characters, new music, and even new fun doodads to mess with (like the Sound Recorder). On the other hand, the new quickstart is a Scrappy Mechanic, the hovercraft is much more difficult to control, Banjo and Conker are lost to the copyright gods, the new voice clips are crappy, and trophy races and battle modes are no longer possible in single player. Fans are very divided.
    • Tiny Kong's older Ms. Fanservice redesign in the same port. Some loved it, while others missed old Tiny and thought fanservicing up a child character was creepy.
  • Christmas Rushed: The game got this treatment, but for good reason. After Banjo-Kazooie got delayed to summer 1998, Rare had to have some triple-A game to put out around the Christmas 1997 season, and the game they had at that point (which was miles away from the game you're reading an article about now) was revised extensively and ultimately published around mid-to-late November. According to general consensus, the rushed state of the game did very little to hinder the actual playing experience.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: The ending after you beat Wizpig the second time.
    • Before that, the lighthouse transforming into a rocket to take you to Future Fun Land.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: As expected from a David Wise soundtrack. Some gems include:
    • The Intro theme in all of its glory.
    • Spaceport Alpha's theme is very awesome, which is good because you'll be playing the Silver Coin challenge quite a lot.
    • Darkmoon Caverns, one of the most infectious and varied pieces in the soundtrack. Doubles as the first credits theme.
    • Pirate Lagoon
    • Crescent Island, also used as the second credits theme.
    • Hot Top Volcano, one of the most iconic tracks from the game (in both the musical and gameplay senses.) It's timed exactly such that when you typically hit the final lap and speed up, the drum breakdown kicks in...
    • The lobby/select your level music, which doubles as an Ear Worm.
    • The DS version gave tracks that previously shared their music with another track their own themes. Exhibit A: The new Jungle Falls. Upbeat Tribal Chanting + a seriously catchy xylophone line = awesome.
    • The DS version's Snowball Valley. Not only does it sound more Christmassy than the original music, it has an infectious clapping-and-jingle-bell breakdown near the end.
    • The new Spaceport Alpha theme (with the old theme still being used in Spacedust Alley.) It has a great, mysterious outer-space feel to it.
    • Strangled Shrine, used for one of the DS-exclusive tracks. It's evocative of the already fantastic Hot Top Volcano theme, but more watery, which is pretty much what Strangled Shrine is. The brass stings are pretty epic, too.
    • Wizpig Challenge, the song that plays when you race Wizpig in both big final showdowns, is appropriately badass and intense.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Pipsy was used by most people, male or female, because she combined adorable characteristics with a simple and effective style for racing.
    • Also Tiptup, who had slightly higher top speed and slightly lower acceleration and handling, and went on to cameo in Banjo-Kazooie (where, contrary to this game, he is considerably bigger than Banjo.)
    • And T.T.? Apart from being a great host and mentor, as a playable character, he broke the game, to say the least.
  • Fridge Logic: Why does Taj the helpful genie have all the balloons you need to win the game (and withhold them from you until you win a race)? Wizpig stole them all.
    • Fridge Brilliance: Perhaps when he first appears, Taj had just finished taking the balloons back, but he doesn't consider himself ready to take on Wizpig and decided to give the balloons to the racers as they proved themselves ready over the course of the game?
  • Game Breaker: If you unlock T.T., practically every race becomes a joke. Thankfully when put into the hands of a computer, he drives at a much lower top speed.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Tapping A rather than holding it while racing in the car makes it perpetually gain speed, to the point where it's actually possible to lap Wizpig.
  • It Was His Sled: There is a fifth world, Future Funland. You get there by having 1st place trophies in the four worlds and colliding with the signpost placard that displays them.
  • Most Annoying Sound: "No no no! Wrong way!"
    • The sound that plays when you try to enter an area you haven't unlocked yet. Doubles as Hell Is That Noise because it's loud, sudden, and can be triggered by just going near a door, meaning that you'll probably hear it by innocently stumbling upon something new for the first time.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • This cutscene that plays when you go back out into the main hub area after collecting all the pieces of the Wizpig Amulet. In short, the giant stone head of Wizpig in the hub world comes alive and begins laughing medically after being restored to full flesh before giving the camera, which is slowly zooming in on the eyes, a Death Glare.
    • The sting that plays when you lose a battle stage or a Wizpig race can send chills down anyone's spine, let alone those of kids.
  • Obvious Beta: A very rare (no pun intended) example of this not having any real negative effect on the game's enjoyability. The game was rushed to market so that Rare could have something out for Christmas 1997, and numerous signs of this are left in the game, including the fact that attaining 100% Completion requires two save slots (one for the normal adventure and one for "Adventure 2") and several not-quite-functional elements accessible via in-game cheats, including a 2-player Adventure mode and a rather-broken sound test (all music tracks are only listed as numbers, are in no real order, include some beta elements, and exclude some music heard in the final game, and the Variable Mix tracks do not have their individual versions listenable - only a mash-up of all versions at once). The core game itself is complete, however - many of the Obvious Beta elements are side-features that aren't in any way necessary to enjoy the game itself.
    • This could also explain why Bubbler the Octopus is the only boss not seen in the ending.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Downplayed. The hub-world can seem somewhat eerie and creepy thanks to the game's Obvious Beta status.
  • Stop Helping Me!: It is rather easy to trigger dialogue with T.T. as he's wandering about the level hubs, even if you don't intend to. Especially pesky in the DS version, where he doesn't actually do anything useful besides make comments.
  • That One Boss: Bubbler the octopus is a very difficult race. The second race is even harder. And the second race against Wizpig himself.
    • Wizpig is somewhat excusable, given his role as the Final Boss. The second race against Tricky... argh.
      • Tricky's not too tough if you know where the shortcut in the mountain is.
    • Bubbler's second race is considered by many people to be the toughest race in the game, next to Wizpig's races on Adventure 2.
    • The first race against Wizpig is damn near IMPOSSIBLE unless you know what to do. You need to use the zipper trick (let go of the gas before getting a boost) to beat it. Unfortunately it's quite possible for players to never to get this bit of info, since it only shows up randomly after bosses. If players don't know the zipper trick, the one way to beat Wizpig is trying to get a boost start and stay in front of Wizpig all the time, hoping his foot will hit the player as he runs, pushing the kart forward. It requires insane timing as messing the position of your car up will result in Wizpig squashing you. Wizpig's first race is either a Guide Dang It or a Luck-Based Mission.
      • Even if a player receives Taj's hint concerning the zipper trick, it's quite possible that they will not interpret it correctly. If you release the gas while going over a zipper, the boost will be green instead of the usual purple, and you may incorrectly conclude that you have executed the zipper trick. This is wrong. In order to get the full effect, you must keep your finger off the gas until you see rainbow smoke. This is very unintuitive if you're desperately trying to keep up with Wizpig.
      • There's also a special acceleration trick which only works on cars. Due to the immediate acceleration bump when you press the A button being so great with cars that it can override the designated top speed, repeatedly tapping the A button can make you go up to 10 mph faster than you're supposed to. This doesn't work with hovercrafts or airplanes, however, or when you're driving a car on off-track terrain, and seems to be a glitch since you're never told about it as an actual hint.
  • That One Level: Many of the normal levels during the Silver Coin Challenge, but especially Greenwood Village.
    • This gets much worse in Future Fun Land, particularly Spaceport Alpha.
    • Adventure 2 makes it even worse by changing the locations of some of the coins, so you can't just go off of where they were in Adventure 1.
  • That One Sidequest: Unlocking T.T. as a playable character requires beating his best time on every track. And he's good. In the original, this means unlocking the fifth and final world... In the remake, this means both unlocking the final world and buying all the tracks in the D.K. Jungle world. Of course, once you get T.T., you have no excuse for losing to anyone ever. You practically need Drumstick to get some of the tracks, like Darkmoon Caverns.
    • In the remake, getting all the balloons in the "Balloon Touch Challenge" can be frustrating for some courses. In fact, it is oftentimes the courses that are otherwise the easiest to race on where they are the hardest, since those courses are shorter and so there are more balloons in one area, forcing you to tap like mad to get them all before they pass by for good.
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