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Diddy Kong Racing smartly mimics SMK’s well-founded principles while expanding in different directions. To call it just a go-cart racer gives too little credit. As if it were no big thing, DKR boldly introduces the physics of plane and hovercraft travel to the genre while replicating the slide-turn techniques that separated the wheat from the chaff in SNES carting, casually switching between all three vehicles throughout. You’ll be tearing around the rocky orange cliffs of prehistoric Fossil Canyon, skidding past waterfalls and between the stomping feet of a ponderous Brontosaurus, and in the very next race take to the skies, navigating around snow-capped firs and splitting icy gorges at the Snowfrost Peak circuit.
What's harder to explain are the numerous other problems. Gang Wars is characterized by slack issues that have grown increasingly noticeable since the Prisoners of War codebase it probably leveraged. Animation is stilted and choppy with not enough frames per attack, and the frames loop through at incongruent rates, one player throwing a punch and back to normal stance while the other still has his head careened back after a blow to the jaw. GW excels relative to its peers at providing a variety of different attackers, but negates that success by stacking them anyway – the same sprite may only be used once, but when it is you’ll fight three of the same guy at the same time anyway.
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