Graphics: 4/5 DKR DS definitely doesn't show off the DS's graphics, but they get the job done. They look quite a bit better than the N64 version, but Mario Kart DS looks nicer, even being a year older. The best part about this game is the retextured maps which make them look and feel better, and the nice framerate. ( Although it is 30 FPS while Mario Kart DS was at 60 ). This game is also considerably slower paced than Mario Kart DS is in races, but it is still fun.
Sound: 3.75/5 If you liked the soundtrack in the old game, you'll like it here. The maps have the same songs with a few exceptions. The voices are, however, pretty much mediocre. Taj sounds weird - sort of British, instead of having a different accent in the original version, which sounded much better. Overall, Diddy Kong Racing DS passes in sound, but it's nothing at all spectacular.
Control: 3.5/5 Almost where the game fails. Controlling the cars aren't too bad, ( even though they take getting used to ) what's worse is controlling the plane or the god awful hovercraft, which is very difficult to handle. The controls in this game are twitchy, and at times unresponsive, and the hovercraft makes for a frustrating water race. This definitely drags the game down. Also, the balloon challenges in this game are also hard. A challenge where you must pop balloons and while doing so, trying to grab coins as well. It wouldn't be bad if it weren't so hard to grab a coin. If you try to grab coins while popping balloons, good luck, because the touch screen controls in this game are not very good at all.
Fun: 4.5/5 Overall, I really do think this game is a blast. I can't understand in any way why people think this game fails, because it doesn't. You do have to work quite a bit to get coins and unlock stuff, but that is the point - it gives it great replay value. The balloon challenges drag the game down fun-wise in a way, and it will take awhile and be hard to unlock some of the hidden characters, but this game is great. Wi-Fi play could be better, ( not quite as good as Metroid Prime: Hunters ) since you can't communicate in a race, but it is more fun than Mario Kart DS in my opinion online. If you enjoyed Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo 64, then you will definitely love this game on the DS. It has control problems, it is sometimes aggrivatingly repetetive, and there are some unneccesary things thrown in the bag, but if you are forgiving, Diddy Kong Racing DS may be one of your favorite DS games to date.