Saturday, March 01, 2008
Donkey Kong Jet Race - not worth the wait on Nintendo Wii
Donkey Kong Jet Race
Price: $99.95(Australia) £29.99 (UK) $39.90 (US)
Rating: 2 out of 5
Poor old Donkey Kong - once again he's had people making a monkey of him. Strapped to a couple of rocket barrels and jettisoned towards a finish line, he's got little to do in Jet Race other than gobble bananas and drift out of the way of precariously placed obstacles. As far as racing games go, this is nothing to go ape over.
Jet Race has a string of simian stars from a bunch of other Donkey Kong offshoot games. The cheeky monkeys Diddy, Candy, Kranky, Funky and Dixie don't exactly make for a stellar line-up but they do exhibit a certain goofy charm that younger gamers will enjoy.
Much like the brilliant Mario Kart, scooping up bananas gives you a momentary burst of speed, while popping balloons rewards your character with power boosts that help you in the race. Whirlwinds can sap your opponents' bananas, a Backward Barrel can be dropped behind you to knock someone out, a Tasty Melon can make you invincible and the Pineapple Launcher attacks the character in front of you with a spiky fruit to the back of the head.
To provide some kind of obligatory Wii motion control activity, players must vigorously shake both the remote and Nunchuk controllers up and down - as if slapping an invisible bongo drum - to accelerate. Once you hit top speed, it's a case of waggling your left or right hand to indicate the direction in which you want your character to turn.
This clumsy control method is imprecise and too slow for responding to sudden make-or-break manoeuvres. As the races get faster and the circuits begin to overflow with objects that can bring your character to a devastating halt, shaking your hands to weave through danger becomes needlessly frustrating.
ENDGAME The control method is a mess, so wait for a more conventional racing game to come along if you want to take your Wii for a wild ride.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald