When Diddy Kong Racing originally released in 1997, it broke the standards of your traditional racer by allowing the player to select three different types of vehicles. There was the go-kart, the airplane, and the hovercraft. Each vehicle had its own unique advantages. The go-kart, for instance, was best utilized on roadways and trails whereas the hovercraft was better controlled on lakes and rivers. This allowed the races and courses throughout the game to remain fresh, as the experience would be different when a different vehicle was selected for a course.
Now let’s fast-forward to 2012. In the Fall of last year, Sega released a title called ‘Sonic All-Stars Racing: Transformed’. I believe the inspiration for this game may have been inspired by Rare’s Diddy Kong Racing. In a very similar manner, it offered three different types of vehicles to the player: ground, air, and water-based vehicles. However, it does differentiate from DKR in the sense that rather than simply select your vehicle type, it will actually transform in the race to meet the geology of the course itself. So if you’re driving in a ground-based vehicle and a river source is ahead, your vehicle would then transform into a water-based vehicle to take advantage of the changing environment. It’s quite intuitive!
Now unless someone outright asks Sega if they truly were inspired by Diddy Kong Racing, then it remain something to only theorize about. Most games these days take inspiration from another previously released game and then innovate and evolve the idea to make it their own. Sonic All-Stars Racing: Transformed by all accounts could be such a game and I believe they did an excellent job of implementing the different vehicle types and making them adapt wonderfully to their game.
Do you all believe DKR could have been the inspiration for Transformed? Have you had the opportunity to play the game yourself? Sound off in the comments below!