Back in 2004 Climax pitched Diddy Kong Racing Adventure.
The 1997 N64 racer Diddy Kong Racing almost had a couple of sequels. There's the well known Donkey Kong Racing, a title Rare announced at E3 2001, which failed to see the light of day once Microsoft acquired the series developer. But there was another one too. This second stab at a gorilla-racing sequel was called Diddy Kong Racing Adventure and it was being developed for the Gamecube not by Rare, but by Climax Studios (Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Sudeki).
YouTuber Andrew "PtoPOnline" Borman revealed the following footage of this canned sequel in the video below:
In development around April 2004, Diddy Kong Racing Adventure was set after the titular Kong child defeated Wizpig, who has returned with a Kremling army and turned Kongo Island into a colossal racing circuit.
What's worse: a lazy, direct port of an older game to a handheld console, or an older game that makes a valiant effort to fit in with the hip younger crowd on its new platform, but ends up worse for it? Depends on the game, I suppose; I'd rather have put up with the enormous proliferation of near-unchanged-but-excellent SNES ports than seen them all mangled by botched attempts to bring them 'up-to-date' by replacing all the turn-based battles with minigames. The DS, though, has suffered exactly the opposite problem with what few N64 conversions it has enjoyed; Super Mario 64 was a game so perfectly created for its original console that its control system rather suffered in the transition, and SBK (in happier times, once known as Snowboard Kids) insisted upon ruining everything by teenagering up its lovably deformed protagonists and making you blow and yell at the screen every two minutes for no reason whatsoever.
Diddy Kong Racing manages to incorporate the worst of both worlds. It is exactly the same sickeningly cute, single-player centric racer as it was ten years ago on the N64, but with enough pointless and inappropriate new features shoehorned in to sour the experience for anyone who might have enjoyed it back then. DKR was pretty unique as a multi-vehicle 'adventure-racer' in 1997, and it remains so now, but its visual style and design have aged rather badly, and the repetition inherent in its gameplay grates rather more today than it did back then. Its focus on single-player also means that the online multi-player falls rather flat, especially next to Mario Kart's riotously competitive racing. Worse, the touch-screen features range from mild irritation to insurmountably broken.
DKR was something of a testing ground for Rare's N64-era heroes. Banjo and Conker both featured here before starring in their own games - Banjo without his backpack-dwelling companion, and Conker as a fresh-faced, irritatingly cute, squeaky-voiced annoyance devoid of any of the personality he later found in Bad Fur Day - but they've both been replaced here by Dixie and Tiny Kong (who I always thought were the same person, cunningly rebranded, but you live and learn). What's left is the dregs; Bumper the badger, Pipsy the mouse and a selection of other inconsequential characters with the customary differences in speed, control and acceleration. It was never the world's most inspired character design, but the years have not exactly been kind to it. The courses, too, now fall into the category of 'woefully cliched' - we've got Water World, Jungle World, Ice World, Medieval World and the secret Space World.