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ONM Remembered – #215

“CRIMBO PUDDIN'”


from Official Nintendo Magazine issue 64 (December 1997)

As a hyperactive youth excited near to death by the impending release of Diddy Kong Racing (or had it come out by this point?), this cover ticked all the boxes, and then some. “Why you MUST play this game!” “N64 for under £100!” “CRIMBO PUDDIN’!” I’m not sure why the last one is mentioned, but why the hell not? It’s giving us plenty to be excited about!

When the magazines needed space to fill they’d usually trot out a small “top 5 Christmassy levels in games” list somewhere, though, let’s face it, not many games of this era actually evoked a Christmassy vibe, unless they were some gimmicky Amiga game released only in New Zealand or something. I mean, sure, Snowman’s Land from Super Mario 64 would be guaranteed a spot on the list, but it’s hardly Christmassy – it’s the worst parts of being outdoors in December! Losing your hat, slipping on ice, getting pummelled with snowballs, having coins transform into frog-shaped purses and hopping away. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, I tell you.
But Diddy Kong Racing‘s winter stages capture the vibe a lot better than just sprinkling snow everywhere. They’re colourful and cosy and undeniably festive, with all sorts of decorations littering the courses and jingle bells playing in the tracks. If there’s a game fit to grace a Christmas-themed cover, it’s that one!