Konami Krazy Racers is a game similar in many ways to Nintendo's very own Mario Kart. I have to admit that after playing Mario Kart Advance at ECTS last year, I think that Krazy Racers may be slightly better. Although not having played the release version of Mario Kart I may have to change my mind.

Konami Krazy racers includes all your favourite Konami characters introduced to us over the years, I have not actually played many Konami games and the ones I have played obviously didn't make much of an impression on me as I only recognised a few of the characters. Namely the Mystical Ninja character and Dracula out of Castlevania.

Krazy Racers provides us with a twist on the normal Mario Kart racing theme. To progress through the game you must pass driving tests after a series of races. If you come top of the pack at the end of the races you are given to option to take the driving test. These tests usually mean you have to beat a character over a number of laps or to finish the race under a given time. Passing these tests advances you to the next class and after moving up a class you can choose further races that get harder as you progress.

The game is very well presented, the main menu looks very much like a webpage and the game provides you with tips every now and again via a handy billboard. The rest of the icons are similarly presented on this webpage which includes options to purchase additional powerups, take tests and save the game.

The games controls have been adopted from the Nintendo standard with the shoulder buttons providing you with a small jump and a way to activate your pickups while the A and B buttons provide you with acceleration and a brake.

As I mentioned above, the game provides you with powerups. These powerups are varied and each one helps you in some way, from making you invincible to giving you missiles to take the player in front out, each one is nicely presented and is easily recognised by the small icon.

Powerups are picked up by hitting Parodius bells, when one is hit the powerup is randomly chosen in similar Mario Kart fashion with the choices spinning through until it slows and stops at the selected one. As you would expect these powerups are essential to your progression in all stages and without them you would most certainly come in last, especially in the harder stages.

Krazy Racers also provides you with 4 other racing modes. Firstly there is the Time trial mode, which we all should now know means that you race against the clock to get the best time on a particular track. Secondly there is the free run mode, which basically is the practice option, where you choose a track and race against opponents to improve your skills on that track.

Thirdly there is the Mini battle option, where you can choose between Bomb Chaser and Chicken. Bomb Chaser is a race against time where the person with a bomb needs to get rid of it before it explodes. When it explodes you lose. To get rid of the bomb you simply run into one of the other players. The chicken option is where you race down a straight track, unable to move left or right and when required you need to apply the brakes and be the furthest one to stop. The problem with this is that there is a drop at the end of the track and timing is impeccable. Apply the brakes too soon and you lose, too late and your history.

Finally we have the multiplayer option. Unfortunately for me there is no one else around here that has a GBA so I will just say that if the multiplayer option is like the single player game then is should be great.

The games graphics are excellent, everything looks lovely and the characters respond to the powerups well with effects for each very noticeable. The music is also one of the games top points, the menu music is very good and does not make me want turn the sound down. While in game the sounds are also crisp and are well done.

Konami Krazy Racers is a game I would highly recommend. Its great to play when your just hanging around waiting for people to come over or on the way back and forth to work. It is also a great alternative to Mario Kart, which by now is out in the stores.