Review by KeeperBvK
"You better take a deep breath of those insecticides if you want to like this game."
Donkey Kong 3; many even may not know this game but why is this? The first Donkey Kong introduced Mario, one of the best and best-known videogame characters, and, who would've thought, Donkey Kong, just another long-lasting charismatic character. The second entry of the series featured DK Jr., who at least had a few more appearances, e.g. as the best driver in Super Mario Kart. But in Donkey Kong 3 you control a little man called Stanley...yes, Stanley. Of course the name on its own doesn't render a game bad, but we've yet to deal with the gameplay.
Yay, finally I've come to review a game that actually has a story of some kind. Although it somewhat reminds of the good old days when I used to watch every new episode of X-Files: There is a story, you understand everything you're told about it, but still at the end you are even more clueless than at the beginning. You are Stanley, a gardener, and you need to watch some pretty flowers while Donkey Kong and his giant insect buddies try to steal them...err, ok...so why exactly did the famous ape change its preferences from beautiful women to flowers? Does he need them to impress Pauline? Did the imprisonment in DK Jr. do something to him? Why these flowers? Oh well, at least Nintendo tried to implement a story and maybe you're into this kind of strange things.
Considering the other games available for the E-Reader, the visuals are pretty nice. Everything looks neat with lots of colours, nicely arranged pixels and on-par animations but the backgrounds could...well...they could actually exist in the first place. There isn't much to be seen besides the necessary stuff like enemies, flowers, Stanley and his shots, but still the graphics are one of the best on the system.
Your standard E-Reader fare. Some old-school sounds, some mediocre music and after laying the GBA aside you will have forgotten every bit of it. Donkey Kong 1 had some music you remember even years after having played it the last time but here you won't find anything like it.
Think of this as a fairly odd (not parent) mixture of Missile Command, Donkey Kong and Galaga. You are Stanley (I know it's hard to imagine but try your best) watching over five flowers that are about to be stolen by various giant insects like bees or caterpillars if you don't shoot these pesky guys. Your only weapon is a spray can filled with pesticides that for whatever reason can only shoot upwards. A level ends when you hit DK often enough consecutively while he hangs on his stereotype vines and the game simply ends if you either run out of lives or if all flowers are stolen but you can still save these petal-holders while an enemy stealing them is still on-screen.
It sounds relatively interesting and so could it play but the difficulty ruins the last bit of fun in this game. The first few games are nice and definitely have their own special feel but there is neither enough variety nor any motivation to aim for new highscores.
Whatever you want to do can be performed on the spot and since this is an E-Reader game the controls are extremely easy to learn and the button layout is simple but still I just don't get it why it isn't possible to shoot down or to your side. It would make the game less annoying.
Like in many old NES-games and in quite some E-Reader games there are two difficulty settings called A game and B game but both games nearly play the same: In the first few levels you just hop up and keep shooting DK until you've won and in the later levels you run around, fight back endless denizens of bees, try to hold your temper when you see a butterfly approaching and realize that DK has already climbed down to his starting position again. The whole action just gets too frantic and somewhat luck-based which doesn't improve any mediocre single player experience in my book at all.
Finally a section where DK 3 really scores. The game might not be your typical great DK-game but it is definitely the most outstanding in terms of ingenuity and its own feel. You can find lots of old games that play similar to DK and DK Jr. but Stanley's adventure is, like I said, a unique blend of various games, creating a gameplay experience somewhere between Jump n Run and Vertical Shooter but since it only blends instead of creating, I don't grant it the full ten points here.
There is absolutely no need or motivation to play this again. It's nice to try it once or twice, get used to the mechanics, get frustrated and bored soon and then you put the game away and swipe in those Balloon Fight cards again.
This is probably the second to worst game available for the E-Reader only better than Baseball. I wanted a complete E-Reader collection, so I needed to buy this, too, but if all you're looking for is a fun game, don't buy this one as you will be left frustrated and just plain annoyed by the fact that you will have seen everything there is in this game after about a minute.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 10/17/05
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