Review by Phediuk

"JIMMY!!! Have you cleaned up those glitches yet!?"

I'm not sure which pack-in game I'd rather have for the e-Reader: this or Pinball. I got this with mine. I hated it, but luckily I got the other 4 games the next day, so I was playing plenty of Excitebike and Balloon Fight.
Anyway, this is the official sequel to Nintendo's arcade classic Donkey Kong. It was basically a complete rehash of the original, just with new levels and enemies.
But, I don't like these intros that much, so let's get on with the review!

NICE GORILLA, NIIIIIICE GORILLA........

Join Junior on his quest to rescue his old man DK from the evil, diabolical abomination known as......Mario. Alas, so our beloved Mario is the villian in Donkey Kong Jr.! Mwa hahahahaha!!! A pretty pathetic story, but at least they don't force it upon you whenever you start up a new game, unlike the arcade version.

Anyway, for those who have played Donkey Kong before, this game should seem veeeeeeeerrry similar to you. Basically, you try to make it to the top of each stage, where DK and Mario reside (DK, of course, is angry and trapped in a cage.) Mario will try tostop Junior by sending out alligator-like robots called Snapjaws that will kill you upon contact. He also sends out egg-plopping birds and deadly bolts of electricity. Talk about a busy guy.

You must commandeer Junior to the end of each level using your tiny repertoire of moves. You've got a pathetic jumping ability which sends you about 2 inches into the air. Luckily, unlike the original Donkey Kong, there isn't a whole lot of tricky platforming to maneuver through, as a lot of emphasis is placed instead on strategic vine climbing (sounds lame, I know, and it is.)

This is how it works: Junior can use both his hands to climb up one vine, but he will do so very slowly. So, most of the time you will resort to him using one hand each between two vines, and he will zip up the vines fairly quickly. However, using two hands for one vine lets you slide down twice as fast as one-hand-between-two-vine climbing goes up. So, as you could imagine, you spend a lot of your time on vines, particularily in Levels 2 and 4. However, this just isn't as fun as platforming is, and that's why I like the original Donkey Kong much more, as there's all the platforming you could ever want and more in it.

When you make it to Level 4, you'll have a showdown with Mario himself. You have to push the keys into the keyholes at the top of the screen. Once you do so, Mario will fall off the girder he was standing on and die, and Junior will catch his papa and hold DK above his head (is that even posssble!?)

I haven't mentioned so far a whole lot of bad things about the gameplay. Well, it's not the gameplay itself that I have a pet peeve for, it's the bugs. Glitches abound in this game, and have resulted in many unfair Game Overs for me. This isn't helped by the fact that Junior cannot survive a fall higher than his own jump, which is almost nothing. So, if a glitch causes Junior to slip off of a surface, you will most likely die. VERY frustrating, believe me.

Another annoying facet of the game is that it bears no ending, and the four small levels will loop indefinitely until you get a Game Over. This was the style of all arcade games back in the day, but I still don't like it. :^P

GAME OVER, EH!? I'LL SHOW YOU A GAME OVER! *snap*

The controls, as usual for NES games, are very simple. The D-pad moves Junior around on the ground, and to and fro on vines, while the A button makes him execute his pitiful excuse for a jump. No complaints here.

As for difficulty, this game can very greatly, no matter if you chose Game A or B. Why, you ask? Because of the glitches. Not much else to say here.......

This game does score extra points for having all four levels present, as I believe the NES version had but three. The arcade version also had four levels, so that's good! ^_^

OH, THAT'S A DIAPER!

Since this game is a port of an NES game which was a port of an arcade game, you could imagine that the graphics aren't as good as they are in the arcade. Mario and DK look fine, as do the enemies, but Junior looks extremely strange. It took me forever to figure out that thw white thing on Junior was, in fact, a diaper. The backgrounds are also as drab as can be, as they use the standard NES black instead of actually putting some effort into them.

The sound is minimal, and as with most early NES games, there is little music besides a few little ditties at the title screen and the end of each level. There is some subtle music on the first and fourth levels, but honestly, I can't even remember them after playing, so they must have not been that great.
Junior makes a generic 'BOING' every time he jumps while the Snapjaws make a clicking sound every time they close their mouths. The birds make fairly annoying noises, but you'll be able to live through them.

STRONG POINTS:

-It's an e-Reader pack-in
-Simple controls
-It's portable
-It has all four levels
-C'mon, it's only $5, and it's a decent game!

WEAK POINTS:

-Only 4 levels
-Buggy
-Graphics leave a bit to be desired
-Same with the sound
-Not enough platforming

Donkey Kong Jr. is an e-Reader pack-in (same with Pinball), and if you don't have it, you might as well pick it up. After all, it's only $5. And it provides a good 20 minutes or so of entertainment. And if you don't have an e-Reader, then, well, what are you waiting for!?


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 09/29/02, Updated 09/29/02


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