Review by Moochthemonkey

"WARNING: You DO NOT play as Donkey Kong in this game!"

Yeah, even though the title says Donkey Kong, you never play as the eminent gorilla at all. Wait! Just don’t leave yet! I was a bit frustrated at first, not being able to control Donkey Kong. However, as I played through the first few levels, I started to enjoy this game and it brought much excitement to me.

In this game, you control Mario. Mario must pace himself in the dozens of levels two get back the princess, from the calamitous Donkey Kong. He has taken her hostage, and Mario must use his vital key and his other astonishing tactics to go from level to level in this “puzzling” adventure.

The gameplay is very amusing but it does get a little repetitive around the fiftieth stage. (You will also be thankful that you can save your game, Donkey Kong will take well over a couple hours to beat.) Mario must use a set of acrobatic moves to conquer Donkey Kong and his minions without jumping on his enemies this time; thus he will be using a series of dazzling jumps and flips, splendid handstands, and other thrilling techniques. He will also need to use bits of the scenery to throw at his foes, like trashcans as well as his own key. Mario will also swim like a fish, swing on ropes like a gymnast, and bounce on a trampoline like an eight year old with a sugar rush. With amazing talents like these, you will wonder how this classic plumber has changed from his renowned adventure series, to this gymnastically gifted hero in this entertaining puzzle game.

Mario’s goals for practically every level is to obtain the key, then get back to the door to finish the level. Every now and then, you will engage in exhilarating boss rounds with Donkey Kong. Each time you get very close to saving the princess, you fail; and then Donkey Kong laughs, grabs the princess as she cries out for Mario, and Donkey Kong climbs up the ladder, leaving you behind. Mario chases him up the ladder and across bridges, as he adventures through ten different worlds, like an urban city, an eerie jungle, and even a daunting airplane. As you average it out, there are approximately 100 levels to complete. That is where the monotony comes in. Sure, there are new enemies and objects to mess with. Mario’s task is he has to find the key somewhere in the level, then rush back to the door and open it. I enjoyed completing the stages; it is just that the objective is the same EVERY SINGLE TIME. That really is the only flaw in the game that you will care about. This game delivers replay value; you will most likely have an urge to come back after you have beaten it for the first time. Therefore, I guess this game has the good type of repetitiveness in a way.

For the first time the game won’t be that easy. It will be challenging to both geniuses and those who are rather dim when it comes to games involving brainwork, not just your trigger finger. Once you come back though, the levels are pretty simple and you should have mastered Donkey Kong around your third or forth time beating it.

The sound and graphics are not the greatest in this game. The peculiar sound is of low quality, and definitely is not good as other Gameboy games. The sound effects aren’t that bad, you will be able to identify a plummeting fall from Mario as well as the cry “Help! Help!” from the damsel in distress that you are trying to save. The graphics are so-so. At least I can tell Donkey Kong is himself and not some crazy impostor with a tie. However, you may wonder what your enemies are. Bunnies look like mice, and bugs look like Pokemons with spiky tails. Nevertheless, the graphics have improved from the 1981 version. Even though the visuals and audio are poor in this game, they are nothing noticeable and they will play right along with the old school gameplay.

This game is an excellent piece, and the repetitiveness in the tons of levels lessens Donkey Kong to a score of 8/10. This game still has outstanding quality, especially for how old it is. I definitely recommend that adults buy this game, it will bring back memories from when they where younger and playing arcade games at your local fast food restaurant. Parents should also buy this game for their kids. It will be bring lots of fun for when they are in long trips or are on flights, I can assure you that it definitely did for me.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/22/03


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