Donkey Kong Country
Review by xcamel24
"Porting the Classics: Donkey Kong Country Style"
Donkey Kong Country is one of the better classics of the SNES, and started one of the best platformer series of games to date. But how does Donkey Kong Country hold up in 2007?
NOTE: I am reviewing this game as if it were being released as a brand new game in 2007, not from a 1994 perspective.
For a 2D game, these graphics still kick butt. Everything is modeled in 3D beforehand and was put into the game as 2-D. Everything is incredibly detailed and good looking, especially the enemies and backgrounds. While you shouldn't expect to see every hair on Donkey Kong's body, the graphics are pleasing to the eye and really look great for a 2D game, in fact many DS games still don't look as good as this.
Im being nice here, but the story is nothing original, so don't expect it to be. It is not compelling or thrilling in any way. One rainy night, the evil Crocodile King K. Rool comes to DK island, steals all of DK's banana horde, and then imprisons his buddy Diddy in a barrel. (Why does a croc want bananas anyways?) Then you must go on a quest through many levels and bosses to challenge the evil croc for your bananas. However, since platformers don't need much of a story, I refrained from slapping a "1" on this story. Because its all about the game play right?
Game Play: 9/10
Ah yes, wonderful. The game play in DKC is simple but incredibly enjoyable and fun. In DKC, if you get hit, your monkey gets imprisoned in a DK barrel. Don't fear though, you have a teammate, so if you get hit once, your teammate will take over and you can free your teammate by finding another DK barrel in the level. You have big strong Donkey Kong, who can knock out some of the larger baddies, while Diddy Kong is much quicker and can avoid certain enemies and jump farther. The gameplay is unique with barrel blasting, rope swinging, platform jumping, and underwater swimming. You also have animal companions who you can ride and kick all the baddies butts with. All of these things are something mostly unique to the Donkey Kong platformers and still to this day aren't in other franchises. The game plays great in a level by level format- and you can't save anywhere, you have to get to a save area before you can save, so always save before entering the next world!
This is Donkey Kong Country's weaker features. Sadly, after you beat it, there isn't really any incentive to complete the game again, other than to repeat the same adventure you just completed. The levels are linear, there are only one entrance and exit to each level, and there aren't multiple paths to take to get to the end of the game. There is a short cut in one area to skip worlds, but that is it. The multiplayer isn't that great either, well not the team 2 player. The 2 player contest is a bit more interesting, because the game is rather short- 5 hours even for the most casual gamer, and can be beaten in about an hour. So if you and your friend want to run through the game and see who can beat more levels- well that option is accessible to you. But otherwise, there aren't a whole lot of reasons to play this game again.
The music is great in Donkey Kong Country. All of the tunes are done wonderfully and really make the level come to life better- whether it be Aztec music for an Aztec level, or jungle music for a jungle level, the game does it well. The sounds are also equally excellent- the only problem with the sounds is that although still pretty good, they are not on par with the instruments and technologies of today's sounds, which would probably make them sound perfect.
Difficulty/Control: 9/10 with a Classic Controller, 2/10 with a Gamecube controller
The game controls flawlessly, only really using the D-pad and 3 buttons, but it is still excellent none the less. The controls work great, but not with the gamecube controller. Sadly, Nintendo decided to be jerks and not map the the buttons to more comfortable spots on the gamecube controller (due to the strange layout of the buttons and the humongous A button this is a problem). They could have just as easily made the "A" button on the cube controller jump, B button as run, but I guess they didn't want to have to deal with different controls for different controllers. This could have been fixed with custom control mapping, Nintendo should definitely take advantage of this sometime soon. If you have a classic controller, you'll be right at home. If you have a Gamecube controller- you need to go buy a classic one. Sorry.
DKC is a great game, but has aged and is a bit outdated, especially in replay value. The Gameboy Advance version of the game is more into replay value than this version is- so if you want this game you might be better off with the GBA version. However for 8 bucks this still isn't a bad deal.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 03/05/07
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