Review by Phange

"For the first time in ten years.... a pack-in game!"

Anyone who played Donkey Kong back in the 80's would tell you that it practically made Nintendo. The arcade game was a phenomenon, raking in more cash than even Pac Man. Why? Because it served a purpose. You wanted to rescue the princess from a devious ape who found it necessary to defeat you by hurling barrels down a girder system. Nintendo knew that a sequel would sell off the walls too, so they made Donkey Kong Jr. Essentially a more refined and complete variation of the original, Donkey Kong Jr relies heavily on the jumping ability of the little simian more than his ability to run around. It was a major turn in the control department, especially since the added feat of jumping from vines would have been a lot more difficult had it used the control scheme from the original Donkey Kong. This game was released almost 20 years ago, and is now available on 5 tiny trading cards that come in the Gameboy Card-E reader box.


Lordy lordy lordy, things have changed. While this would have looked fine on the Gameboy Color, it simply does not do the Gameboy Advance justice. This problem is easily reconciled by the fact that the card packs are only $4 and contain whole NES games. The graphics seemed to have taken some cropping, though. The text areas seem to be missing the last few pixels on the bottoms of the letters, and a few strange textual occurrences will pop up every once and a while.

Is the Card-Reading a gimmick?

Yes and no. It takes 5 cards with codes on both the top and the bottom of the card just to play an extremely old NES game. Donkey Kong Jr works fine for what it is, but it takes a very long time to swipe each card twice. Fortunately once you have finished the swiping, the reader saves the game into the internal memory.

Donkey Kong pack-in or Pinball pack-in

While you may initially think that Donkey Kong is a more classic game, Pinball will probably last you longer than DK Jr only because DK Jr is short and probably too hard for the crowd it tries to impress.

Card-E or no Card-E? Right now that's a difficult question. There are no ''expansion packs'' on sale apart from the NES packs you can buy. Later on, Nintendo says that trading cards will be released, and collecting all 5 of an NES game card will allow you to play the game. Here's hoping for Zelda!

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 09/29/02, Updated 09/29/02

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