Review by KasketDarkfyre

"I don't know which is worse, knowing that a huge ape stole my chick, or that I'm a silly fat plumber...."

Donkey Kong is one of those simple games that ended up starting a slow following, and is still a classic game that is worth playing. Like most games that Nintendo created, or had a hand in making, Donkey Kong made several different games, comic books, even a weird, virtually unknown cartoon. But at least it doesn't have a stupid movie! The game revolves around Mario trying to make it to the top of several different stages in which Donkey Kong in all is huge ass glory is chucking barrels down at you. Your goal is to drive Donkey Kong away from your woman without getting run over by the rampaging barrels as you traverse the different girder stages! The challenge of the game mainly revolves around jumping over said barrels and then jumping from platform to platform without falling to your doom. With fun and addictive games such as this in the NES library, it is a wonder that Nintendo didn’t stay on top longer than they originally did!

Mindlessly simple and to the point, Donkey Kong gives the gamer something to do while trying to save the blond chick who is being held captive by the giant ape. Through this, you'll be able to pick up a hammer and smash the incoming barrels to save yourself from getting run over. In other stages, you'll be forced to jump from moving platform to moving platform and try not to smash your head on the way down. Bonuses can be found in the form of ladies accessories like umbrellas and purses, so be on the look out for them! You’ll need to collect as many points as you can, because the secondary mission of the game is simply to have the highest score that you can attain in the game. Through the different stages, you’ll find that a strategy and timing is necessary to get through the different puzzles and even though you may see that the stages are repeating, you’ll find that the game offers simplistic action with addictive qualities!

It's easy to learn, and no problem to master. You move back and forth on the stage, climbing up latter’s or by hitting the jump button to get to the next platform. In this, you'll also have to jump over the various barrels that are thrown in some of the levels, or you'll have to be quick on your timing and climb your way to the top. Using the hammer against the barrels will allow you to continue on in a straight path while wasting any of the barrels or even flames that may get in your way! There isn't anything that requires you to do advanced maneuvers, so the simplicity of the control that the NES has to offer is pretty much limited to what the control will allow you to do. With different stages, you’ll have to learn how to time your jumps with the NES control and effectively avoid getting yourself killed. However, the control is so easy to master, that anyone of any age and skill level will be able to pick the game up and go with it without having too much difficulty!

The music of Donkey Kong is limited to the beginning of the stage, and then it takes on this droning tone that can get on your nerves after a few minutes. Mainly composed of sound effects, you'll hear a lot of jumping, and even the chiming of smashing the barrels for points. Really, it sounds a lot like Pac Man is just about every way with the way that the audio track is pushed way back to the edge of the game and the sound effects come forward more often than not. Possibly the best thing that the NES could have done was spare us from creating MIDI music that would grate on the nerves and cause headaches! What you’ll find is a blend of arcade sounds that really make you feel as though you are sitting in front of a huge stand up machine instead of just playing the home version of the game.

The stages are comprised of different layouts that include jumping from platform to platform or climbing up latter’s. Really you'll find that the visuals are simple with Donkey Kong being the biggest thing on the screen. The barrels roll quickly, and the fire looks to spark out from the various flame barrels that you'll find scattered throughout some of the stages! The special effects are limited to the flames that come around when a barrel collides into the flame barrel and you’ll be able to get sparking effects if you smash the barrels out of your way. Probably some of the cooler effects that you’ll find in the game come with the way that Donkey Kong taunts you just before you enter the stage and just after you defeat him. The best part is when he falls on his head, so you’ll find that the game offers up some humor to go along with the addictive game play!

While not the most innovative of games, Donkey Kong is a classic that is worth playing a couple of time if you're a Nintendo fan or not. The featuring of Donkey Kong in his simple glory of throwing barrels is enough to make anyone stop and take a look, especially if there is a fan base for old NES games. Depending on what you like, you may find yourself playing through several different times, and you're restricted to a set number of lives that doesn't allow you to continue. If you like this sort of action game, you'll find that quarters will flow freely, so it really depends on your tastes in action gaming and general Donkey Kong mayhem! NES owners and collector’s alike will find this game to be a welcomed addition to their NES library and the overall collection for the dollar that you can pick it up for, you’ll find that the game is really worth owning.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 11/26/01, Updated 11/26/01

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