Review by SuperPhillip

"It's on like Donkey Kong... again!"

No later than a year after Donkey Kong Country was released for the Super Nintendo, Diddy's Kong Quest came out in North America the following holiday season in 1995. With it, gamers took on the role of Diddy Kong and his girlfriend, Dixie Kong, in an adventure to save Donkey Kong from the clutches of the sinister Kaptain K. Rool.

Fast forward to 2007, and we've already seen a third installment of DKC in 1997 featuring Dixie and newcomer Kiddy Kong, pretty well done remakes of the DKC trilogy on the Gameboy Advance, and a 3-D collect-a-thon in Donkey Kong 64. Out of all of those, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (side-note: up until today I always read the subtitle as Diddy Kong's Quest and not Diddy's Kong Quest) still weighs in as the best banana of the bunch. Why is that?

Players begin on the ship that served as the climax to the original DKC, the Gangplank Galleon, as Diddy Kong. Entering the kaptain's-- er.... captain's chamber Diddy reads a note informing all of us that he has captured Donkey Kong somehow. That's all for the story, but at the same token I don't play 2-D platformers for John Grisham caliber material and neither should you.

Diddy Kong plays exactly the way he did in the original. He's small, fast, and carries barrels, crates, and cannonballs in front of his chest. Dixie on the other hand can jump in the air, twirl her yellow locks in the air, and slowly hover to the ground. She lifts barrels and other items over her head with her ever versatile ponytail. Neither of the two can take out larger foes without help from a throwable item.

Gameplay hasn't changed much from the original DKC, but that isn't a bad thing. If you have a decent formula why screw it up? Oh, no. I hope the Mega Man designers aren't reading this review! ...Regardless, players move from the start of the level to the end, all the while collecting bananas (100 gives players an extra life), collecting banana coins (used as currency), seeking out well-hidden DK coins (one per actual level), and finding bonus rooms. Unlike DKC, bonus rooms aren't a free ticket to 100 percent plus completion. You'll need to meet a goal in each room such as taking out all of the enemies, reaching a token in the bonus area, or collecting all of the stars of an area. To add the mix, some levels feature animals that will assist you. Rambi the rhino returns to ram into enemies, as well as smash through certain walls. Enguarde the swordfish helps you in underwater levels by poking and prodding unsuspecting foes. Squawks the parrot is the final returning buddy. No longer is he confined to carrying a light around for you. He'll fly you around wherever you want to go. New animals enter the fray such as Rattly the rattler who can reach high places with his giant jumps, Squitter the spider can shoot out webs that can knock out foes as well as webs that can be used as temporary footings. Lastly, Clapper the seal will cool down scalding water for a set amount of time and Glimmer the angler fish will appear in one level to light the way for you.

There are numerous levels in each of the game's eight worlds (one of which being optional but necessary to get the best ending). These worlds range from being inside a fiery lagoon, to a swamp, to an amusement park gone bananas, to a trap-laden castle. There's a lot of variety here, and you'll see that as you progress through only just the first world! At the conclusion of each world besides Creepy Castle, you'll face a boss. These bosses require a different approach to defeating them such as tossing the eggs that a giant Necky pirate knocks down from his krow's nest. Furthermore, each world has Kongs to stop by as well. Cranky Kong is the old coot who will give you advice for some banana coins (way to spoil the young'ns, Crankster), Swanky Kong is the game show host with the most. He'll offer you extra lives if you can answer his quiz questions correctly. Finally, Wrinkly Kong, wife of Cranky, is an old schoolteacher will allow you to save your game. Additionally she, too, will offer advice. These Kongs is where all those banana coins come in. At Klubba's Kiosk, those kremcoins you've earned from bonus rooms are able to be used to allow access to the Lost World. Thankfully, Jeff Goldblum is nowhere in sight.

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest is simply a blast to play. Even if you collect everything in less than three hours, you will want to return to the game to play it. At least that has been my experience. Playing with a friend where one player controls Diddy and one player controls Dixie is a blast, or you can play competitively to see which players' team can complete the game first. Bonus areas and DK coins are almost dastardly hidden allowing for fun for discovery... or you can spoil the fun and use a FAQ, you cheeky monkeys. Overall, DKC 2 is a worthwhile purchase for only eight bucks, and it is one the best 2-D side-scrollers next to the Mario and Sonic series. You owe it to yourself to pick this game up if you don't own the original cart or are just jonesing for your DKC 2 fix (Classic Controller recommended).

The Recap:

Story: Donkey Kong has been Kongnapped by Kaptain K. Rool, and it's up to Diddy and Dixie to rescue him.

Graphics: They hold up well actually and are a quite nice to look at.

Gameplay: Roll, bash, jump-- it's all here and accounted for wonderfully.

Sound: One of the best SNES soundtracks ever. Period.

Replay Value: You'll want to play this game over and over again if you liked it like I did.

Overall: 10/10 - A banana-slamma.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 06/06/07

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