Donkey Kong Country [Game Review]

Video Game Review: Donkey Kong Country | Nintendo | SNES | DoublexJump.com

Title: Donkey Kong Country
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
SNES
Category: 
Platformer
Release Date: 
November 21, 1994
How we got the game: 
We have the game on the Nintendo SNES Classic

krismii
Donkey Kong Country probably makes up some of my earliest memories of video games. It was one of the few games that our older sister played, with her mostly in control of the player one controller, and it was a fun activity for me to join her in. Hearing that this game made it on the SNES Classic’s roster wasn’t a big surprise to me.

rachmii
I remember watching Kris and our other sister play this when we were kids. If I remember correctly, I think our Dad might have played a couple of times as well. Whenever I played I was also Diddy and never did very well, but it was still fun nonetheless.gameplay

krismii
Donkey Kong Country had some simple gameplay in terms of the controls. The D-Pad allows you to move left or right through the levels, and you had your basic jump and run buttons as well. Along with speeding up, the Y button allows you to pick up items, like barrels, to toss at enemies. Both Donkey Kong and Diddy, the two playable characters, had similar controls, but Donkey Kong was stronger and Diddy was quicker.

rachmii
Donkey Kong was able to defeat certain enemies while Diddy was useless against them. Meanwhile, Diddy was faster especially in the underwater levels. All the levels were well done, each world catering to different types of biomes, if you will, such as jungles, wintery scenes, caves and mines, and more. The levels are pretty straightforward though they can be tricky.

 krismii
Throughout the levels, there were sometimes other animals that were allies of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. A speedy ostrich, a strong rhino, a flashlight-carrying parrot… They’re all helpful additions and fun to see. They’re included in the bonus stages, each one able to collect tokens to help bolster your life count after you collect three golden pieces in their shape to access the bonus stage. Other bonus stages are hidden throughout the levels, most helping you collect more bananas or extra life balloons.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Throughout some of the levels, there are hidden shortcuts as well. After completing a bonus stage, you’ll often get placed right back where you were or sometimes a little further into the level. There are some shortcuts that allow you to skip parts of the level – sometimes just about half of the level.

krismii
Some of our favorite shortcuts were the ones that allowed us to skip half of the level, haha! Donkey and Diddy weren’t the only Kongs in the game, considering they had half of their family playing important roles as well. Candy Kong was in charge of the save points and Funky Kong flew DK and Diddy to other worlds if need be. Cranky Kong gave out advice, if one deigned to ask him.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I would actually be interested in playing as them. I think that would be fun. (Super Smash with just the Kongs, anyone?) The map outside of the levels was straight forward, a Diddy or DK icon on the completed level showing off who was the one who completed.graphics-music

krismii
The graphics of Donkey Kong seem to have held up well throughout the years. Being over twenty years old, the designs of the levels and characters are still well done enough to make the game fun without being annoying or frustrating. Sure, there are the occasional glitches here or there while playing, but for the most part, the graphics were still nice and nostalgia-inducing.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
If anything, the glitches made us laugh. But yeah, the graphics have certainly held up well and I think the level designs were great and aesthetically pleasing.

krismii
The music is some of the best, in my opinion, for Nintendo games. Donkey Kong has some iconic music, and every tune matched the levels well.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is the kind of music that I hum to myself in the shower or randomly get stuck in my head! I absolutely love it and wish I had the soundtrack. The sound effects are also great. I love the sound of collecting the bananas or the klaptraps’ (the little crocodile guys) mouths chomping.
story

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The banana horde has been taken! DK asks Diddy to keep an eye on the bananas, but he’s attacked and trapped inside a barrel. When DK comes back, he frees Diddy and then together they go off on a journey to get their bananas back.

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…That’s it. The story is simple enough, prompting Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong traversing through multiple worlds to find King K. Rool, the fiend behind the banana hoard theft. Considering how many bananas are littered throughout the worlds, K. Rool didn’t do a very good job.

replay-value

krismii
This is a game that we’ve gone back to once in a while, even if it’s purely for nostalgia reasons. There are a few modes to play — single-player, two-player cooperative, and two-player versus — when it comes to completing the levels and game, so that’s not too bad.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We’ve come back to this game a couple of times within the past few years – we have it on the SNES Classic now, but we also have it on our Wii from the virtual console. It’ll definitely be a game we go back to again.

Donkey Kong Country gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Of Different Play Styles

krismii
Rachel and I realized that we really need to just start carrying around recording devices to catch our impromptu conversations about video games when we’re not writing posts together. One such topic that came up recently was how our play styles differ and overlap when it comes to gaming. We tend to play games together, but you can always tell who is at the controller based on the game and how the main character is running about.

rachmii
I typically watch Kris play games most of the time, but since we started this blog and do game reviews together, we tend to pass the controller back and forth. Yet, depending on the game, one of us will play more than the other.

krismii
I’m definitely more in favor of games with a good story line. If I don’t care about the story, I tend not to be as invested in the game. The Legend of Zelda games, while most share the same formula of Courage and Wisdom versus Power, all have deep story lines and brilliant characters for me to care about. The worlds are always rich to explore as well, and I never feel like I’m wasting time even if I’m goofing off on a side quest.

rachmii
I agree with that. A video game needs to have an excellent storyline with well-crafted characters to care about. However, I’ve noticed that I tend to gravitate towards the platformer games. I like making “progress” and going to one level right after another. I like to see my completion and collect things.

krismii
Which also explains why you tend to be better at racing and the other few sports games that we play. Seeing those gold trophies lined up must be a good motivator for you! I need to be more immersed in the world itself. Give me a main goal and let me get to it on my own while exploring the areas around me. I enjoy puzzles and thinking my way out of situations rather than level-hopping.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, my competitive side really comes out! It’s funny how we just noticed this through Super Mario Odyssey. Of course, we both enjoy all kinds of games even if we prefer one over the other. But I was super excited that Odyssey is similar to Super Mario 64.

krismii
Thinking about our styles with Odyssey, it almost seems to be the opposite. While Odyssey is a fun game, I’m not nearly as invested in it as I was, say, Breath of the Wild. The family of 3D Mario games were never my favorites — just due to personal preference — so I tend to go for the main goal of the Odyssey levels instead of fully exploring to trip over more Power Moons like Rachel does.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I find the levels to be massive and even though the Power Moons are sometimes too easy to find, I have the urge to collect them all. I think this is what Pokemon did to me… Still, I think it’s funny how similar yet different our gaming tastes are.

What kinds of games do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!

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