Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to Day #9 of my Month of Nostalgic Game Reviews where I’ll be giving you reviews of some of my most nostalgic video games from my childhood. And today’s game really is the definition of “classic!” It is one of the best games on the SNES, I loved it as a kid and I’m still playing in present day, of course I’m talking about Donkey Kong Country!
Ah yes Donkey Kong Country, this is the definition of my childhood. Along with Sonic 1-3, Super Mario World, Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat II, this game was one of the key games that shaped me as a young player of video games. Obviously if you’re old enough to remember this game when it was out you know about how great this game is, but if you weren’t around for the 16-bit generation of gaming you may be asking, “What’s so great about this game?” Well allow me to explain.
So DKC was a platforming game released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and was developed by the legendary games developer, Rare (a company responsible for epic games like Killer Instinct, GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark).
In the game you take control of Donkey Kong and his then-new cousin Diddy Kong as you venture through 40 levels in order to take back your banana hoard from the Kremlings. The player could take control of either Kong throughout the each level, Donkey was all-powerful but pretty slow, whereas Diddy was faster and more agile but not as powerful. If you got hit by an enemy you’d be reduced to one Kong and would have until you found a specific barrel in order to release them into your team again, and if both of you got hit then you’d lose a life. As with most platforming games you’d head through levels defeating enemies, avoiding pitfalls and hazards. In order to defeat enemies you could roll into them, jump on them or throw a barrel at them. As for the levels themselves they were all different from each other offering up a great deal of variation and the way you traversed through levels changed a lot from swimming to riding in mine carts to launching out of barrel cannons to swinging from vine to vine. Also in the levels were secret areas to unlock and bonus games to play in order to get more bananas and get extra lives.
There was also a world map that you’d venture through and along the way you’d have save spots and another area where you could warp back to a previous area. Also at the end of each specific zone you’d fight a boss, all of which require a different strategy than the last. And lastly there’s also the animal helpers you can take control of in order to advance through the game and they were Rambi the Rhino, Expresso the Ostrich, Enguarde the Swordfish, Winky the Frog, and Squawks the Parrot. They all had different attributes and also had bonus games.
For me this game was just a blast to play. From the time you boot up the game and see that awesome intro with Donkey Kong and Cranky Kong, you know you’re in for a good time. It has to be one of the best intros to any game ever and I love the nostalgia factor. While I was never really that good at platforming games, I always enjoyed the thrill of running around collecting bananas, swinging on vines and beating up enemies on Rambi the Rhino was frigging awesome. This game was fun playing solo, but got a hell of a lot more fun when playing with a friend in two-player mode when one of you want to play as Donkey and the other wants to play as Diddy. Playing this game cooperatively was DKC at its best in my opinion. Though this game was a very frustrating experience because one key thing… THOSE FRIGGING MINE CART SECTIONS! Holy man, that part of the game I could never get past because it was precise and cruel, it plagued me as a kid and it took me until the age of 21 to pass that section when I got the game on Virtual Console on my Wii two years ago.
I always remembered how great this game looked and how brilliant the soundtrack was. Graphically the game was so detailed because of the pre-rendered 3D graphics which was a big deal at the time. And the soundtrack was one of the key aspects that made this game so memorable, from the introduction to the first level to those underwater sections, it was all so good and a good few of these songs have been used and remade in later Donkey Kong games. Even after I hadn’t played for years, when I got the game again in 2011 it was like time hadn’t passed, the game still holds up pretty well. DKC was highly praised and sold very well and is regarded as one of the best games ever by many fans and critics and without this game we wouldn’t have gotten Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii a little while ago.
In conclusion Donkey Kong Country is just a game of awesomeness, it’s a game with a legacy for a reason. It’s graphically awesome for a 16-bit game, the soundtrack is one of the best in gaming history and obviously the gameplay is unique, challenging and most-importantly fun. This game is mandatory for any fans of platforming games and in a way I would seriously urge anyone to play this game, even if you don’t finish it, just play it. This is an adventure you shouldn’t miss out on!
Well that’s another review sorted, come back tomorrow for another review and don’t forget to drop me a comment about any of the games I’ve reviewed yo 😀