Mar 212013

I have many fond memories of the SNES, and most of them are about the game Donkey Kong Country. My best friend had an SNES, and we would go to her house after school and drink Mountain Dew (original – these were the days before all the crazy Mountain Dew flavors), eat Ruffles, and play Donkey Kong Country. She was a lot better at it than I was at first, and I remember being frustrated because she always made me be Donkey because she was a lot better at using Diddy, but the game was still ridiculous fun. We played our way through all three titles, and also through the Nintendo 64 version.

I recently replayed Donkey Kong Country, and it’s every bit as good as I remember. The original Nintendo Kong was an antagonistic character who threw barrels at everyone’s favorite plumber, Mario. Now the Kongs have retired from such practices and are living lives of leisure in the jungle. Unfortunately, evil lizard King K. Rool has other plans for the Kongs. He steals their entire banana horde, prompting Donkey Kong and his short sidekick Diddy Kong to go on a quest to retrieve it.

Be careful – the ice and snow make the ground slippery!

The game is a side-scrolling platformer that takes place in a large variety of environments, including jungle, forest, and snowy mountaintops. There are underwater levels, mine cart levels, and lots of hidden bonus levels. All of the levels are bright and colorful, and they’re also populated with lots of kooky enemies. There are standard lizard troops, lizards in army helmets with cannons, vultures that throw nuts, armadillos that roll around, and some mean octopi in the water levels. The odds are stacked against the Kongs, but luckily, there are also some friendly helpers scattered throughout the levels to lend their aid.

Mine cart levels are ridiculous fun.

The other Kongs hang out in each level to help Donkey and Diddy in various ways: Candy lets you save your game, Cranky gives you advice (and also yells a lot), and Funky lets you travel back and forth between levels to collect lives or find bonus rooms you might have missed the first time. Inside various levels, you will also find animals like a swordfish and an ostrich with special abilities that can help you reach special places, kill enemies, and access bonus levels where you can rack up tons of extra lives.

Rambi is great for smashing through enemies.

All of these features, along with a peppy soundtrack, combine to make a great game that you will have fun playing over and over again. There are several different modes – single player, cooperative two-player, and competitive two-player, so there are lots of ways to play as well. This is a great classic game that everyone should try.

Grade: 9/10

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