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Donkey Kong Country

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Reviewed by Jeff This is the first in a Super Mario-like series of games involving the ape Donkey Kong and his side-kick, Diddy Kong. My only question, since when did Donkey Kong become a hero? I like the idea, but he is a villain one minute and a hero the next? Doesn't make much sense. Aside from that non-sense, this is probably one of the better games Super NES has to offer, for state of the art gamers or oldschool people like myself. If you like Mario, or anything like it, you will enjoy this game, so don't bother renting it, go get it while it's still available.

Graphics 10 out of 10

What can I say that hasn't already been said about the graphics in this game? Simply outstanding from 16 bit perspective. Yoshi's Island and Super Mario RPG come close but some of the boards are just jaw -dropping. You end up trying to look at the scenery instead of worrying about making a jump into one of the thousands of barrels. Particularly noteworthy are the 'snow' boards and the cave boards. I actually felt as if I was in a blizzard a couple of times. You could not ask for better graphics on Super NES. I've played N64 and the graphics on this game look better than on some of those games, believe it!

Music and Sound 8 out of 10

Although I think the music is an important part of games, I personally consider it icing on the cake. I don't think it makes or breaks a game but it can defiantly enhance the enjoyability of a game. The music score was done very well for Donkey Kong Country, setting the appropriate tone on the right levels and areas. I didn't find myself humming it like some games make you do, but it wasn't something that was in any way annoying, odd, or didn't fit the game.

Game Challenge 10 out of 10

This game is defiantly hard core. For game fanatics, I doubt it will be to much of a sweat, but for the average gamer or slightly above average gamer, you will find it tough not too far into the game. I beat the game only having completed 50% of it! You could probably spend a great deal of time on one board exploring and testing every little intricacy of it. For most, it will take quite awhile to complete 100% or more unless you stay up for 3 or 4 weeks straight, 24/7. If your objective is to just beat the game, like I did initially, then it won't be to tough. There are still plenty of little challenges along the way but nothing that can't be tackled with some practice and a few Tums. The reason it scores a 10 however, like Yoshi's Island, it is much easier to beat the game then to BEAT the game, you follow?

Game Play-Fun 6 out of 10

The game play was decent but nothing to write home about. I found that switching back and forth between Diddy and Donkey was annoying since they both have their special characteristics and moves. What was absurd was that some of the simpler things like making a running jump with Donkey are impossible in some areas. So what are you supposed to do without having Diddy? If anybody knows let me know because there were times where I just had to suicide myself and start over. Also, the timing factor is not as good with Donkey and Diddy for stomping enemies as it is with Mario. Overall there isn't anything to get into a twist over though.

Frustration

The one thing I will say negative about this game is that it is frustrating in a major way. Super Mario RPG and Zelda: A Link to the Past, look like cakewalks to some of the stuff you have to do in this game. As said, I beat the game only having found 50% and now I'm only up to 63% after exploring in great detail. It is frustrating having to switch back and forth between Donkey and Diddy, especially if you need one on a particular board and then you lose the one you need. Why not just have Donkey have all the necessary attributes and let Diddy have the spotlight in the second game? I just don't see the point of having both. Along with this same subject, since you do have both apes, each can only do certain things well enough to progress or do specific moves. If I want to play Donkey, and he can't jump or swim to save his life, then why even bother? Some of the bosses can be a pain in the neck as well, especially King Kremling. For most, how! ever, it will cost you a few lives, but with a little trial and error you'll figure it out. My major scorn was the save feature. If you lose all your lives you can only have saved up to your last save point! I'm sorry but that stinks! You could play some of those areas for hours with our getting to a save due to the difficulty of the boards. Again, why not do it like Super Mario World? The game would be tough still but not migrane causer. .

Replayability 9 out of 10

Great replay value, especially for finding all the hidden levels you couldn't the first time. If you go through and beat the game, and then go back and try and find the hidden goodies, you can relax and enjoy the great graphics a little more. I think even if you have beaten the whole 100% of the game you will still find yourself going back. Let's face it folks, its already a classic in Super Nintendo's archives.

Game Value 10 out of 10

Before I start getting hate mail about how Nintendo rips everyone off for the games they make for $20 and sell for 60-70, let me remind you that I bought the game in October of 1998, yes, 7 - 8 years after Super Nintendo came out. It only cost me like $25 with tax so that is the only reason it gets a 10. Now, assuming I got it when it first came out and cost like $50 or $60, it may or may not have been worth it. Probably would have but still a rip off relatively speaking. Since, however, anybody reading this is most likely thinking of purchasing it in 1998 dollars, it is defiantly a bargain!

Overall 9 out of 10

Overall, this is an excellent game. My only suggestion for people like myself who become irritated easily when things don't go as planned is to do the game in small doses. I haven't gotten the other 2 Donkey games yet, but I will, and hopefully they will live up to the standard set in this game.... excellent.

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