Review by BongoGoku
Reviewed: 07/20/03 | Updated: 07/20/03
DK is Back......AGAIN!!!
In 2000, Nintendo decided to re-release Donkey Kong Country, a classic SNES title, for the Game Boy Color. Nintendo has now gone ahead with yet another port for the Game Boy Advance. The game sports better graphics then the GBC version, as well as some new features, but where the game lacks, is in its graphics.
The story of Donkey Kong Country goes a little something like this, King K. Rool's minions have stolen Donkey Kong's hoard of bananas while Diddy Kong, a younger Kong, was on watch duty. Donkey Kong and Diddy immediately team up for a challenging quest to recover the lost bananas from the devious King K. Rool. Donkey and Diddy Kong run, jump, ride, roll, throw, swing, climb, swim and blast through 7 different worlds as they bash enemies, known as the Kremlings, into submission in order to finally defeat King K. Rool themselves.
Even though many people have already played this title long ago for the SNES, I'll still go on and talk about the game's gameplay. Gameplay in Donkey Kong Country is similar to many other platformers, except for the fact that players can switch between Donkey and Diddy at anytime in the level by pressing the select button.. If a player looses either of the characters, they can then pick up specific DK barrels to rescue the respective character back. The game contains a total of 33 stages, and the worlds range from jungles to factories. Each stage has specific tasks to complete in order to progress to through the level. Tasks such as barrel-blasting, bouncing atop enemies, or hitting switches. Donkey's animal friends, who include a fish, a frog, an ostrich, and a rhino, show up in a few of the stages as well. Each of them have one unique move and can be used to help find special areas in each stage.
Along with the main platforming levels, the game also features a few mine cart levels. The levels scroll automatically having players jump across wide gaps and hit switches in order to reach the end.
Aside from just finishing the level, players can also collect 100 bananas, or spell out KONG to get extra lives. Each level contains about 2-3 bonus barrels that warp Donkey and Diddy into special levels where tasks are given. If a player does the task, such as collect all the items; they then can collect even more extra lives.
Both Donkey and Diddy are characterized by the way they play. Diddy, for instance, is a lot faster then Donkey Kong and can jump further. Donkey Kong, however, can kill some enemies Diddy can't. He can also pick up and hurl barrels into the air.
Enough about gameplay though and on to the new features found in this game. Donkey Kong Country for the Game Boy Advance is basically the same game as the GBC version, but with SNES graphics. New to the game is a special Dance Dance Revolution-esque Candy Kong minigame. Funky Kong's minigame has made a return, and now the game features a new stat keeping system in which players can look at what they have collected throughout the game. The game also employs a new gallery mode. New pictures are added to this mode as players find camera icons throughout the main game. There are about 55 things to unlock in the gallery mode. The last new feature in the game is that players can now save anywhere on the map screen.
For people interested in multiplayer, Donkey Kong Country allows two people, with two carts, to link up in a coop mode and play the single player game together. One person controls Diddy, the other Donkey, as they switch off by hitting the select button. This mode was also featured in the SNES version, and it's good to see that they implemented it in this version of the game.
One could argue about this game's graphics. At some points in the game, they look better then the SNES version, but in others, they look worse. The developers of the port seemed to make things a lot brighter as a way to compensate for the GBA's dark screen, so it all works out. Most all the sprites from the SNES version have returned, as well as the animation. The game map, players use to get around, has been split into multiple parts. In the original game, the map was all in one piece, now it splits off into multiple screens after players complete about 3 stages. Each level also now has small animals walking around in the backgrounds, and places such as Funky Flights, or Cranky Kong's house have been given makeovers. I believe that this is mainly due to the fact that Nintendo had to take out all the Rare logos and Killer Instinct stuff in the game. For some reason, the game still displays the Rareware logo during the introduction, which has also been changed. If you have seen screenshots of this game on the web, then be aware that the game looks a lot better in person on the GBA, this is a pretty good looking GBA game!
Sound quality, while it has been degraded, still sounds pretty good. The music during the water stages aren't as ambient due to the click and clacks that the GBA makes, but it still doesn't sound too bad. The game also contains sound effects for each character.
Is you are hesitant on getting this game because it doesn't look like an SNES equivalent, then ignore the looks, and look straight at the gameplay. This game features everything found in the SNES version, plus tons more. I myself used to beat the game rather quickly, and hold a time of 1:31 with 100% completion on the SNES version of the game, but don't let that fool you. Donkey Kong Country is a platformer that will keep you busy for a while. Players may beat it fast, but will have a hard time putting the game down. This game is a must buy if you don't currently own the SNES version of it.
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