Donkey Kong Country

The SNES box art for Donkey Kong Country, a hit DK title released in 1994.

Donkey Kong Country is a game that was released in 1994 for the SNES, and also for the Virtual Console in 2006. The game follows Donkey and Diddy Kong, who go to sample from their banana hoard only to find that it has been stolen away by King K. Rool and his army of vicious Kremlings. As such, the determined duo sets out to defeat K. Rool and his minions (with the help of some jungle friends) and rescue their bananas.

I actually have an SNES that I have from the late 90's, and Donkey Kong Country was one of the games I would play the most often (along with Super Mario World), which is why I decided to make it my 45th review. The fact that two people can play this game is stunning like you wouldn't believe for me. Simultaneous two-player capabilities weren't even in Super Mario World, and that was developed for the same console. That's a big reason why this game is so famous and popular: back then, two-player gaming was a little-known pleasure, and this game does it so well that you can't hope but love it.

This game also has a design advantage over its technical sequel Donkey Kong Country Returns (clever name, huh?) in that this game's main enemy was the Kremling, or a minion of King K. Rool. Now I can see why DKCR didn't have Kremlings, because Tiki Tonga was the main boss, but without them you just don't get the real adversarial atmosphere between good and bad that this game has (and in fact, nails).

But the most basic content is not the most revolutionary part of this game. Rather, it has things the likes of which no one had ever seen before, and these heavily influenced DKCR. For example, it had sections where you had to use enemies to clear ledges, as well as light-switch levels, and the oh-so-infamous mine cart levels which were so much fun in the end. This game has the side-scrolling fun of the Super Mario games, but is just different enough that you can notice, and see it as having its own style. Believe me, that is not an easy balance to strike and it's a point of major kudos for this game.

Probably the most incredible part of this game is its graphics. Do you notice how completely realistic they are? That's because they were made with a specialized system that made the game as a whole quite expensive. However, it was worth the price, as we can clearly tell, because this looks like a modern game compared to other SNES games especially. It's also one of the big reasons why this game is so important to me: I loved the way it looked when I was younger and it stays with me to this day.

One last thing I have to point out about this game is the jungle friends I told you about earlier. I'm not that great at the game, which is why I don't have a lot of experience with the animals, but they are hilarious when you do get them, and they're very helpful. There's a rhino (named Rambi), an ostrich (named Expresso), a swordfish (named Enguarde), a frog (named Winky. Yes, he's named Winky.), and a parrot (named Squawks). What I find extraordinary about these characters is that they are so helpful and loved that they were carried on to DKC Returns. In that game, Rambi acts as a partner in some levels and Squawks can be purchased to help you find puzzle pieces. Basically, the Donkey Kong Country series is only complete with these characters, and what's more is that the makers have acknowledged that and used it.

This is probably the most famous Donkey Kong title ever made, and I can see why, because in every way, this game is an utter revolution. Luckily, this game is available for the Virtual Console for the standard 800 Wii Points, so if you don't already have it, you should absolutely buy it, as it's worth the money all the way.

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