Donkey Kong Country SNES review

Donkey Kong Country. One of the greatest? Of course. But does that stop me from putting DKC on the list of games that can go fuck themselves? Absolutely not.


As young as I may have been when this game released I still remember how popular it was. Everyone had it. If you owned a SNES owned this game. It was like Goldeneye on N64. You owned it. And that's it.

Music, Graphics, Gameplay, and memorable/likable characters. This game has it all.

You might be asking yourself how someone like me can even dare to say this game can go fuck itself. Well, it's because I have never beat it.

This game still haunts me for that.

Release

Rare's attempt at reinventing Donkey Kong was a colossal success. Upon its release it met with critical acclaim. Within the first month it sold 500,000 copies. Gamerankings gave DKC an 89% and to this day people are still giving this game the high praises it deserves. Since 1994 people still come back to this game.

Plot

Donkey Kong entrusts Diddy Kong to guard his banana hoard overnight as he sleeps. King K. Rool and his kremling army ambush Diddy, seal him in a barrel, and steal the hoard. Cranky Kong sees the ambush and wakes DK to alert him to what just happened. 

The two set out on their adventure to recover the hoard. 

Graphics

First off, let's get this out the way. The graphics are beautiful and will never go out of style. Vibrant and discernible. I will fist fight you if you disagree.

Anyways, it is apparent how hard the SNES hardware was being pushed. DKC was able to compete with next gen consoles that were being released around the same time. Both the PS1 and Sega Saturn were moving away from cartridges for the more memory holding discs.

DKC's sprites were revolutionary for the time. The graphics are better than the muddy polygon graphics of most PS1 titles. That signature Rare look can also be seen on Killer Instinct's home port. Both use pre-rendered 3D graphics. 

Audio

I am typing away while listening to the OST. Jungle island feels for sure. The drums are pounding away. Caribbean like at times. Others are somber and atmospheric.

The signature main title theme is easily recognizable. But, the underwater level's music is just as perfect. That track deserves as much respect as the title theme. King K. Rool has a swashbuckler theme that fits him well.

Nothing as far as sound design sticks out for me other than DK and Diddy's grunts. All the additional sounds in game go unnoticed because the music takes over.

Controls

Responsive with on point hit detection. Diddy Kong's cartwheel is the most fluid motion in the game. That move is the most useful of the game. Donkey Kong feels slower and his hand slap is useful if you know where to hit. 

The animal buddies you acquire in game handle the way you would imagine. The most troublesome is Expresso the Ostrich. High speed and no form of attack leaves you vulnerable at times. Rambi the Rhino is my personal favorite. That horn is useful not only for attacking enemies but finding secret rooms. 

Gameplay

Platformers for the most part are get from point A to point B with the occasional hidden room. DKC is no different in that regards. What separates DKC from other similar titles of the time is the tag team system. If one gets hurt the other is "tagged in." Granted, you smashed a barrel that held the other Kong you aren't playing as.

Plenty of secret rooms and mini games you can find. All the bosses are larger than life. This adds some difficulty to the traditional jump on a boss three times method used by most platformers.

Rare developers went for a streamlined level design. This allows players to run past the majority of the level through well executed timing. I am not one of those players. But if you watch speedrunners you can see how a player can seamlessly run through a level using Diddy's cartwheel.

Why don't I like it?

I never said I didn't like the game. It's so damn difficult for no reason. Let's talk about that fuck ass mine cart level. That level ups the ante on why this game is difficult. Playing that level might be the first time I ever verbally abused a screen.

What's up with those fucking barrels that hurl your monkey ass everywhere? The timing is a bitch. My god the number of red DK balloons I lost trying to traverse a level. I am shaking thinking about the bullshit I had to go through. 

Zingers. Those goddamn wasps. All flavors of Zingers fucking suck. You can't jump on them. No, you have to use barrels and shit. BS. Can't forget Rockkrocs. Those vampire bastards that are invincible in the dark but are little bitches in the light.

Overall

It's a classic that deserves all the praise it gets. It's a hell of a game that people still play. Like I mentioned, speedrunners are still at this game. The SNES is being put to the test each playthrough. This is one of the titles that could show off what is under the hood. 

But I can't get over how damn difficult it is for me. I don't understand why I can't beat this game. I have beat other platformers even though platformers aren't my strong suit. Awesome game nonetheless.

Pairs well with

I don't like rum. You know that. Or at least you should. But, the jungle theme of this game pairs well with some sweet rum. Drink a Pina Colada. That fits this game the best.

Also for the record, Dankey Kang is better.

Enjoy your drinks and game on.


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