Just think about it... Donkey Kong was once kidnapping ladies, climbing girders, and tossing barrels at unsuspecting plumbers... Finally Donkey Kong was able to strip himself of that "evil monkey" persona and take on the hero role in his own series! Rare managed to keep some of those classic aspects, such as chucking barrels and that can of flaming oil, but no more helpless pink-dressed ladies or plumbers. No, they set off on their own series, obviously. But, who knew what to expect from the first Donkey Kong Country for the SNES? Could it compare to other games of it's time? Oh yeah. It was a hit, challenging platform jumping and those amazing 3D rendered graphics! But I'm not writing this to tell you about THAT. I writing this to tell you what came next, because what came next, was pure gold...
Here's the twist: That "monkey hero" Donkey Kong I was just talking so highly about? He's not so mighty in this one as he's Kong-napped by his vile nemesis King K. Rool the kroc. Oh, wait- K. Rool likes to change his titles around. In this one he's Kaptain K. Rool the pirate along with his kremlin minions. (See all the "k"s?)
Who's going to save the day when the most buff Kong on the island has been taken? Why, his little cousin, Diddy! Along with kutest kong around, Dixie! The stage is set for an ape adveture...
Travel seven worlds to your liking. Pirate ships, castles, amusment parks, you got them! As Diddy you can cart-wheel into to rows of enemies, but it can be easy to lose control and fall in some pit of doom if you rely on that too much. Most of the time just a simple jump on the head is enough to take enemies out. Barrels are an excellent weapon, especially if keeping a distance is your thing. Dixie's control is the same deal but she swings that pony-tail around instead, which can also give her the power to "helicopter" through the air. On the downside, Dixie can't climb ropes as quickly as Diddy. In these games it's one strike and the monkey's out, in other words, if Diddy is hurt, he's off and running, so you better have Dixie around to finish the job. If you're short an ape, watch out for a "DK" barrel. It will be jiggling around and making monkey noises, then the team will be together again. Next, what's a monkey without banana's, right? They act just like coins in Mario, collect 100 and you get a balloon (1-up)! There are coins in fact in this game, but they're used to buy hints, travel to visited worlds, or play quizzing games. All together I'd say this game has excellant gameplay. I love the controls, the world map system is great, and it has it's own unique health system, that's nothing like any kind of generic platform jumper.
You have to admit, impressive for the SNES, yes? This is the illusion of 3D. The models and the worlds were infact render as 3D models and made into 2D sprites. They're pretty tricky over there at Rare, but there's not much else I can say about it. See for yourself. I'm not one who really depends on good graphics in a game, but the kind found in the Donkey Kong Country series is one of the most recognizable and best to be found on the SNES. Bravo.
You might think maybe I'm getting too generous with my scoring, but believe me when I tell you, the sound in this game is top-notch. I love those hilarious monkey sounds and the variety of yelps the enemies let out! But that would only get this game a 7/10. It's the music that makes this game what it is. It has to be one of the best soundtracks of a game I've heard. The beat to an intense boss fight, the soothing sound of the swamps, it's all really amazing. After beating the level, you're even given a level-related remix on the completion song your ape plays! You'll find these tunes getting stuck in your head, really.
A must-buy? Yes. If there's one VC game you buy, let it be this one. I was waiting for it since the release of the Wii, now I still can't get enough of it. What I like most about this game is there seems to always be more to it. Think you beat the game? Try completing the challenging "Lost World". Conquered that? How about getting all those hidden "DK" coins, I dare you. This game knows how to keep it coming, and I'm not monkey-ing around.