vkbl111's Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
| [February 28, 2013 10:09:09 AM]
| Donkey Kong Country: Played between February 19 and February 28|
Donkey Kong Country is a mainly single player game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It also includes two different two player co-op modes: a cooperative mode where the second player controls the second character when the first player gets hit, and a mode where players complete each level separately to compare scores at the end. Donkey Kong Country puts the player(s) in the "shoes" of Donkey Kong, a gorilla who's banana stash was taken by an evil crocodile, and Diddy Kong the young monkey sidekick. The game tasks the player(s) to complete levels and challenges to get back Donkey Kong's(From here on referred to as DK) banana stash.
= Players =
In single player and competitive two player mode each player is given control of DK and Diddy. At the start the player only controls DK, but if a barel is found then Diddy starts running behind DK. If DK is hit he goes away and the player controls Diddy. If another barel is found then DK comes back. At any time both apes are present the player can switch between the two. If only one ape is present and the player gets hit, it is game over.
Both apes are slightly different to play as. DK is slow but when he throws barels he can throw them further. Diddy on the other hand is fast and can jump higher to reach different areas.
In co-op mode player one controls DK, and player two controls Diddy. Only one player is in control at any given time. If DK is hit the game slightly pauses to let player two get ready, and as soon as player two hits any button on the SNES controller the game resumes with the second player controlling Diddy. Also the players can choose to switch at any time by hitting Y on the SNES controller. This can be done to reach areas and power ups that the other player cannot.
= The World =
The game world is divided into differently themed areas which consist of multiple levels. At the end of each area there is a boss, a large, difficult enemy that requires multiple hits to defeat. The first area is themed after a jungle, and the second is themed after mines. There are also lava and ice themed areas as well as water levels. The levels are all slightly different with many hidden areas that contain bonuses. On the world map the player can access save points, "teleport" points that let you go back to a previous world faster, and tip points where the player can purchase hints.
The controls are tight and do not seem to have any lag. This helps the game rely on player skill instead of using cheap deaths.
The graphics are extremely good for the SNES and set the mood well. The music also adds to both the graphics and the game play. I was extremely impressed with the game look and feel.
= The Game =
The game drops the player in a jungle and tasks the player to get to the end of each level, usually requiring the player to run to the right. There are enemies that can be defeated by throwing barels or jumping on their heads, though some enemies damage the player if the enemy is jumped on. If the player loses all their apes they lose a life. Once all lives are lost it is Game Over, and the player can start from the beginning or the last save point.
There are many items to collect throughout the game. Most common is a banana, which if the player collects one hundred of they receive another life. If the player collects the letters spread throughout each level that spell out KONG(in any order) the player receives another life. If the player collects a balloon they receive another life. Also there are animal statues spread throughout the levels. The statues are of a fish, ostrich, and frog. If the player collects three statues of one kind they are taken to a bonus level that is filled with bananas. The player is tasked with collecting as many bananas as possible within a time limit.
When the player reaches the end of an area they are tasked with defeating a boss. The boss usually has a predictable pattern and takes multiple hits to defeat. After beating the boss the player is allowed passage into the next area. After clearing all the levels and all the areas as well as all the bosses the player beats the game.
= Game Play =
I played continuous sessions throughout the week. First I tried playing the game solo, and then I had a friend join me for a co-op attempt.
Solo Session: I played Donkey Kong Country in solo mode first. I played it on the SNES using the stock SNES controller to be able to use controls as they were originally designed.
After the game dropped me off on the first level it took me some time to get used to the controls. There was a roll that was an attack, jumping was to navigate platforms as well as to attack some enemies. There was also an ability to pick up barels to get Diddy as well as to use the barels to attack enemies.
On the first level most of the enemies were the same, crocodiles. Dealing was fairly easy, and became even easier when I discovered a rhino power-up that let me ride a rhino that auto attacked any enemies that I encountered.
After trying playing as both characters, I discovered that I preferred the way that DK controlled, seemed more one to one than when playing as Diddy.
The first few levels were fairly simple, though the armadillo enemy gave me issues.
A couple levels later there was an enemy that you could not kill: giant bees. This was an enemy I learned to avoid and just jump over. This became difficult when the mechanic of firing DK between moving barels was introduced. The barels moved quickly and so did the bees, therefore timing the shots was fairly difficult. I died multiple times on this level, yet thanks to the bananas I had collected up to that point kept me from running out of lives.
The first boss fight was with a giant mouse. It was very easy and I beat him without dying even once.
The second area came after that and was in the mines. The environment was very dark, and sometimes it was difficult to see the edges of platforms even with the lights off, and therefore I died a couple of times.
I had no issues other than that in this world until I reached a level which I can only describe as the mine cart level. In this level DK and Diddy were riding in a mine cart. The task at hand was to jump over enemies on other carts, as well as jumping over gaps in the tracks. The speed and layout of this level was so difficult I could not beat it, even after I went back to the first level of the game and played it over and over to get a large amount of extra lives. I attempted the mine-cart level over multiple days and I could not beat it. So I decided to bring in some help.
Co-Op Session: As I could not beat the mine cart level alone I decided to get a friend, John, to come over and play the game in co-op with me. We breezed through the first area fairly easily. I remembered most of the levels, and the things I had difficulties with John's faster reflexes got us through much faster and easier than when I was going through the game alone. The game was much more enjoyable and less stressful when playing with a friend. Now when I died instead of getting angry we just made fun of each other and had a laugh. When we got to the mine-cart level we went back to the first level to hoard lives. After we had 20 extra lives we decided to attempt that dreadful level.
When we began the level I let John take control of the game. He was actually able to get us further than when I played solo. We got to a checkpoint, which let us begin from there every time we start the level. Yet no matter how much we tried we could not get past that forsaken level. Whenever we finally made a jump that was difficult an enemy would come out of nowhere and kill us. We decided to give up after trying for 2 hours. This is as far as I was able to get in the game.
= Overall =
Donkey Kong Country is a fast paced platformer from the days when platformers ruled the video game market. It is fun yet difficult. Often the difficulty is to the point of frustration, which I can honestly say is because of lack of skill on the player side instead of cheap tricks. Eventually I hope to beat that mine cart level, and I can't wait to experience the rest of this amazing game.
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vkbl111's Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
Current Status: Playing
GameLog started on: Tuesday 19 February, 2013