Platform: Super Nintendo
My siblings rented a Super Nintendo (SNES) way back when and had rented this game along with it. I happened to be at the house that night and played a bit of it. The next day, I went out and bought a SNES and this game just so I could play it more. This game is absolutely amazing and defined the SNES for me.
The graphics, for the time, were jaw-dropping. I had never seen anything like it. The water level (shown above) was the best thing I’d seen. Add in a gorgeous soundtrack and perfect gameplay and you’ve got yourself a hit.
You play as either Donkey Kong or his sidekick, Diddy Kong. You could switch between them at will, which was necessary in many levels as each had their own strengths. Diddy couldn’t kill certain mobs and DK couldn’t reach some spots that Diddy could. It made for a new level of gameplay. There were also save points throughout the levels, which were absolutely necessary. The game features the top-down view of a map between levels and you could go back and play previous games.
There were collectibles in the game as well besides your simple coins (bananas in this case). In every level, there were level-up balloons scattered about. There were hidden areas to each level. You could also find animals to ride (ostrich, shark, rhino, frog) which all added to the gameplay. There were also letters that spelled out KONG and gave free life if you found them all.
There were some very memorable levels in this game. Besides the aforementioned water levels, my favorite was the mine cart level. In it, you rode in a mine cart and had to jump your way through broken tracks and obstacles to make it to the end. I played this level over and over because it was so fun.
If you have never had the pleasure of playing this game, you need to find it. I still have it for my SNES and do play it from time to time. I have it on the GCW Zero as well, but there’s something special about playing it on its original hardware. There was also a Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3, and each were fun in their own right. Nintendo came out with a couple of reboots – for the 3DS and Wii. I may cover those at a different time. This was the game, however, that really launched Donkey Kong into modern Nintendo fame.