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GameBoy Advance









Nintendo / Rareware



E (Everyone)



Q4 2004



- Donkey Kong returns to the GBA

- Graphics that should inspire other GBA developers

- Vivid and lush backgrounds with 3D modeled characters

- A good platformer; an even harder game



- Difficulty might be an issue for some

- Backtracking is frustrating at times, especially when you are lost

- Mini games could’ve been more in depth



Review: Donkey Kong Country (GBA)

Review: Kirby - Nightmare in Dreamland (GBA)

Review: Mario & Luigi - Superstar Saga (GBA)



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Donkey Kong Country 2

Score: 8.0 / 10

It’s been some time since the furry apes have taken action, and this time Donkey Kong takes a break and lets Diddy take over. Rare’s platformer, which received much acclaim in the past, gets its second GBA port to the series. While changes have been made from the Super Nintendo original, Rare made sure to keep the fundamentals that made the previous Donkey Kong games hits.


donkey kong country 2 review          donkey kong country 2 review


The game starts off with Donkey Kong chillin’ and having a good time in the water when all of a sudden Kaptain K. Rool, and his band of scallywags, kidnap him leaving it up to Diddy Kong to free Donkey. Even though the story isn’t very deep, as with most old-school platformer, I don’t think it becomes a huge asset to game featuring a lot of jumping and running.


Some of the first things you’ll notice when starting the game are the vivid and lush background graphics, art, and models. The models of the characters are 3D rendered, while the 2D backgrounds feature high-quality themes that flow seamlessly – even looking better than its SNES counterpart. Safe to say, these are top-notch visuals.


In terms of gameplay, Donkey Kong Country 2 (DKC2) does everything right, as well as a very high difficulty. Throughout the game Diddy and sidekick Dixie jump over and onto numerous pesky creatures to get to the end of each level. However, unlike most traditional platformers, DKC2 isn’t as easy as going left to right on the screen. In most cases you’ll have to backtrack, go upwards, and find different routes in order to reach the end. Even the early levels will prove to be difficult for some, due to the reasons listed.


donkey kong country 2 review           donkey kong country 2 review


Adding to the difficulty of the game is knowing when to use your characters, for Diddy and Dixie are interchangeable playable characters throughout the game. It’s best if you know the strengths and weaknesses of each character before hitting a scenario. Dixie has a higher jump and better rope handling while Diddy is quicker and best used in fights. Depending on how you play your cards so to speak, you’ll be able to stay alive for longer periods of time.


To make some levels easier, and more fun, DKC2 has all of the classic friends from the last game to cause some mayhem. Ranging from the rhino to the fish, the use of animals and machines help make those arduous tasks a little bit more action-oriented. The placement of each vehicle or “animal” is designed so that it relieves your brain for a short period of time.




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The sound is just about as you’d expect. Some quirky sounds hear and there, tropical music playing throughout the game – basically everything you heard from DKC2 on the SNES. One of the rare things that occurred to me while playing the game was the fact that there weren’t any sounds or music that actually made me want to turn it off; which is quite a rarity when it comes down to GBA titles.


Donkey Kong County 2 has a lot to offer aside from its basic story mode. The GBA version also supports link capabilities, for only one 


person more, as well as bonus mini-games such as Funky’s Flights and Bag a Bug. Although most of the games aren’t very exciting, it’s nice to have those options available.


A robust story mode featuring tons of missions and interesting twists awaits you in Donkey Kong County 2. Be forewarned however that the game is not intended for those with moderate experience with sidescrollers. The difficulty of DKC2 is far greater than the Super Mario games, so keep that in mind before making the purchase. Those of you who think you’re up to the challenge of tedious tasks, then step up to the platform and get ready for some “swingin’” action.


- Eric Lahiji

(February 27, 2005)

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