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December 2005



- Looks good
- Controls well
- Plenty to do
- Good level design



- What was new and fresh when this game first came out is beginning to get stale now



Review: Donkey Kong Country 2 (GBA)

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Review: Pinobee (GBA)



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Donkey Kong Country 3

Score: 7.0 / 10


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Whenever a game gets re-released for a new platform thereís a couple of things that need to be kept in mind. First thereís the question as to whether the game is still as relevant as it was years ago when it was initially released on its first system. On top of that, one has to figure out if the game is worth buying again if they happened to have gotten it when it first came out. Is it so good that itís worth




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snatching the new, portable version? Now, how does Donkey Kong Country 3 (DKC3) factor into these criteria? In terms of relevancy, the game holds up pretty well, although itís tough to recommend buying the game if you already bought the SNES version of the game. After all these years, the GBA version of the game is a decent platformer, but not something to kick the doors down to get. Itís one of those titles thatís worth picking up if you


can find it for around $20, but not much more.

Just like previous installments in the series, Donkey Kongís kin find themselves fighting the nefarious King K. Rool, who is an evil genius with a pension for trying to take over the chain of islands these sapiens call home. This time around, players take control of both Dixie Kong, and her baby cousin, Kiddy Kong. The two work as a tag team where one can take the lead, jumping, smashing, and dodging enemies, swapping out with their partners as players please. The two can also work together to perform special attacks, or get into hard to reach places. This dynamic was also seen in Donkey Kong Country 2, and holds up just as well now. The controls are solid, but getting the apes to crouch and crawl under tight spaces did feel a little awkward.

Once players get up to speed on the controls, theyíll find themselves bouncing, running, and whacking their way through the game's various thematic chains of islands, each with bosses peppered along the way. The level design is quite well done. There are a lot of opportunities to explore, and thereís a fair number of contraptions to fiddle with along the way. The boss fights themselves are refreshingly challenging. I found myself having to do a lot more work to beat these guys than a lot of the other bosses found in games of the genre. Thereís definitely a lot of dexterity required here, and itís most welcome.

Just like the Donkey Kong Country games that came before, this third installment has some very nice 16-bit-esque visuals. Everything is quite crisp with a nice use of colors, and the character designs are memorable, as are many of the animations.

On top of the various standards in DKC3, there are plenty of extras, like unlockable goodies, and tons of things to collect. The problem with collecting is that despite it being fun, and novel in the platformer genre years ago when the whole thing was new, weíve been beaten over the head with this thing over the last few years. Yes, this is a re-release of an older game, and itís taking something that was fresh back in the day and redoing it on a portable, but that in no way negates the fact that the genre has moved forward a lot in the last few years. Collecting is just beating the dead horse in terms of overly used features in platformers nowadays.

At the end of the day, this is a solid platformer. It has all the features that one would expect from such a game, and does them well. However, DKC3 does suffer from being a remake of an older title, and because of that it is a little bit long in the tooth. Itís worth picking up, but recommended to wait and see if the price comes down a bit first. As of this writing, the game is retailing for around $30US at most stores, which feels a little expensive for what the game provides. One would be better off waiting until the title comes down to about $20. Itís a good game, but at full price one would be better off buying one of the newer, more up to date platformers on the market.

Mr. Nash
(January 3, 2005)


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