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Kong Country 3
Score: 7.0 / 10
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
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
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
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.