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Donkey Kong Country

Developer: Rare Publisher: Nintendo
21 November 1994
Donkey Kong Country - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.94 / 5.0
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2,095 Ratings / 9 Reviews
#284 All-time
#6 for 1994
With his banana hoard stolen by the crocodile-like Kremling gang, Donkey Kong and his nephew Diddy set out on an adventure to defeat the Kremling leader King K. Rool and retrieve his hoard..
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1994 Rare Nintendo  
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FR BE NL LU 0 45496 83035 9 SNSP-8X-FAH
1994 Rare Nintendo  
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XNA 0 45496 83035 9 SNS-8X-USA
1994 Rare Nintendo  
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1994 Rare Nintendo  
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1994 Rare Nintendo  
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1994 Rare Nintendo  
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2000 Rare Nintendo  
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2001 Rare Nintendo  
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The Virtual Console and emulation are fucking dreams come true. How incredible is it that I can play this acclaimed software released on now-obsolete hardware with near-perfect accuracy on pretty much anything I own with a screen? The future is great, hats off to all those working to preserve the work of game designers of years past.

As for the actual game: it's great, with a couple problems.

For the unfamiliar (aka none of you), DKC is a platformer where you play as Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong as you embark on a quest to take back your banana hoard and defeat King K. Rool. Taking damage rids you of your current Kong and swaps you to your partner, which is actually mechanically consequential. DK and Diddy do not feel the same, move the same, or jump the same. Diddy is the Luigi of DKC, with a faster run and a higher jump. He also holds barrels in front of him as opposed to above, allowing him to essentially use it as a buffer from damage whereas DK must throw them to be effective. While no main-path obstacle is character-exclusive, there are plenty of Diddy-only jumps for hidden secrets, meaning he's preferred in mostly every scenario. You'll begin to ask yourself questions that shouldn't exist: do I start as Diddy because it'll be easier, or keep him as my backup when I inevitably take damage? At least DK does prove his worth in the 4th world, though, where his heftier frame gives him more traction on icy platforms. Generally, the asymmetric hero dynamic is clever and encourages different playstyles on paper, but in execution it feels a bit unbalanced.

The actual levels are where the game shines brightest. The linear and straight-forward level design, usually revolving around one new mechanic per level with the occasional inclusion of an older one to mix it up, allows for the player to quickly understand how to progress. There is no getting lost or any real puzzles to solve, either. It's concentrated platforming, in a pure form - boss fights included. The entire player moveset is encompassed in a dpad and three buttons, and there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome by the basic jumping (provided enough speed, which the player can max with a single cartwheel). Much like DK's up-B from his Smash Bros. appearances, there isn't much verticality in these levels, allowing the natural left-to-right screen scroll to present each new obstacle to the player consistently and fairly. You will not be dropped in on, nor will you be required to make any leaps of faith; your only task is to tackle each challenge as it appears. This keeps the game outrageously focused, but I could see some cynics mark this as an area where repetition could creep in.

The presentation is outstanding, with one of the best soundtracks ever made leading the player's charge through detailed and beautiful backgrounds. I used to hate the pre-rendered character models before I actually played it, but I find only endless charm in them today. While the enemy models can range in quality, the two primate heroes consistently look good and fluid, as do the solid environments. The sound design is A+ across the board as well, with little touches I adore like your partner banging on the inside of a barrel if you only have one Kong remaining, or the little ASMR chomps the baby gators make to signal their impending arrival as you approach. You'll spend so much time in each level that seeing a still from the game will probably immediately transport you back to grinding that stage out.

Donkey Kong Country is challenging, intuitive, and thoughtful, and outside of the then-standard lives mechanic clashing with its brutal difficulty (thank god for restore points) and some pre-rendered goofiness, it's translated pretty outstandingly to today. I've heard that the sequel fixes many of the problems of this title, and I can only hope they're right.
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the_lockpick 2018-09-04T01:58:16Z
2018-09-04T01:58:16Z
4.0
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Is it possible that Donkey Kong Country was just so difficult that we fooled ourselves into thinking it to be one of the easiest platformers of the 16-bit era when it really is one of the most challenging? Yes, but not quite. It's a mix of Rare simplifying its games into mindless collect-a-thons in the Nintendo 64-era and the fact that DKC isn't all that difficult at first; not until the 3rd or 4th level-hub.

The visuals may have been the main appeal upon its release (I always thought it to be ugly, but not without a certain charm), but it remains a great game due to cleverly designed levels that offer tremendous tricky platforming. Even more grueling, it's paired with an unforgiving save system with save spots every 4 or 5 stages (in the age of emulation, one needs not to worry).

Some things can't be fixed with time and technology, however, such as the camera scrolling which will often throw enemies at you upon unveiling an area -- not to mention the final boss throws a projectile from off camera, unless you are up close (read: directly in line of fire).

Nevertheless, the constantly inventive level design, ugly yet charming visuals, and classic soundtrack make this a challenging and linear companion to Super Mario World [スーパーマリオワールド].
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SUPER_Lonely_Panda 2016-04-03T23:39:49Z
2016-04-03T23:39:49Z
4.5
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yeah its true that diddy kong's quest offers a lot more in terms of content and gameplay mechanics, with even better music and an even more solid exploration of what DKC is. its one of my favorite games ever, and i see very little above it, but like. the first game is so fucking atmospheric. i dont know what it is, i think its the lack of cutscenes and transitions that all polished games back then used to have (and even more now with current AAAs), but here theres no text saying when you did something or a clear indicator of pretty much anything other than a jingle when you beat a level and donkey kong walking to the next stage point in the map, you have bonuses that are just mini collectathons instead of something that has the objective of getting a token, and every level comes one after another in a no frills and super comfy experience. the progression of stages feels incredibly natural, theres very little in the way of introduction to the point where it feels kinda in medias res, and despite how foreign it looks and sounds to so many platformers (even to the future wii games), it all looks and sounds like it has been alive waiting for you to pick it up again, even nearly 30 years later. raw gameplay in the best form possible
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sudatantalus 2022-01-02T23:25:04Z
2022-01-02T23:25:04Z
4.5
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Symphony of the Jungle
A marvellous ensemble of colour, sound, movement and input timing. Roll and jump, smash crocs, get all the bananas, be careful with the wasps... you can become one with the monkey if only you start trusting his jumps; your jumps. Timeless music, timeless graphics, timeless stage and enemies design... this is out of time, this game doesn't even exist.
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zaxapitsa 2023-02-10T12:22:19Z
2023-02-10T12:22:19Z
5.0
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Greatest game of all time. Donkey kong is a more well rounded and interesting character than any character in any modern day AAA game
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mightygreenm 2022-01-25T20:35:21Z
2022-01-25T20:35:21Z
5.0
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Incredibly well rounded game
This is one of my favorite games of all time. Everything about it makes it such a pleasure to play. The music and sound effects, matched with the environment, makes it easy on the ears and eyes, respectively. The controls are top notch. There is a great amount of variety in the different levels/worlds. It's simply a blast.
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J_Smooth 2021-06-30T18:46:05Z
2021-06-30T18:46:05Z
5.0
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Catalog

justpick1 Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-19T06:36:12Z
2024-06-19T06:36:12Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
wuggy Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-18T08:17:46Z
2024-06-18T08:17:46Z
A-
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Fidelium Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-17T05:21:12Z
2024-06-17T05:21:12Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
noahcritic Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-15T04:06:53Z
2024-06-15T04:06:53Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Astaroth810 Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-14T15:00:19Z
2024-06-14T15:00:19Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
xAw0kN Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-12T12:22:45Z
2024-06-12T12:22:45Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Gainsborough_1997 スーパードンキーコング 2024-06-10T03:38:02Z
SNES • JP
2024-06-10T03:38:02Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
toadbidu Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-06T11:38:23Z
2024-06-06T11:38:23Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
americanflotsam Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-04T05:22:09Z
2024-06-04T05:22:09Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SumiQueen Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-03T22:05:53Z
2024-06-03T22:05:53Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Goldmoon_Dropoffs Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-03T03:25:06Z
2024-06-03T03:25:06Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
W28Mews Donkey Kong Country 2024-06-01T04:12:23Z
SNES • XNA
2024-06-01T04:12:23Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
ESRB: K-A
Player modes
1-2 players
Media
1x Cartridge
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative
Multiplayer options
Hotseat
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  • スーパードンキーコング
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  • Previous comments (21) Loading...
  • HeatherMadhouse 2023-05-14 11:43:37.933585+00
    one of the greatest showcases of the technological prowess of the snes. great game in general but everything about this game is just crazy for a piece of hardware produced in 1988-89
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  • lilikoipassion 2023-05-17 23:08:25.189376+00
    my god this is so good but so frustrating
    reply
    • salem_3 2024-02-06 23:34:16.054788+00
      the frustration is what makes it good imo, nothing more satisfying than struggling on a level then finally reaching the end after an hour of trial and error
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  • RomanDogBird 2023-06-18 05:08:09.199132+00
    this amazing new generation of Donkey Kong madness
    reply
    • Regal_Throes 2023-11-02 16:09:28.177692+00
      If you don't think DKC is perfect, you are STUPID.
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  • Sunvin 2023-06-26 17:54:07.439237+00
    nintendo was super generous to throw in a free game with this album [2]
    reply
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  • Gavel 2023-10-04 06:57:15.083066+00
    with as much praise as it rightly gets for the presentation and overall package, i feel dkc still maintains to be underrated with regards to the gamefeel and level design
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  • jorgeskuf 2023-11-08 08:55:15.414012+00
    this game was pissing me off at first, but like 5 worlds in it is really growing on me. my favorite level so far is the one one the factory where the lights turn on and off, and the level where you have to keep refueling the floating track. playing through that floating track one was making me feel like those Mario Kaizo tik toks.
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  • MasterOfShaft 2024-03-31 04:39:25.502056+00
    this game fucking rocks
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  • anahera 2024-04-18 09:03:37.086706+00
    i love this game to bits but i suck so much ass at it it's insane i'm literally dying every two seconds
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