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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
Game Boy
GENRE: Platformer
PLAYERS:   1-2
June 09, 2003
Donkey Kong Country Returns

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble

Donkey Kong Barrel Blast

DK: Jungle Climber

Donkey Kong Jr. Math

More in this Series
 Written by Jeff Milligan  on April 21, 2003

First Impressions: Finally an answer to the age-old question: Do apes wear neckties?

It's been almost 10 years since Donkey Kong Country debuted on the Super Nintendo. Where else can you find a place that has a pair of primate pals on the search for their stolen hoard of bananas? Where else will you find apes with names like Funky, Cranky, and Diddy? Where else can you see monkeys flying freely through the air, riding swordfish, or rolling through crocodiles? Unless you have a big daydreaming problem or live at the zoo, these events can only be experienced in one place, Donkey Kong Country.

The basis behind DKC is quite simple. Donkey Kong has gathered a nice hoard of bananas for himself over the years, but they've all been stolen by the leader of the Kremlings, King K. Rool. Why a crocodile would want so many bananas is beyond me, but for now we'll just say he has a fetish for banana bread. With the help of his buddy Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong sets out to recover his banana stash from the evil croc. DK and co. will have to battle through 6 large worlds, each crawling with tons of baddies, lots of secrets, and easily angered bosses.

Throughout the journey, you will alternate between playing with Donkey Kong and Diddy with the press of a button. Both of the crazy monkeys excel at different tasks. Use Donkey Kong to pound through hordes of enemies at a time, or use Diddy to speed your way past them. Although Diddy and DK are the only playable characters, the whole Kong family will have a share in the adventure. You'll meet up with lots of DK's relatives along the way, including the elderly Cranky Kong, the cool Funky Kong, and the charming Candy Kong.

Of course, Donkey Kong Country is home to animals besides just apes. DK and Diddy can also call upon some of their other jungle friends, including Expresso the Ostrich, Rambi the Rhino, and Enguarde the Swordfish (clever names, no?). Each ally has a special ability that you will use to help the primate duo take down King K. Rool, including flying, ramming objects, and swimming. These friends can be found in hidden crates throughout the game, so be sure to keep your eyes open.

Although the main quest of DKC is going untouched, there are a few tricks featured only in the GBA version. A couple new mini-games are being added, including Funky's Fishing and Candy's Dance Studio. Both mini-games and the main quest can be experienced by 2 players. Other new additions include collectible artwork, a detailed stat-tracker, and the ability to save anywhere in the game. For those who think your DKC skills are all that and a bag of potato chips, you'll be able to put yourself to the test with the new DK attack mode. Attack mode ranks your performance on completed levels, showing you just how good, or bad, you truly are.

Final Thoughts
Hopefully everyone has gotten a chance to play DKC on the SNES by now, but if you never have (you poor, poor souls) this may be your opportunity to share in one of the craziest side-scrolling games ever. With the inclusion of GBA only features, DKC looks like it will be better than ever this June. Hopefully Nintendo will keep the ape party going by porting DKC 2 and 3, but until word about them surfaces, we'll be kicking some crocodile butt.

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