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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
5.0
Visuals
3.0
Audio
2.0
Gameplay
8.0
Features
2.0
Replay
4.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Wii Shop Channel
PUBLISHER:
Nintendo
DEVELOPER:
Nintendo
GENRE: Platform
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
November 19, 2006
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
IN THE SERIES
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 James Dauer  on December 19, 2006

Review: Like DK rap, you'll get tired of it after a few seconds.


Back before the Nintendo Entertainment System invaded houses nationwide, Nintendo had already produced one of its first hits for the arcade- Donkey Kong. Featuring the plucky little carpenter known then as ?Jumpman,? (later to become Mario) Donkey Kong was a really charming pastime for all arcade goers. Now, more than 20 years later, the NES port of Donkey Kong appears on the Wii Virtual Console and for better or worse, the game is still what you remembered.

Donkey Kong features only two difficulty settings- A and B (with B being slightly harder). Each of these can be played in 1 or 2 player modes. For the uninitiated, the game consists of moving Mario around a series of single-screen platforming segments while avoiding walking flames, oil barrels, and strange bouncing? things. The entire game is only three stages long. When the player beats all three stages, the game restarts back at the first stage with slightly more speed and more enemies to avoid. This was before Mario learned to stomp his enemies, so touching any bad guys will result in instant death. Also, miss-judging a jump could spell Mario's doom, as even falling half an inch can kill our hero. This will kill you a lot. What more can I say about Donkey Kong? The game is old and its gameplay simplistic compared to today's titles.

To control the game, players will either have to use the Classic Controller expansion, or turn the Wii remote on its side. Using the side-ways remote is just like using the old NES controller only it feels a little rounder. It's actually like trying to play the NES with a small plastic log that has buttons. Just think about that for a second and then move on.

Visually the game is a pre-NES game. That said, it looks better than the really old stuff like Defender and Pac Man, but it's lower on the food chain than Super Mario Bros. On the actual Virtual Console, the colors look a little washed out, and if you're running on a wide-screen TV, it's stretched too. I can't say I'd be all that disappointed with a stretched Donkey Kong, though, considering it's hardly the pinnacle of graphics.

The sound is both nostalgic and annoying. That is to say, first you feel the nostalgia, and then you quickly feel the annoyance. There are about four pieces of music in the game, with each being 5 to 10 notes long. These repeat over and over. Mario's jump noise gets grating after the first few levels, and that second stage with the bouncing things is an audio nightmare. This isn't because of the Virtual Console, but because of the technology back in the day.

Bottom Line
There is definitely a lot of nostalgia involved in enjoying Donkey Kong. If you remember playing the game back in the glory days of 8-bit gaming, (wowie, an entire byte of graphics!) then you'll get a kick out of reliving your youth. Otherwise if you're looking for thrills and spills? expect to find a lot more of the latter. I'd say the entire game is fun for about 20 minutes, before getting dull. For the $5 price tag, you're just better off waiting for the original Super Mario Bros. or some other classic Nintendo game to show up on the VC. Either that, or just buy Animal Crossing and find the hidden copy of Donkey Kong. At least when you're done with DK, you'll still have Animal Crossing to play, not to mention the free space on your Wii HDD.


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