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Added: 3 Jun 2012
"They weren't monkeyin' around when making this game."
Ah, Donkey Kong 64 for the Nintendo64, now let me start out by saying it's a great game. This is probably due to the fact it's made by RARE; I've yet to see a RARE game that wasn't decent. Now, a lot of gamers say it isn't RARE's best, which this is due to the famous duo of Bear and Bird. If for any reason it seems lesser than BK, then it is probably because DK 64 took a lot of BK's features and put it into its own game, which necessarily isn't a bad thing, but BK was the origin so to say. However, that shouldn't take away from the greatness of this game. Let's take a look at Donkey Kong 64!
Gameplay: The game begins with King K. Rool in his gigantic King K. Rool ship headed towards DK Isle, which is the home of DK. On the way there, King K. Rool's ship hits a rock and the ship, while being so close to the island, malfunctions, and so the Blast-o-matic does not work.. So King K. Rool orders his men to kidnap Donkey Kong's friends and steal his golden banana once more, while his men fix the blast-o-matic. And now it is up to DK to save his friends, get 8 keys to unlock the gate for Klumsy K. Rool, King K.Rool's cousin, so that he can get revenge on King K. Rool for locking him up for not destroying the beautiful island, and must get all 200 of his golden bananas! Wow! That already promises a good length game. Let's go into this even further... When you first start playing the game, you know a few basics moves, just like on BK, and as you progress through the game you learn new moves from Cranky Kong by purchasing them with coins. Also throughout the game, you get to purchase other items such as guns and instruments from Funky and Candy Kong. In each world, there are 500 bananas and 25 golden Bananas; 5 golden bananas for each monkey, and 100 bananas for each monkey. There are specific areas for each monkey obviously, and you must kept switching monkeys to progress further in the level. The levels are huge, a lot of areas to explore, and there is no end to the fun. There are so many features to this game which I'll get to later that make this game enjoyable to play, and it will not let people down.
Sound: As in all RARE games, the music is very smooth and most songs/tunes in the game are nicely done. They're catchy, and as usual, capture the setting for that particular stage/area. The sound is one of the things that was similar to BK, best example is DK Isle/Gruntilda's Lair theme. It changes the sound depend in which lobby you're in, but that's not a bad thing, it's really nice. However, BK had it first so it feels like they were just using the same idea again. Still, nevertheless the music is enjoyable.
Graphics: Man we needed an expansion pack for this game! The graphics did us justice with the beautiful shimmering water, the beautiful transitions of grass to sand. The simplistic details to make the areas in the game look realistic. The graphics for the environments are outstanding. The graphics on the characters are good as well. I mean Donkey Kong has never really been in 3-D, I mean they had Mario Party games where he was 3-D, but not his own game. So the transition, I thought, was well done from having to make DK run on two legs instead of four, while making him presentable.
Controls: I kind of mentioned them in the Gameplay sections, but overall the controls are simplistic and they become natural very quickly. It's your basic platformer controls. However, there is one example of terrible controls I mention later in my top 3 bad things.
Replayability: This game is a game many people will replay, but not too often due to it being a big game, but the game is too fun to not play over again. Nothing more to say here.
And now it's time for the Top 3 good things and the Top 3 bad things.
Top 3 good Things:
#3. The Bonus Game's are fun and challenging for all games. With a unique collection of challenges, such as shooting watermelons at little krushas or collecting all the coins in certain amount of time, the challenges really do put you to the test. There are even two classic Nintendo arcade games in this game! So the bonus games were one of the best features in the game.
#2. The length is awesome, sure it may not be replayed much because of it being so long, but the length of the game is great. I mean 200 golden banana's you have to collect, that's going to take awhile! If you're like me, and a lot of other gamers, you're going to want a game that'll keep you pretty busy for awhile and not just be a game you can beat really quick. And a game so fun, the length allows that fun to go a looooong way.
#1. The variety of features in this game is the best thing about this game! So many fun features that made this game epic. I mean there are copious features in this game that makes this game a lot more interesting and fun. There are guns, there are OHKO instruments, there are orange grenades, there are special moves, there are teleporters, there are several items to collect, there are several different mini games, there are battle challenges, there's even a camera you have to use, how cool is that?! The variety then gets better because of the fact there are five different characters. So each one gets their own individual weapon with different ammo, their own instrument, their own moves, etc. There so many different features and spreading out the variety amongst the five different character just adds to the fun of the game. The variety is the biggest component that made this game exciting for all.
Although the game is good, let's take a look at the bad side of things.
Top 3 bad Things:
#3. Although I don't mind it, most gamers will get tired of the game because it can get very repetitive, I mean, you have to go and collect 500 bananas in each world, get 25 golden bananas, get a blue print for each monkey in each world. Beat some mini game to get a banana, and most of Tiny's bananas are obtain by shrinking and going into something. So the game can be a little repetitive, but it's not that bad, so that's why it was the least bad of my top 3 bad things.
#2. In all games, we're able to position the camera angles....but this game gives you poor ability to move the camera! More times than not I find myself in a place where you have to walk slowly on a skinny ledge, but the problem is more times than not I'm given an angle that's just horrible, and I cannot move the camera angle at all, so I'm screwed. It's not the worst camera system, but it has more than its fair share of screwing up. But at least the camera angle is controllable somewhat compared to number 1.
#1. Three words, Diddy's Jet Pack. Now, don't get me wrong, Jet Packs are AWESOME, and when seeing that Diddy got his own jet pack, I almost crapped my pants out of excitement. well that excitement came to an end after seconds of using the jet pack. Diddy's jet pack is beyond annoying to control! I mean at first when controlling it, I was terrible, I thought that it was only because I needed to practice, but no, the jet pack is complicated. When using the jet pack, you use the A button to boost, which primarily just shoots you straight up. What makes this even worse, to move in any direction requires a lot of manuvering! For example, if you want to fly straight forward, you can't just tilt the analog stick forward. Instead you have to let go of the gas button so that you lose altitude and then you hit the gas again to go up again and this way when you tilt the analog stick, you'll actually move forward. However, you'll fly to high and have to repeat the process again, and that's just annoying, why can't we have a flying system like Banjo-Kazooie? Turning is also a problem; if you're flying straight and need to turn right, then you tilt to the right, but Diddy doesn't fly around to the right. Instead, he stays in the spot he's in and turns his body to the right, but not actually go right. the controls are hard to get used to no matter how many times you use the jet pack. In addition, the music you hear while on the jet pack gets old and annoying fast!!! But it gets worse, twice in the game they torture you to use these god awful flight controls, by making you fly through rings! Can anyone say Superman64? The rings are 3-D looking but are 2-D and you must fly through them quickly before the bird who leaves them, gets far away. Now the controls make this difficult, and sometimes if you go through the ring, but are a lil too high or too low for it but looks like you went through, well you won't which mean you have to turn around as fast as possible to get through it. this is thanks due to the illusion of it being 3-D, when it's actually 2-D which will more often than not make you miss the ring. This challenge will piss many gamers off, and the controls will make gamers stay away from the jet pack, and thus this is why Diddy's Jet Pack ranks the worst thing in the game.
Overall: 9/10, it's still a wonderful game that anyone should enjoy. Although it's has to live in the shadow of Banjo-Kazooie, it took some of the game's feature and made them there own, if not better. So though it may not be RARE's best it's still a worthy game of buying and playing to enjoy!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10, Originally Posted: 07/23/09
Game Release: Donkey Kong 64 (US, 10/31/99)
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