Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (1995)      

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Rare Ltd.

USA, Europe, Japan
Donkey Kong Country

Nintendo SNES

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(Anonymous) (Unknown)   29th Mar 2012 05:54

"Diddy Kong returns with his girlfriend in tow to star in one of the most excellent games available."

Do you enjoy adventure? I don't know about you, but I certainly do. As a young kid and even to this day, I have been wanting to explore the massive world out there. There's so many sights to see and cultures to meet; it would more than likely be an enriching experience. As I am. for the time being, unable to travel around the world whenever I so choose, I can resort to Donkey Kong Country 2, a game just brimming with beautiful environments and places to explore.

Some time after the defeat of the crocodile overlord King K. Rool, Donkey Kong is relaxing at the beach, soaking up the sun's bright rays. While kicking back, Cranky sneaks up on Donkey and a rather hostile conversation ensues. Afterwards, DK sinks down into his comfortable beach chair, and gradually falls victim to sleep.

Later that day, dusk fell upon them, and there was no sign of the bulky gorilla. Diddy Kong and his girlfriend Dixie, became worried and started searching for him. As they reached the beach, they spotted hundreds of reptilian footprints circled around a destroyed beach chair. And on top of that chair, there was a note from the crocodile species called Kremlings, stating that if they wanted DK back, they'd have to hand over DK's treasured banana hoard.

Refusing, Diddy knows what he must do. After a bit of an argument between him and Dixie, Diddy agrees to let her come along and help, and so as soon as the sun rose again, the courageous chimps set out to rescue DK and show that bully Kaptain K. Rool not to mess with them ever again.

Diddy and Dixie are the stars of Donkey Kong Country 2, and will have to work together if they ever hope to save their beloved Donkey Kong. Diddy's cartwheel attack can not only defeat enemies vulnerable to it, but he can use it near the end of a platform to cartwheel off the platform, and then follow up with a jump, a combination that allows Diddy to make longer jumps. He also holds barrels right in front of him, so they can be used as a shield against frontal strikes. He hurls barrels on a straightforward trajectory, which is usually better than Dixie's arched method of throwing.

Of course, Dixie is not without her own abilities. Her way of tossing barrels can come in handy at times, and best of all, she packs a helicopter spin move that she can utilize to cover great lateral distances. That helicopter spin is a lifesaver, and you'll put it to use often. New to DKC2 are team throw moves. Diddy can throw Dixie (or vice-versa) into the air to access otherwise unreachable items and platforms, a pleasant addition to the DKC series. You'll need to switch between the two Kongs to conquer all of the levels, and that's done with just a push of a button.

When one Kong is hit by an attack, they get knocked out and the other Kong immediately takes over. Falling into a void means that you'll have to start the level over, or from the save barrel if you've activated it. To get your other Kong back, you must break open a DK barrel, which will be containing that monkey.

You'll be controlling more than just those two, though. Eight animal buddies are out there to help your cause. Two of them, Clapper and Glimmer, are only in a single level, while the remaining six can be found in various levels. To ride these animals, you have to release them from an animal crate first. Rambi the rhinoceros is the first one you'll meet, and his brutal horn can gore most enemies in a flash. He also has a charge move that will let him take off at astonishing speed. Enguarde is a swordfish who will undoubtedly be a great help in the underwater levels. His razor-sharp snout takes care of undersea threats with ease, and he also has a high-speed charge attack. There's also a flying parrot who's able to spit out long-ranged eggs by the name of Squawk. Another parrot, distinguishable by his dull purple coloring, is able to descend slowly. Rattly the rattlesnake takes over Winky's role from the last game. He is able to make extremely high jumps and eliminate just about anyone he lands on. Lastly, we have Squitter the spider. Squitter can shoot out powerful webs that can be angled for improved aiming. His best trick is his ability to create makeshift platforms out of his webs that can be used to traverse through treacherous territory with ease.

The overworld is the same as in DKC. You beat a level, move on to the next, and so forth. Like in DKC, you'll also come across other characters on your way. Funky can fly you to any previously visited world for a small price, Swanky, a newcomer, has a game going on where you can win prizes, and Wrinkly teaches you basic info and saves your game, while you can visit Cranky to get a little more advanced hints. You'll also meet a towering Kremling named Klubba who guards a bridge, and won't let you pass through until you pay him special Kremkoins. What's on the other side of that bridge? Well, you'll have to find out for yourself.

The levels themselves are immensely enjoyable. Diddy and Dixie will be running, jumping, and using all of their talents to finish these amazing levels. There are many different level themes in this game, and each have their own special atmosphere and distinguishing characteristics. In the honey levels, for example, there is sticky honey attached to the floors and walls that prevent the Kongs from moving while standing on them, but the Kongs can make use of it by utilizing the honey to mount walls. A brilliant gameplay idea. DKC2 is just packed with these brilliant ideas that make the levels so memorable and great.

There are multiple collectables strewn throughout the levels for you to find. Most of them, like the bananas and K-O-N-G letters, concern extra lives. However, a few serve a more important purpose. Banana Bunch Coins are what you use as currency for the other Kongs' services. Kremkoins are obtained by completing a bonus game, which are accessible through Bonus Barrels. They're used to pay Klubba. The third special collectible is the Video Game Hero Coin, hidden by Cranky himself. You'll have to hunt high and low to find all of the Bonus Barrels and Hero Coins, and collecting all of them gets you 102% on your game file.

An assortment of enemies await you in almost every level. They are expertly placed and all have their own role in attempting to put a stop to the Kongs. Many of them can be dispatched with a jump to their skull, but others may only be vulnerable to a frontal blow, while others still can only be silenced from a chucked barrel. You'll also find that some foes are completely invincible. Rare certainly did a great job on the enemies. but what about the bosses? Well, they don't shine like the rest of the game does, unfortunately. Still, they are a small part of the game in the grand scheme of things, so it is a forgivable blunder.

DKC2 continues to provide the revolutionary graphics that the original DKC was known for. The rendered character models look fantastic, as do the enemy models. The levels are also a graphical highlight. Take the honey themed levels, for instance. While exploring them, you may notice faint streaks of honey at the forefront of the screen, gradually sliding off the screen. An amazing effect. Another worthy example would be in the Ghostly Grove level, where one can see rays of light shining periodically in the background. A very cool touch that helps set the mood for that level.

Rare really outdid themselves with DKC2's soundtrack. Never have I played a game with such consistently wonderful tracks, one right after another. Each level theme is accompanied by a musical theme, and those themes, along with the graphics, set the mood for the level perfectly. There's some very atmospheric tunes, and there's also some driving tracks, which push the player along. These spectacular tracks are some of the best on the SNES, and on any game system in general.

DKC2, unsurprisingly, has just the right amount of challenge to it. The levels will never make you rage or anything like that. Instead, they'll keep you coming back and trying again if there's a level that's giving you trouble. All of the challenge stems from the perfectly-designed levels, and not from anything else.

It should not take long to play through DKC2, but it might take you a while longer to acquire all of the Kremkoins and Hero Coins, provided that you don't use a guide. Once you have that attractive 102% on your game file, you'll simply play this game again from time to time to play through your favorite levels all over again.

Donkey Kong Country 2 is one of the best platformers for any system, and one of the best games as well. It's blend of awe-inspiring level design, revolutionary graphics, spectacular music, and perfect challenge should satisfy any gamer. If you've never played it, then I highly recommend getting this as soon as you can. Donkey Kong Country 2 is a game that everyone owes to themselves to play at least once.

Reviewer's Score: 10/10, Originally Posted: 08/07/09, Updated 09/30/09

Game Release: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (US, December 1995)

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This title was first added on 10th February 2008
This title was most recently updated on 29th March 2012

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