Game of the Week: Donkey Kong Country 3
I really do enjoy the Donkey Kong Country games, I was lucky to get the first for Christmas 94, but when the third game in the franchise came out it was around 1996. Nintendo had made it big news that the Ultra 64 (before the name change) would be coming out soon. As such many like me was holding out waiting for the next generation console and also Mortal Kombat was absolutely massive at this point, most notably Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
So even though I knew DK3 was coming out it was a game I was willing to let it slip past me. When emulators came on the sene I made sure I didn’t let this game slip me by for any longer. For this article I have been playing this on my Retropie.
As soon as the game begins and the intro is over you are thrown into the games over world as per The DK franchise tradition. However this time the map has been changed around a little, you can now move around certain areas (such as open water) freely.
This leads to more areas for you to explore and discover those illusive secrets. As you progress through the game and unlock the hovercraft you can then explore even further to areas which would have been not been possible to pass before. In these new areas pressing the same button as you would to enter a level will open these secrets. So far through the game I’ve found quite a few banana birds. The game does mention these are supposed to be rare and worth getting them.
As per Rares extremely high standards for game design it comes of no surprise that the games graphics are some of the best you will see on the console. Using a 3D sprite on a 2D plain gives the characters literally more character and more detail. This was a great selling point as before the DK games we never had seen anything like this before. The closest game for high fidelity graphics was Starwing (Starfox for my American readers) which could offer high fidelity graphics. The only other place you would see such graphics were either on the next-gen consoles or within an Arcade.
In terms of the gameplay you can definitely tell Rare decided to mix things up a little in this, for in this instance you have a new character taking the place of what would be the “Donkey Kong” character called Kiddy Kong and also the extra number of animal levels. On the previous games the levels where you got to control animals such as Rambi the Rhino and Enguarde the Swordfish were some of the best levels in the game, but they were few and far between. In this instalment that is definitely not the case, by 20 levels in you would have already played more animal levels than there were in the first DK game, so a good move on their part.
However with all this said about the graphics being great, a new unique set of levels I can’t but help feel this game is very samey to the others. It’s definitely a challenge for a franchise after you go so far that it becomes difficult to think up new and inventive ideas. Baring in mind that the SNES did have limited capability, on the flip side it would be fair to say this is probably the most they could do on this console and wanting to implement any more grand features would require the hardware to back it up.
This game is definitely great game but I can’t call it a classic like the original Donkey Kong Country was.