GBA REVIEW: DONKEY KONG COUNTRY 3

Spend a few bananas on this gaming trip down memory lane. by Cole Smith

February 16, 2006 - Despite the addition of some new levels and a new character, Donkey Kong Country 3 is basically the same game that was released on the Super Nintendo 10-years ago, if not a tad more inferior.

There's nothing wrong with a solid, 2D platformer and Donkey Kong Country 3 is certainly one of the best in the genre. But if you've played the Super Nintendo version I can't think of a good reason why you would spend your money on this GBA version when there are so many great games available at this time of year. In my opinion this is a good recreation but if you can get your hands on the Super Nintendo version and enjoy this on a bigger screen you'll increase your enjoyment of it a hundred-fold.

The Kremlins have captured Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, that's why you won't see them in the game until the very end. Dixie Kong is set to rescue the boys with her companion and latest addition to the Kong family, Kiddie Kong. Although they both have some new moves the gameplay retains the same simple structure of jumping on platforms and collecting bananas while avoiding environmental hazards and foiling enemies.

Dixie can use her ponytail to whiplash enemies while Kiddie possesses more overall strength and is perfect for launching barrels. Some new features include the use of water skis and helicopters. Mini-games in the form of races will allow you to win extra money which you can use to unlock goodies. There are always more than a few incentives to keep you motivated in completing a level.

A new twist in the gameplay is actually finding the path to the next level. The gameplay is totally linear but I guess the developers thought this would add some illusion of freedom. It does get confusing since you don't know where to go and I don't think this kind of arbitrary guesswork fits in with the context of the gameplay. It's a cheap way to add what might be called a puzzle element. I just call it annoying.

Nothing has been changed in regards to the control system. Hit a button and your character will respond quickly. The gameplay is challenging but it's also forgiving in that as long as you manage a relatively good leap you will land on virtually every platform that you aim for. Avoiding the various hazards while doing things such as climbing a vine or driving in your boat is the biggest challenge. You have a lot more control when you're just walking around, but that can get boring once you master the limited controls. Kudos to the developer for the gameplay variety.

This GBA version does not do the Super Nintendo version justice graphically. The backgrounds look fine but there isn't enough detail to the characters. The colors are exceptionally bright, maybe too much so making the game appear a little washed out. The tunes are diverse. There are enough of them to accompany each level so you don't get sick of hearing the same song or variations of it. The sound effects however don't vary. You'll hear the same stomping, swinging and banana collecting bling throughout the entire game.

Keep in mind that Donkey Kong Country 3 is a new game for the GBA but it's not really a "new" game. If you're planning on purchasing it for someone as a gift do them a favor and ask them if they've already played this game on the Super Nintendo. It may spoil the surprise but it's better than giving someone an "old" game.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Rating out of 5
Donkey Kong Country 3 (GBA)
4.0
Graphics
A tad pixelated here and there but pretty fine considering you're playing it on a handheld system.
4.5
Control
Plays as good as it did ten years ago.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Those catchy tunes are back.
3.5
Play Value
This lengthy quest will keep you occupado, even if you've played throught it before on the SNES.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
System: GBA
Dev: Rare
Pub: Nintendo
Release: Nov 2005
Players: 1
Review by Cole

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best