Last week my lil bro took a look at one of the defining games of our childhoods in the original Donkey Kong Country (check out his review here). And as we creep towards the release of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in just a few short days we here at 3GEM are continuing our look at the original Donkey Kong Country games with the 2nd of the (banana) bunch, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest.
In the gameplay department things stay pretty much the same from the original game, which is a very good thing. Donkey Kong Country was one of the SNES’ best playing platformers and Diddy’s Kong Quest only improved on the formula by giving both of the characters even more variety in their movesets. Diddy remains the faster of the duo and can jump while his girlfriend Dixie can use her ponytail to hover and reach hard to reach areas. The duo can also team up and launch eachother to high up alcoves. The game even added more Animal Buddies for the Kong’s to team up and gave each of them a special ability like Rambi’s charge or Squitter’s web platforms.
One area where DKC 2 (somehow) managed to improve upon its predecessor is in its presentation. The change of scenery from Donkey Kong Island to Crocodile Isle gave the series a surprisingly dark tone, where creepy enemies hide behind every corner (remember the haunted amusement park?). On top of that the soundtrack still stands as one of my favorites in all of gaming, with every song staying stuck in your head for hours.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest expanded upon the originals penchant for collectibles and helped made Rare famous for cramming every corner of their games with items. Bonus Coins, DK Coins, Banana Coins, KONG letters and a whole secret world are laid about for the Kong’s to find on their quest to save DK. Sure running through the game could be accomplished in a few hours but aiming for that coveted 102% completion can take days if you don’t know where things are hidden.
I’m calling it now, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest is my favorite game on the Super Nintendo (and I love a lot of games on that system). Everything from the tight gameplay to the incredible presentation and the amazing amount of value make this a game that everyone who calls themselves a “gamer” should dig out of their closet and play through.
Join us next Thursday when we take a look at the last game in the original trilogy; Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie’s Double Trouble.
This retro review is based on Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest which was originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System on November 25th 1995.