Product Type: Nintendo Gameboy Advance games
Newest Review: ... NES Classics Series, is that the core game is fun but not worth the original retail price. If you ask me Nintendo should have released the... more
More fun than a barrel of monkeys?
Classic NES Series: Donkey Kong (GBA)
Member Name: Dentolux
Classic NES Series: Donkey Kong (GBA)
Advantages: Accurate port of the NES version that you can play on the go, old school platform fun
Disadvantages: Annoying walking sound effects, missing a level from the arcade version, pricey for a short game
Classic NES Series: Donkey Kong is a GBA port of the vintage arcade platformer that originally appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in the eighties. It was a huge hit back in the day which is no surprise as it was created by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto (the genius behind Mario, Zelda, Starfox and F-Zero.) These days Donkey Kong, the game's title character, is one of Nintendo's most popular gaming heroes but in this outing the giant ape is the villain of the piece who has to be thwarted by Jumpman (who these days is better known as Mario.) Gripes who would have known that primate bashing is part of a plumber's job description.
There's no cut scenes in this game, but judging from the action you can extrapolate that a gorilla named Donkey Kong is running amok. Just like human males, it seems like apes have a thing for pretty girls. Kong has snatched Pauline (who shares more than a passing resemblance to Princess Peach) and it is up to Mario to rescue her by overcoming three levels which tests the player's platforming skills. An ape named Kong snatching a damsel sounds like a King Kong rip off so I wasn't shocked to learn that Universal Studios sued Nintendo over this game. Unfortunately for the film maker that court case didn't go too well as Universal themselves have previously argued that King Kong was a public domain character. My what a waste of legal fees.
In terms of graphics and sonics this appears to be a perfect port of the NES original. Everything is left untouched which, given the price of an average Gameboy Advance cartridge, is a disappointment. By all means include the NES version of the game, but why not also offer a modern translation with improved visuals and audio like other remakes do? As far as retro games go the graphics are decent although not up to the standard of NES releases that appeared later in the console's life. My only complaint is the solid black background that makes the levels feel rather gloomy. Donkey Kong is bare bones when it comes to music and sound effects. The noise that Mario's squeaky shoes make whenever he takes a step is what most gamers will remember. It's loud, annoying and a poor choice of footwear for anyone trying to sneak up on a gal abducting monkey.
The objective of the first two levels is to climb up to the top platform where Pauline is being held against her will (women don't seem to like being groped by hairy guys.) The opening stage is fairly easy and has Mario using ladders to ascend the scaffolding Donkey Kong has planted himself on. Some precise jumping is required to leap over the barrels Kong throws down and you have to act fast as a living fireball (complete with cartoon eyes) is "hot" on your heels. In a worse case scenario you can grab Mario's trusty mallet to smash the barrels, but be aware that whilst wielding the weapon you cannot jump or go up the ladders.
Stage two was the toughest one in the game in my opinion. Donkey Kong has given up on barrels and now spends his time hurling bouncing trampolines which are trickier to avoid. The level also features elevators which can be a pain to traverse. When jumping across Mario has a nasty habit of dying if the moving platform he lands on is positioned slightly lower than the area he is jumping off. Thankfully that issue was rectified in future Mario games. I cannot imagine that his career as a platform game superstar would have taken off had he continued to perish whenever toppling from a height of two inches.
At last we reach the final level were Donkey Kong gets taught a lesson. To triumph Mario has to walk over a number of yellow blocks that are holding up the platform Donkey Kong is on. Stepping over a block makes it vanish and once all the blocks are gone the structure collapses which results in Kong plummeting down to the ground head first. Mario then gets to reunite with Pauline for a quickie before the game loops back to the first level. Not too taxing as far as final levels go. I think most players can finish it on their first go providing that they don't get surrounded by the fiery enemies that patrol the area.
Donkey Kong is fun whilst it lasts, but unfortunately it doesn't last long. You may need a few tries to overcome level two, but once you master it you can complete the whole adventure in a few minutes. This is a short game that is inexplicably missing a level from the arcade version. If you consider the size of other NES titles I am not sure why they had to cut a level from this version of the game. My assessment of Donkey Kong, as with most of the NES Classics Series, is that the core game is fun but not worth the original retail price. If you ask me Nintendo should have released the NES Classics Series as a collection on one cartridge to make it more worthwhile. Do they really expect me to pay full price for a short monkey themed platformer? They must be bananas.
Summary: Full price for a game that only lasts a few minutes? In the words of Mario.... MAMA MIA!
More reviews in the field of Gameboy Advance Game
- Makes Farming Surprisingly Fun
- Here is the best RPG on the Gameboy Advance.
- Finally a politician who is tough on crime
- Escape from the ghosts with a taste for cheese
- Lost its spark a little, but still fun.
- WW2 for your GBA
- A SNES classic in handheld form
- Milking spiderman
- Cute game - shame about the glitches
- Astro Boy: Omega Factor (GBA)
- Dora the Explorer: Superstar Adventures (GBA)
- Finding Nemo + The Incredibles (GBA)
- Sonic Advance + Pinball Double Pack (GBA)
- Pac-Man World (GBA)
- Defender of the Crown (GBA)
- Lufia: The Ruins of Lore (GBA)
- World Poker Tour 2K6 (GBA)
- Classic NES Series: Bomberman (GBA)
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (GBA)