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Donkey Kong Land Review

Ahhh! Back to the real classics of my childhood.

Donkey Kong Land is a platformer in which you take control of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Storyline is pretty much non-existant but the gameplay makes up for the lack of it very well.

The first thing that’s going to blow your mind is the yellow game pack. That’s right! You can even see it advertised on the box: “Banana Yellow Game Pak included!”… WOW ahah. I still think it’s pretty cool!

Look how cool it is:

The game has 4 different worlds to play in, much like the newer mario games on the NES and SNES. You go around the map and at the end of each world there’s a mini boss. The only boss I found semi-challenging was the last. Let’s just say that the bosses aren’t really the hardest part of the game.

The hardest part of the game is trying NOT to throw the banana yellow cartridge into the sea (I played it on the beach on my holidays) out of sheer frustration and anger. The game gives you 5 lives (hearts) and pretty much like Mario you can be “touched” by enemies twice before you die. This is if you collect the Donkey Kong barrel in the level. When you do collect it, if you die, Donkey Kong gets replaced by Diddy Kong and you can carry on playing without losing a heart.

Even if you do lose all your hearts, you will continue from the last level you were on. The game pretty much gives you infinite lives.

Donkey Kong Land has a good, but rather annoying, way of saving. On each level there are 4 letters to find: K O N and G. If you find all of them, the game will let you save your state. Most of the letters are easy to find, but sometimes you won’t find a certain letter for a few levels just to add to your frustration.

The graphics are really impressive considering it’s a gameboy game but they can be a little glitchy (maybe it was just my cart), meaning it will sometimes flicker enemies or Donkey Kong. Sometimes I think they tried to overdo it and put too much stuff on the screen making it hard to understand what’s going on.

That coin gives you a heart..Can you see donkey Kong between the clutter?:

Ah the enemies!!! You will find jumping crocodiles, huge rats, stone-spitting hawks, snakes flowing down poles, snakes crawling on the floor, and barrels. Wait WHAT? Barrels… wasn’t that the trademark weapon for Donkey Kong in his first appearance? WHY OH WHY would they hurt you in this game then??? God knows… Let’s just say I found out they could kill you the hard way. I then laughed…and after that I cried. Anyway you can kill enemies just like in Mario by jumping on them or by making a cartwheel by pressing B. Judging the distance of the cartwheel was pretty bad for me so I never used it. Jumping on enemies will be your most useful attack.

Did I mention how frustrating the game is? The game requires you to make precision jumps, predict that an enemy will appear after that jump, and then jump again over a barrel, then a rat appears and a crocodile jumps in your face. Not to mention the underwater levels where anything you touch rapes your face.

The game is very trial and error and dying is going to become the only thing you’re good at in Donkey Kong Land.

Underwater tentacle rape:

There are bonus levels which are reachable via cannon-like barrels. They shoot you to another area where you can ride a Rhino (kills anything in its path) and also an Ostrich sometimes (it can double-jump and glide), to gain more bananas (Donkey Kong’s version of Mario coins). Every 100 bananas you get a heart (not that you need it).

Nonetheless, this game was very enjoyable and entertaining. The gameplay is good and it wants to keep you stuck on your gameboy until you finish it. The lack of story is a bit of a deal breaker but maybe it’s just me craving for some Donkey Kong backstory.

All I can say is…that I’ll be waiting a while for my next adventure on Donkey Kong Land 2… Let my frustration cool off before.

Riqz’s score: 8/10

  1. September 6, 2010 at 18:15

    J’avais un donkey kong dans le tout début des années 1980… Je ne te raconte pas le collector.

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