"To be fair, I only played DKC3 because I wanted to complete the trilogy. Itís quite ironic that I actually had the nerve to pick up this one, considering how unimpressive I found the previous title. However, after I played through the first nonchalant levels of DKC3 and had same impressions that I had last time around but as I delved deeper into its offerings, I found DKC3 to be a quirky platform game that surpassed its younger brother by taking the good of DKC2. They then reinforced that wi..."
To be fair, I only played DKC3 because I wanted to complete the trilogy. Itís quite ironic that I actually had the nerve to pick up this one, considering how unimpressive I found the previous title. However, after I played through the first nonchalant levels of DKC3 and had same impressions that I had last time around but as I delved deeper into its offerings, I found DKC3 to be a quirky platform game that surpassed its younger brother by taking the good of DKC2. They then reinforced that with some old ideas that were left behind in the original and some brand new concepts that made it stand out from the family. However, it brought a handful of new errors to the table when attempting to correct old ones.
My apparent want to play as Donkey Kong was robbed viciously from me by Rare, the developers of this now acclaimed series. Instead of playing as the gameís namesake, I was stuck with the long haired Dixie Kong, who was the co-star of the previous outing, and a new addition to the Kong clan, Kiddy. Apparently, King K. Rool has finally achieved the PHD that heís been working for and has changed his name to Dr. King Roolenstein (Feh, what an ego!). Heís also pulled of the biggest masterstroke of all time, kidnapping not only Donkey Kong (for the second time, Jesus Christ!) and his little buddy, Diddy, who had suffered from brief depression after his ďblockbuster adventureĒ (child stars, eh?) Therefore, this leaves Dixie and her cousin, Kiddy, to go out on a rather enjoyable and memorable adventure to bring the boys back home.
This time around, we actually have two characters that have more differences with each other when they play together. Dixie Kong can use her hair to smack enemies with and can use it to hover down from large drops by spinning her long ponytail around rapidly, ala Tails from Sonic 2. Kiddy Kong balances the team out by being the stronger and heavier of the two, and is able to perform some tasks that require a little more power, such as busting through a trapdoor or defeating a large enemy that Dixie canít handle (like the Donkey-Diddy weight difference in the original.) Kiddy can also pull off an awesome new move that allows him to skim over small pools of water by rolling, which saves a lot of time swimming through troubled waters. You can also perform a double team move where you can pick up each your partner and hurl them at enemies, which is more interesting due to the weight difference with Kiddy having a better throw than Dixie.
DKC3 throws a ton of rather average levels at you; some are merely standard platform romps where you do your normal DKC style of platforming. Jumping onto the head of the nearest enemy, busting barrels, riding animals and collecting K-O-N-G letters to get lives are the backbone of the game. Itís all pretty standard and inoffensive stuff but Rare will tease you by throwing in a rather creative, yet ultimately frustrating level here and there. One sees you in the middle of a thunderstorm, dodging bolts of lightning as they plunge from the sky and another sees our furry friends in a mind-altering sea of goop that irritatingly switches the d-padís controls around which, as you can imagine, is incredibly painful to play. However, Rare makes up for this by creating some action packed stages such as a gripping chase up a tree by an enormous saw and a speeding race through an underground tunnel on a rail-cart that allows you to use upper and lower rails to avoid a rather nasty shortcoming.
The collections of animal assists have been slightly altered, removing a few key faces, retaining some poor ones and adding a handful of rather bland new characters. The most surprising omission is Rambi, one of DKCís popular assists, who is replaced by Ellie, a rather innocent looking baby elephant. However, her ability to shoot water from her trunk can be rather handy, despite the fact that she almost drops a load every time she comes across a mouse, which can be frequent in some levels. Thankfully, the omission of that awful snake from DKC2 was a blessing but the keeping of Squitter the Spider, the most annoying creation since organised religion, is an unforgivable mistake. Moving him and using his webs to make bridges is as fun as drinking vinegar after your teeth have been ripped out with pliers. We also have the wasteful inclusion of Parry, a bird that flies at the top of the screen to collect items that are too high for the Kongs to reach. Thank God that the brilliance of Squawk the parrot, who allows you to fly, and Enguarde the Swordfish, who is an essential tool for underwater exploration, remain untouched.
All of the DKC games have a habit of having lame bosses, aside from usually interesting final duel with K. Rool. DKC3 follows this trend rather well, handing us some tedious and boring duels with some uninspired creatures. Your first boss encounter features an oversized barrel that you must feed. If you ram enough smaller barrels down his throat, heíll let out a disgusting belch, which ultimately forces him backwards into a pit thatís conveniently behind him. Then, you have to play as Ellie and fight a giant slug, which is so unbelievably easy for a boss that is almost halfway through the game. Using her ability to shoot out water with her trunk, you have to shoot the slug in the eyes and avoid the jets of water that he spews out at you. Thankfully, things pick up a bit when you play as Enguarde the swordfish and duel with Barbos, a giant sea urchin, which sees you stab the beast in the face with Enguardeís sharp nose. The battle with KAOS, a giant robot created by K. Rool, sees us in a rather interesting battle where you have to avoid the fire from his jets, climb up the spinning blades that rotate around his torso and jump on his head. Itís not too hard but itís a rather amusing and challenging fight, which deviates from the norm of boring and generic boss encounters.
On your quest, youíll meet up with the Brothers Bear, a group of bears that are scattered throughout the world. These bears will give you a variety of information or they may ask you to perform certain tasks for them. The majority of these tasks include picking up an item from one bear to give to another bear in a different area. Sometimes, they will give you items that you use to help upgrade a boat that you can use to access different areas of the map. Funky Kong, a character you may remember from the previous games, runs a boat shop and offers you a small selection of boats that you use to go through previously locked areas that some boats cannot access. The boats are incredibly handy to use and can help you sail to hidden beaches and caves that allow you to collect the mysterious rarities known as Banana Birds. You can catch them by playing a rather simple memory game where you must playback a tune that are played to you on a series of rocks, which can be played by a simple button press.
At first glance, youíll notice that everything looks a lot bigger and chunkier than what it did before, which creates a rather childish look which wasnít as evident in the previous titles. Many classic DKC enemies have been altered a lot and transformed from menacing monsters to rather goofy looking idiots. Although, Dixie Kong appears look exactly as she did last time as does K. Rool (apart from his costume change,) the alteration of formerly cool characters into dweebish wannabes is quite annoying. However, the classic DKC 3-D rendering is more advanced than when it first originated and most of the sprites look quite vivid, despite their dumb appearance.
Donkey Kong Country 3 was a mixed bag; it added some new concepts that differed from the previous games. The inclusion of the boats, Banana Birds and Brothers Bear made the game an enjoyable romp, which played a lot differently than what we were familiar with. However, the poor animal assists, rather generic bosses and the flawed innovation in the levels really get your blood boiling. For those who enjoyed the original titles, you may dislike DKC3 for way it differs completely from the others. However, those who are new to the series or just donít care will probably find DKC3 a quirky platform game that will eat up a few hours of your life.
Community review by goldenvortex (January 04, 2006)
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