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Donkey Kong Jr. (NES) artwork

Donkey Kong Jr. (NES) review


"I remember playing Donkey Kong Jr. as a wee lad, and loving it. Looking back, I must have either really sucked at video games, had a very short term memory, or just been too naive to know any better. Maybe a combination of all three. "



I remember playing Donkey Kong Jr. as a wee lad, and loving it. Looking back, I must have either really sucked at video games, had a very short term memory, or just been too naive to know any better. Maybe a combination of all three.

In Donkey Kong Jr. you play as the infamous ape king's son in a battle to free him from the clutches of the evil Mario. That's actually a pretty deep twist, if you think about it. Take the hero from the last game and turn him into the expressed villain of the sequel. Also, if you know too much about video games, you'll know that the story doesn't end here, but that ol' Junior ends up becoming the title character of Donkey Kong Country a good ten or fourteen years down the home console road. Thus, this game establishes some heavy character personalities and relationships. It's a complex weave of psychological terraforming that plays out without a single bit of dialogue and involves characters who are limited to about three animations.

In short, the story of this game is simply amazing. Not until the Final Fantasy series would we see such brilliant writing again.

Down to gameplay. This being an arcade game, that's really all the title has to offer. As a concept, it's actually pretty good. Each level is essentially a platforming puzzle. You'll have to plan the perfect route to the top, and then you'll have to execute your plan with expert timing while struggling with sometimes unresponsive controls. It's like an arcade player's dream! You do this four times, and then you're done. Yes, gamers, rejoice! No longer do you have to contend with the extremely limited three level campaign that was the original Donkey Kong. No, Nintendo has heard your pleas and has graciously endowed this sequel with a mighty and infinitely enduring fourth level.

If during the course of this review, you've felt something wet splatter across your chest, don't worry... that's just sarcasm.

What scares me is that there are STILL people out there who play this game in competitions, playing against literally thousands of other players in order to obtain the highest score. I'm not sure what would be more deprecating to a person's character: being able to say that you are one of those insane players, or being able to produce ticket stubs to one of those events.

Rating: 2/10

zippdementia's avatar
Community review by zippdementia (November 10, 2008)

Zipp has spent most of his life standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox there. Sometimes he writes reviews and puts them in the mailbox.

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drella posted November 10, 2008:

"If during the course of this review, you've felt something wet splatter across your chest, don't worry... that's just sarcasm."

I'm sorry, but this is a really great line.
board icon
zippdementia posted November 10, 2008:

Thank you, thank you very much!

You've just turned a good night even better.

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