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Donkey Kong ('94) (Nintendo Game Boy) Review
Review by 
9.14/10 from 41 user ratings
Donkey Kong '94? A remake of the popular arcade game, you say? Well yes...for the first four levels, but Donkey Kong '94 game goes far deeper than the original. I can't praise this Game Boy enough.

Note: the eShop version is not in color, and Pauline really does scream.

The story is pretty simple: Donkey Kong kidnaps Pauline, and it's up to Mario to rescue her. After conquering the first four levels, which are all straight out of the original, and rescuing Pauline, Donkey Kong comes to and steals Pauline again. Mario must make his way through 96 more levels (and one big boss fight) to rescue her.

As far as gameplay goes, it's rock solid. It's a standard platformer in the traditional sense. More left and right, climb ladders or vines and jump around to try and find the key in each stage. Once you to, head back to the locked door and head to the next level. As you progress throughout the game, the stages ramp up in challenge, but never get too difficult for you to figure out the solution. Also, be on the lookout for Pauline's hat, purse, and parasol. If you collect all three, you go to a bonus round upon completing the stage with the chance to earn extra lives.

DK94 has nine worlds. Each world is broken up into several stages, and every fourth level is another "fight" with Donkey Kong. Some just require you to get to Pauline, while others require you to hit Donkey Kong with three barrels (or whatever you have at your disposal). If you're victorious, you get the chance to save your game.

Typical gameplaqy screen. Later levels get much larger.

Mario controls pretty well. Move with the control pad and jump with A. Actions are primarily performed with B, such as pulling levers, grabbing keys/enemies/barrels, and tossing your hammer up in the air. Mario can also flip around on a wire to jump to higher heights, triple jump, backflip and do handstands.

Graphically, DK94 looks good. There's no slowdown and everything is crystal clear. I'm basing this review on the eShop version, so I can't comment on the Super Game Boy's enhancements (though I wish the option were there).

The music and sound effects are also spot-on. I appreciate the effort Nintendo put into them sounding retro while freshening them up. Pauline's screams are a nice touch, though they do get slightly annoying at times.

Overall, you're in for a treat if you're playing this for the first time (like I was). I highly recommend this title, especially for $3.99.

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Posted: 06/22/11, 19:38:22  - Edited by 
 on: 06/22/11, 23:08:15    
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I'll definitely get this once I get a 3DS. This was one of my most played games on the gameboy. Great write-up!

Oh yeah, and my mom's name is Pauline. :P

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 19:55:43
Definitely one of the best Gameboy games from back in the day. Perfect for pick-up-and-play. I'd actually download this if I didn't have the cartridge sitting on my game shelf, ready to be plugged into my GBA SP+ at any given moment.

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 20:19:47

You show-off. :p

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 20:41:33
@GameDadGrant Same here, though I'm tempted to buy it anyway (like I did Zelda and Mario Land).

Great review!

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 20:54:38
I'm getting more and more into it now, definitely worth the $4. It's like a super tight packed example of pure gameplay goodness.

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 21:00:10
First I need to start earning some money. Paying my last Gamefly fee has left me broke.

Man, now that's 3 games on the 3DS virtual console I want. You can probably guess the other two.

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 21:07:19

Arkanoid and Radar Mission?

I have to warn you, Radar Mission doesn't have the multiplayer enabled.

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 21:12:16
@GuillaumeSuper Mario Land and Link's Awakening. But good guess, though.

I know absolutely nothing about Radar Mission though.

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 21:15:22
I bought this too, great game! (great nostalgia too, but it still holds up)

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 21:30:04
This is an outstanding game all-around. Those of you who enjoy Nintendo's ultra-tight level design of the 90's need to buy it immediately!

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 23:00:10
Good game. I also wish that the Virtual Handheld supported Super Game Boy. Why have you forsaken the Super Game Boy, Nintendo?! Don't make me hook my SNES back up!

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 23:54:17
If you play it on the SUPER Game Boy, Pauline actually screams, "HELP! HELP!" In English. Too bad that version isn't downloadable.

Amazing little game though. Great review.

Posted by 
 on: 06/22/11, 23:59:05
One of the best games ever made, as far as I'm concerned. Great review!

Posted by 
 on: 06/23/11, 00:33:44
I still own the cart....I dunno if I can get through the whole game again or not(wondering if I ever finished it) game was HARD! Some insane difficulty on many levels... like hair pulling

Posted by 
 on: 06/23/11, 02:46:32
When did you last play it? It's never really frustrating, it's just at the perfect balance to make it fun.

Maybe you have grown as a gamer since you last played.

Posted by 
 on: 06/23/11, 03:47:43

I'd never played it, but it wasn't THAT hard. Sure I had to think about a few levels, but I never got stuck for more than a few minutes on any of them.

Posted by 
 on: 06/23/11, 16:14:26
This game was such a pleasant surprise for me... I didn't even know it existed and it's one of the best Gameboy games I've played.

Posted by 
 on: 06/23/11, 21:21:59
I knew that it existed and heard it praised over the years but man, I never expected it to be so awesome! It's like... a Mario level platformer, but Donkey Kong! I'm at the glacier world right now.

Posted by 
 on: 06/23/11, 21:46:50  - Edited by 
 on: 06/23/11, 21:47:19

Posted by 
 on: 06/23/11, 23:25:00
'suuup. Did you get a 3DS?

Posted by 
 on: 06/23/11, 23:32:42
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