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.
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.