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DK64. One of the more divisive games in Nintendo's(/Rare's) catalog. But was it always so? Or has it just become the cool thing to hate? How will historians ultimately look back on Lanky, Funky, and the rest?
Well, we shall soon find out!
My guess is that public opinion will swing back to the positive side when DK64 hits the Virtual Console. Because it really isn't a bad game at all. The presentation is nice, it's mechanically solid, and it's chock full of content (including two awesome classic games). I always felt that the 'collectathon' complaint was rather overblown. It might be a bit bloated, but the bananas exist primarily to route each character through each level in a different way. They're not really hidden away, or anything. I get that talking about FIVE HUNDRED bananas in each level makes for a funny bit, but I don't understand why people so resent having to platform in a platform game. (Go home, content tourists! Donkey Kong 64 isn't for you.)
The multiplayer was SO WEIRD, too. I remember it being fun, but broken. Like, in the FPS mode, if you just jumped in the water, it was almost impossible to be attacked. And wasn't there a Smash Bros.-y type mode? Top-down, maybe?
Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how DK64 is received the second time around, especially now that 3D platformers are less ubiquitous (and quite fondly remembered). Honestly, I'm not even sure if my opinion will remain the same. But I think DK64 has a chance to turn things around.
Really, it all depends on how the tastemakers react when they revisit the game. Your move, Jeremy Parish. Your move.
I always liked DK64 quite a bit. Sure, it's essentially Banjo Kong with more collectibles than any physician would recommend, but I enjoyed running around trying to find every last little bit. There was this comedy radio show that would broadcast for three hours ever friday night, and I often spent that time chasing down bananas and coins in DK64 while listening. Maybe that's why I liked it so much, 'cause my mind was in a different place. Well, that and the fact that I'm a sucker for collecting pointless crap in cutesy videogames.
Hmmm...to buy or not to buy? I do want to experience the many N64 platformers I never got to try as a kid, but I'm also afraid they'll pale in comparison to Super Mario 64 and just be disappointing to me.
@nate38 DK64 is far from Super Mario 64 quality if you ask me, but like the Banjo games they do the whole 3D platforming collectathon a little bit differently, so perhaps you won't find yourself comparing them directly all that much.
I've never played Banjo Kazooie, and I've never played this either, and I'm looking forward to. I'll try to keep the idea that the bananas are really just character-specific bread crumbs. Should help me enjoy the game more for what it is.
Exploration for the sake of it is discouraged, then? Follow the trail, don't deviate too much?
@Guillaume I haven't played DK64 a whole lot in a few years, but from what I remember it doesn't discourage exploration; There are nooks and crannies with hidden objects to find and so on, but the small bananas tend to placed in such a way that they guide you through the general areas of the respective levels. But this is just the way I remember it, I might be wrong.
@nate38@r_hjort I agree that BK and DK64 feel substantially different from Super Mario 64 to me. I'm not even sure why, really. But I was never interested in comparing them.
That said, a good orange is totally better than a good apple. (Certain breeds of apples are more consistent, though.)
@Pokefreak911 Oh, I think it's unequivocally better than Tooie. Tooie is kind of a mess.
@ludist210 Whaaat? Did they improve the framerate? Or were you saying that because it's on Youtube?
I discovered when starting this topic that the entire Negative World game description for DK64 is just the lyrics of the Donkey Kong Rap, verbatim. Pretty funny.
@Guillaume I'm surprised that you've never played them. Oh, wait. You didn't have an N64, right?
I don't think that exploration is necessarily discouraged. Getting 100 bananas, something of a character-specific obstacle course through each level, is its own task. Each level has other tasks, as well.
I dunno. I don't want to oversell it or be too specific, since I'm going off of... sixteen old memories? Jesus Christ.
Just try it out with an open mind. The game definitely isn't the abomination that it's sometimes made out to be.
@Anand I'd say part of why Rare's games feel different is that they don't make you choose one 'mission' before entering a level, but instead always have all of the main collectibles available at the same time, so that you can go screw around in the level a bit more freely. Not sure if it's necessarily a matter of freedom, but I can't really come up with a better way to put it.
DK64 also has the different characters with the different abilities letting you explore the environments in different ways depending on who you play as, and then you've got the pads you step on to activate certain powers and all that. Mario has a few power-ups as well, but most of the time you're going around trying to master the moves he comes with out of the box.
I'm sorry. I wish I had known it was one of those more "adventure" focused platformers, with zany sounds and zany music and zany camera angles during tedious cutscenes. Reminds me of Crash Bandicoot or Rayman 2. Which is not a good thing.
I think I can't stand platformers of that era. I managed to enjoy Spyro in spite of it also having that stuff, but that's about it.
I don't see how I would have known. The only thing people ever mention is that it's a collectathon. I guess no one who actually grew up playing these games see them the way I do. That's the way games were, to them.
Mario 64 isn't like this, though. It doesn't spend minutes being "funny" and zany. The camera work in that first DK64 cutscene is just ridiculous, weaving this way and that, zooming in, zooming out without rhyme or reason. And there's a zany chime every door you enter or exit. It's really weird and off-putting to me.