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I picked this up on a whim some time ago on 3DS and I decided to try it out. I'm really getting hooked into this one. It's much more atmospheric than the DKCR games are and the platforming is more contemplative, it's honestly quite nice.
Still, at the time, it was pretty awesome. Those graphics were unreal on the SNES. Going back to them now it's like... ew... have not passed the test of time (while something like Yoshi's Island has) but back then there was nothing like that. Soundtrack too, so awesome.
So, how I came to get DKC. Basically, during a Thanksgiving football game my probably 250ish pound uncle tackled skinny little 135ish pound me and broke my collar bone. My aunt felt bad and offered to buy me a video game to make up for it. I first picked World Heroes 2 because I loved it in the arcades, but honestly... it was probably just a mediocre Street Fighter II clone that I would have gotten bored of fast. So my aunt bought it, but then she called me up and awkwardly explained that she returned it because there was a woman in skimpy clothes on the box.
This is the cover...
I dunno, maybe on the back somewhere? Unless it is that woman in armor but she is barely showing her clavicle.
Whatever the case, I had to pick a new game, so I picked Donkey Kong Country, which was almost certainly the better choice there.
The moral of my story is: Sometimes the religious right are actually correct.
@Zero I think the graphics have aged just fine, but maybe my tolerance for pre-rendered 3D models used as 2D art is unusually high. I mean, these days I think a game like Resident Evil 3 looks better than Code Veronica, largely thanks to the pre-rendered backgrounds. Yoshi's Island does look better these days though, I agree.
Anyway, I like DKC more than the sequel for a few reasons, but I think the main thing for me is the general...grittiness, maybe, of DKC2. Not sure grittiness is the right word here, but I'm basically feeling that the original game had better variety in its world designs. The second game consists of a nice little ship themed world and after that dark lava caves, dark swamps, dark amusement park, dark forest and a dark castle. The individual worlds are fine, but it all feels so similar to me. DKC has a couple of dark cave based worlds, but also features a vibrant jungle, a lush forest and a snowy glacier for contrast. Gameplay variation is there in DKC2, but it all sorts of blends together for me anyway because of the world themes.
I think your aunt had a problem with Captain Kidd's scantily clad chest. Or the fact that he seems to be fisting a small shark. That's the kind of thing that turns kids gay you know.
When I first played it soon after it originally came out, I also thought the ship world was terrible. Didn't get very far into the game.
Checking it out on VC, I pushed past that part, and I thought it really picked up. Level design seemed to make more sense, there were fewer instances of Earthworm Jim-esque "where does this platform end exactly?", the flying levels with the parrot were difficult and fun (with great music), and that spider is just one of the most fun animal buddies to use in this series.
Over time I have come to prefer the level design and soundtrack of DKC2 over 1, but I still think the original is incredibly good and holds up fantastically. It also has a much better first world than DKC2.
@r_hjort How do you feel about DKC3 then, which I found myself to have the most diverse worlds out of the three games.
Still, at the time, it was pretty awesome. Those graphics were unreal on the SNES.
Yeah I remember being pretty damn impressed too.
I still remember that day vividly. Christmas morning, it was pissing down rain, and we'd just arrived at my aunt's for the big family lunch and my cousin dragged us into her bedroom to show off her shiny new SNES game. Riding Rambi, finding the secret caves (reading the hilarious manual)...I was blown away. Then after maybe 30-60 mins of play time, it was decided that Christmas lunch was being moved to my grandmother's. I don't remember why. But it meant we could no longer play. The horror! Then when my cousins arrived behind us, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they'd brought the SNES with them. I became the first one to beat the second level of the game after hours of failure. (we were young, we sucked ) then we got stuck on the first water level. Good times.
@Pokefreak911 That's the one DKC game I haven't played all that much. I've basically just played the first world, but I liked that a lot, at least in terms of its visual design. Don't remember all that much of the level designs in terms of gameplay, but I've got the game on Wii VC, so maybe I should start that up someday and have a look.
I should probably say that I don't think DKC2 is a bad game or anything, it's just that I prefer DKC for the most part.
In a way, I think DKC2's first world works great because it really does pick up immediately after the original game, it would seem. Or at least, in terms of theme it does. It's not as rockin' as the first game with the jungle music, but the game in general is just darker. I think DKC is amazing but kind of slows down a bit with the mines and the forest and all that.
2 > 3 > 1 for me, but I love all of them. I'm not a huge fan of how cryptically some of the DKC1 bonus rooms are hidden though. I mean there's one bonus room that you can only access from inside another bonus room! And it's late in the game when it would be difficult to replay the level to get back to that first bonus room.
I mean if you're just playing to complete the game, DKC1 rates higher for me (though still below 3), but if you're going for the full completion (which I find myself doing every time I replay these games), DKC1 hits a sore spot for me.
It's kinda crazy to me how many times I've bought this game. I got it for Christmas the year it came out, but I've rebought it on every Virtual Console platform it landed on, as well as both the Game Boy Color port and the Game Boy Advance port. Did they put the GBA version on Wii U Virtual Console? If so, I may have to buy that as well....but man that's some crazy inception/down the rabbit hole way of playing a ROM of a handheld port of a console game on an entirely different console, haha.