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Donkey Kong 64

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Reviewed by Child of Light Well, Donkey Kong has finally showed his face on the Nintendo 64, made by RARE, one of the best developers around. Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and 3 new friends are up against K Rool this time, collecting a lot of items on the way. Platform gaming with Donkey Kong that should out do his Super NES efforts. But is Donkey Kong 64 up to it? Read and find out...

Graphics: 85 out of 100

The graphics are great, the Rap song at the start shows the Kong's moving around dancing to the beat. The Kong's also keep their fluid and natural movements for the whole game. Kong runs, he goes faster, and bends over a little more. The levels are detailed, Jungle Japes (the first level) is all different shades of green with some very good rock textures, but the main hub world (Kong Isles) is a barren wasteland as it would seem. There is a huge rock with the shape of Donkey Kong's head taking up the space, there are a few rocks around the place, a few trees here and there, there is K Rool's big ship and some water, It could have been done better. The water in this game has been done well, when a Kong jumps into the water, a splash will take place (Note: While the water in this game looks good, it is not anywhere near as good as Wave Race 64). There is also no fog, the expansion pak probably made this so. When you approach a house of one of the characters who will sell you things, there will be some sort of icon representing it, then once you get closer, this little hut will appear. My opinion of this is that RARE got lazy and decided this would be a quick way out. One thing that drops the graphics score is the amount of glitches in this game. If you play around with Hunky Chunky, you may fall through stairs and walk through walls and stuff. Do things you were not supposed to do , it is quite horrible though and I think RARE should have cleaned that up a bit. Overall, good graphics spoiled by a huge amount of glitches.

Music and Sound: 90 out of 100

Well, the Kong rap may have some lousy lyrics "Put your hands together if you wanna clap, as we take you through this monkey rap." It sounds good though, there is voice, the voice continues into the intro movie where K Rool says a few words. Then the voice stops after that, either RARE run out of space on the cartridge or they just got lazy. The sound effects are good though, but can get increasingly annoying, like the Kong's constant grunting or Lanky's own "O-Blah". There are good sound effects like when a splash is made in the water, it sounds cool. (get, ugh never mind). The music is typical Donkey Kong style, only sounding better than the Super NES. You have your great Jungle music (If you want to know how crazy I truly am, I taped the music for the Jungle). The music really fits the mood for the game. Well, thats all I can say about sound..

Game Play-Fun: 50 out of 100

Now, the game play is your Banjo style, with the same button configurations. The control is easy to pick up, and the camera control is some of the best seen. Donkey Kong country was fast paced and skill based, but they seem to have lost the suspense and the need for extreme skill as the game is now completely boring, you just go around collecting 201 Gold Bananas for doing tasks. Some Bananas are easy to get, some are very very difficult and frustrating, and from this game I have almost slammed the controller into a wall. Then, you have more items to collect, some 3 thousand regular bananas, Battle crowns, Coins, Banana medals.. the list goes on. Then in one point of the game, you have to play the Donkey Kong Arcade game, with its incredible frustration and difficulty. AAAAGGGHHH. In some cases, the levels are just way too long, it is easy to get lost in them. Bosses are very hard and very frustrating, it just seems like, "pick up barrel, throw barrel at monster, it hits, he attacks, avoid attacks, he waits, you throw another barrel at him." Most of the bosses seem doubled up as well, they could have done a better job. Battle Arena's are just a round platform in which you have to stay alive from the onslaught of enemies from all sides. These range from too easy to frustratingly hard. Overall, boring repetitive game play.

Replayability: 70 out of 100

For those of you who can finish a game like this in 30 hours, then the replay value for you will be of course much lower, but it doesn't matter how long this will take you to finish, you will not want to go through this again.

Plot: 60 out of 100

Evil K Rool has taken the bananas and fellow Kong's, you must get them back and defeat K Rool, how touching, I think I have something in my eye.

Overall: 61 out of 100

This is a below average game play and is a step down from the Donkey Kong legacy, it is slow and boring and doesn't offer any suspense and the glitches in this game can ruin the whole experience. I feel I have justified giving this game a 6/10. It goes to show, Graphics don't make the game.

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