Author Topic: RR Week: Donkey Kong 64  (Read 3393 times)

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RR Week: Donkey Kong 64
« on: October 25, 2008, 12:20:46 PM »
If you visited #TrinityMUGEN regularly, you should have seen this one coming ages ago.

Intro: Following the great DKC2, and sort of decent DKC3 Donkey Kong fans expected the series voyage into 3d to be great. Well…

Gameplay: Donkey Kong 64 follows most 3D platformers at the time in being what could best be described as, "item collect-athon." While the Banjo series is probably the most well-known offender, DK64 is by far the worst. Let’s have some totals here, per a regular level in DK64 there are the following things to collect:
25 Golden Bananas
5 Banana Medals, of which at least 15 are needed to beat the game.
500 Character Specific Bananas used to get to boss battles
5 Blue Prints to trade for Golden Bananas*
1 Crown, of which at least 4 are needed to beat the game.
2 Banana Fairies, which you must photograph
Compare this list to the one in the Mario 64 review. In Mario 64, there’s a total of 115 items one must collect in each level for 100 % completion, counting the stars, red coins and the regular coins for those stars. Above there is a whopping 538 items per stage required for 100 % completion. Before you start saying BUT MAGNION DK64 HAS LESS AREAS THAN MARIO 64 OF COURSE THERE HAS TO BE MORE SHIT IN THEM, not counting the hub and final area, DK64 has 7 worlds; Mario 64 has 15 not counting its minor hidden areas and Bowser sections. Thus there should only be 15/7s times the amount of shit in Mario 64 stage in a DK64 one. If you do the math you will find out that is not the case.

This doesn’t even factor in all the various ammunition, film, coconuts and currency in the game or any special items required for certain golden bananas. Seriously character specific currency? That makes no ****ing sense. "OH HEY I’LL TEACH YOU THIS MOVE BUT ONLY IF YOU GIVE ME BLUE COLORED COINS WHICH FOR SOME INEXPLICABLE REASON ONLY YOU CAN PICK UP."

The game has five different characters which can each do certain tasks. However each only has about three techniques that are actually unique to them. Even then many puzzles in the game don’t use these powers they just use switches with that characters face on it, their instrument, or their ammunition type which seems arbitrary at best. The individual character abilities aren’t that much either and could be all given to one character in a platformer (like in Banjo-Kazooie).

For a platformer the game also suffers a noticeable lack of enemy variety, and the more unique ones are only used in a couple places. Klobber for instance is only in one area of the game, and loses all his original meaning due to the fact barrels are hardly in this game, and he now actually DAMAGES you making him more threatening than Kaboom as the latter dies after running into you. Even then most enemies die pretty easy, the only “hard” ones are the blue print guys, but the fact you can make them fall over kind of defeats that.

Whereas the level design of Mario 64 was “GET X AMOUNT OF SHIT TO GO TO NEXT LEVEL”, DK64 combines that with boss fights. While this is a step in the right direction by making the levels have SOME objective the way it is gone about is ham handed. In order to get to the boss fight you must run around the level and collect a bunch of colored bananas to feed to a pig so they can open the door to the boss. Also the game reuses two of its own bosses (to be fair both DKC and DKC2 did this as well). Also the first few bosses you fight are character specific and of those only Tiny’s and Chunky’s actually utilize that characters abilities in the fight; the others just seemed to be done in order to force you to use that character. The final boss does use some of the characters specific abilities, but at that point you’ll have likely stopped playing because of how boring the game is.

On the subject of the final boss, the game also decided it was cool to make you do two side quests to get two coins to open a door at the end of them game so you can get a key to fight the final boss. This is the kind of level design that should not be in a video game, ever.

Let’s also talk about the actual shit you do to get these golden bananas. By far in many cases you just end up doing similar puzzles with different characters, an example of this is in the first level where each Kong has a banana they get behind a grate which is timed. Also 20 % of a levels bananas are finding the blue print guys. Occasionally you’ll do little bonus games to earn your banana this wouldn’t be so bad save for the fact they are reused throughout the game and end up just seeming like cop outs. The game however does have some racing challenges but even then they all seem pretty much the same just with different people to race against. The game does have three mine cart sections, which are probably the high points of the game, but even there you must collect a certain amount of coins in order to win… which diminishes the experience greatly.

The game has a multiplayer mode, but it’s pretty basic death match shit, and no one with their sanity intact would want to be caught playing this game.
1 out of 20

*The blueprints are also used in the end of the game you’re timed on the final level and only given ten minutes originally, you get an additional minute for each blueprint you get… sounds like fun doesn’t it?

Music: Any amount of good music** would not save this game for committing the worst atrocity in video game music history:
[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npuuTBlEb1U [/youtube]
ZERO out of 15

**Not like the game had any, OH SNAP.

Translation: The game was made in English first.
Not applicable.

Length: I suppose one could argue this is the games strong point what with the 200 Golden Bananas… but the way the game seems to recycle from itself and also have many uninspired places for the Golden Bananas it’s probably a bit shorter then you would first think…
13 out of 15

Rehash Factor: Here’s a rare case. I would have actually LIKED had this game stayed more close to its roots by putting in more old enemies or older mechanics. As it stands though the game is largely new content, it’s just that the new content totally sucked balls. Even so, while the game doesn’t stay close to its own roots, it has no problem blatantly reusing the tower from Course 2 in Mario 64 in the pirate stage.
12 out of 15

Plot: So, after his three last defeats King K. Rool is back with a giant mechanized island and intends to blow up Donkey Kong’s island which is noticeably smaller than it was in DKC… yeah it kind of sucks. ALSO, THE KONGS HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPED BY KREMLINGS ARE YOU A BAD ENOUGH APE TO RESCUE THEM?
1 out of 10

Difficulty: The game is only “hard” in its platforming segments as the enemies are A: Rare, and B: Die when you sneeze on them. And the platforming segments are laughably easy.
3 out of 15

Total: 30/90 = 33 + (1/3) %

If you ever feel the need to play DK64, wear 3d goggles and play Donkey Kong Country 2 while you have a friend drag rusty nails across a chalk board. It won’t be in 3d, but it will be a fuck ton better than this game, and sound better too.

Positive: The game cartridge was colored yellow, therefore whenever you see anyones N64 game collection it will stick out like a sore thumb. Immediately shank this person, take the cartridge, throw in a blender and turn it on, mix it with cinnamon, pickle juice, and ipecac syrup, and then force the owner to drink the resulting concoction. You’ll be doing mankind a service for this.
 
Negative: I’d say “What happened to Dixie and Kiddy?”, but they obviously saw how shitty the game was going to be, bailed during development and fled to Acapulco. Kiddy subsequently died of dysentery.

Negative II: More seriously, this has put the franchise in a hole it has yet to climb out of, and likely never will. Even the Sonic franchise can look at the DK franchise and laugh. That’s how much of a hole it’s in.

Did you enjoy RR Week? Stick around, later today a blast from the past might still make an encore appearance.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 01:57:25 PM by Jesuszilla »

Offline UHMEEEEBA

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Re: RR Week: Donkey Kong 64
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2008, 04:13:27 PM »
How can they be called blue prints if they're also yellow, red, green and purple?