More fun than a barrel of bananas
2010 saw the return of a Nintendo favourite and his partner on the Wii. It was fun, vibrantly colourful and masterfully offered in a modern style. It was fondly received and has now been ported onto the 3DS. But does it live up to the 2010 Wii hit?
Going mobile the title was handled by Monster Games, the same guys responsible for Pilotwings, and for the most part it’s pretty much a carbon copy of the console version other than its lower difficulty level available for intermediate gamers. They’ve also removed those nightmarish motion controls like ground slaps.
Lowering the difficulty level has been dressed up as “New Mode” which makes one think that there might be something new and exciting to get your hands on. Perhaps lots of additional levels or characters? Sadly not, just think of it as “easier mode”, it’s much more fitting. To make it easier Donkey and Diddy get three life hearts instead of two whilst being given five opportunities to complete each level. The chances of failing completely are pretty slim as each level is littered with 1up balloons.
Cranky Kong makes a return and his shop has received more deliveries it would seem, other than the standard extra life balloons and inventory items. There you’ll be able to pick up bumpers which make that mine cart and rocket barrel stage much more manageable. Those familiar with the Wii version will have memories of those levels simply because they were so darn difficult. You’ll also be able to grab some additional green balloons which can help you should you fall into a pit.
All of this makes for a noticeably easier experience. Things will tip in the players favour but you’ll still die knowing it was your fault; you just won’t 20 times in a row.
It’s hard to say whether or not the easier mode is better because it was the difficulty of the Wii version that made it what it was. Some games are too easy, some are too hard and some are simply unfairly difficult. Donkey Kong on the Wii struck a fair balance where the stages weren’t so hard it turned you off and there weren’t any traps that resulted in the game finishing unfairly. It was just exceptionally challenging.
If you’re the type that loves the challenge and the thought of lowering the difficulty is just a no- no then don’t worry. You can still play the game on “Classic Mode” instead. Untouched, this is the Wii version as it was in all its toughness. The only thing that has changed is those insufferable motion controls. Sure, they seemed like a good idea at the time, but the 3DS is able to offer that original gaming method and it has a striking resemblance to older systems like the NES or SNES. A nice touch is the choice of either the D-pad or Circle Pad, whilst the Y button allows our primate friend to perform rolling and ground-slaps. Picking up barrels is simple too with the use of the shoulder buttons.
It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that Donkey Kong Wii was made with a 3D port in mind. Throughout the console version we saw Donkey Kong flung around inside a barrel blasted away into the distance. It was a simple effect and it looked great and on the 3DS it looks even better. Not many games have been able to fully utilise the 3DS capabilities but Donkey Kong sits nicely next to the few other like Super Mario 3D Land as a worthy addition.
If you owned the Wii version then there’s not much here to encourage you to pick this hand held version up. There are a few new levels that mix it up but other than that there’s not much to offer. On the flip side, if for some reason you didn’t get your hands on the Wii version then this is a must, especially for those of us that have a special place for those 16-bit days.
Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KVX82n2UzY
- Adam Omar
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