Donkey Kong Country!
The Original DKC
Donkey Kong Country is a game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It was the first game that ever featured Donkey Kong as a hero. Rare studios was granted the rights to use Donkey Kong in their games and they created a success. They thought to use Donkey Kong as the protagonist instead of the antagonist. This game had also introduced many other Donkey Kong characters that we know today including Diddy Kong (Donkey Kong's partner), Cranky Kong (the original Donkey Kong who threw barrels at Mario), Funky Kong (a surfer), and Candy Kong (Donkey Kong's girlfriend). The storyline for this game revolves around King K. Rool having stolen Donkey Kong's banana hoard! While the story isn't anything special, the graphics are! While the game is in 2D, Rare used a software that allowed them to transfer 3D models into 2D sprites. The game is highly praised for this reason, since no other games had done this at the time. The gameplay is amazing too! While you can just go to the right to finish the stage, there are 4 Kong letters hidden throughout each stage. These are optional but it forces the player to keep an eye out for these things. This game was very well recieved, selling over 9 million copies worldwide. This made Donkey Kong Country the third highest selling game on the SNES, beating games such as Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. This game paved the way for not only the Donkey Kong series, but also for 2D platformers as a whole.
Sequels of DKC
Now, with the success of Donkey Kong Country, there had to be a few sequels and spin-offs involved. The most well known are Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie's Double Trouble. The plot of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest involves Donkey Kong getting captured and held for ransom by King K. Rool. Unless the Kongs give him the banana hoard, he will keep Donkey Kong prisoner. After seeing this, Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong (Diddy's girlfriend) set out on a quest to find him. Although this game is a lot like the original, DK coins are a new collectible that you need to finish the game. Overall, while this game is a lot like the original, it is still different in a few ways and adds some new features. Last in this trilogy is Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie's Double Trouble. This story is that Donkey and Diddy Kong left one day but left a note saying that they went to explore DK island. After a few days, they hadn't come back and Dixie Kong and her cousin Kiddy Kong go off to find them. This game is again similar to it's predecessors but is unique enough to separate it from the others. These games are often compared with one another but everyone has different opinions on their rankings. Some think the original is the best, some think it's the worst. Some think that the second is the best while others think the third version is the best. Even with everyone's different opinions on which game rules, they can all agree that this trilogy has a lot to offer.
Donkey Kong in 3D?
After those 3 games, Rare decided that they should try to move Donkey Kong into 3D. With the Ninendo 64 coming soon, they decided that it was a great time to do this. This game became Donkey Kong 64. The plot of this game is that King K. Rool has made a mechanical island with a laser to destroy DK island. The DK Crew learn of this and must stop him. The members of the DK Crew are Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Tiny Kong, Chunky Kong, and Lanky Kong. This game is a 3D platformer which received mixed reviews. Most people loved this game but there are some who did not like it at all. I haven't seen too much of this game but I wonder why Donkey Kong has never returned to 3D after this instalment. I would personally love to see a 3D Donkey Kong game on the Nintendo Switch and I'm sure many others would love to as well. Overall, although Donkey Kong 64 may not be the best game ever, it has the DK Rap in it which makes it 20 times better.
After the Deal with Microsoft
After Rare was bought by Microsoft, things didn't look promising for the Donkey Kong Country series. Although Microsoft didn't own Donkey Kong, several employees apparently thought they did. The confusion came becuase Rare had only licensed the rights to use Donkey Kong while Nintendo still owned the DK license. No one knew what Nintendo would do with the series. Nintendo then granted the rights of Donkey Kong Country to Retro Studios. Retro Studios was the company behind the original Metroid Prime trilogy. They created the game Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii in 2010 and then Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D for the 3DS in 2013. These games were praised because of how similar they were to the original. They kept the same formula as Rare did which turned out well for them. They then released Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the WiiU in 2014 but that was then ported to the Switch in 2018. This is the only Donkey Kong Country game that I have played and I loved it. From the gameplay to the scenery to even the Funky Mode, I had a blast with this game. I hope that we get another instalment in this series soon and hopefully, it will have another funky DK Rap in it!
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