Game of the Week – Donkey Kong 64

“So he is finally here, performing for you, if you know the words, you can join in to, put your hands together if you want to clap as we take you through this monkey rap. DK, Donkey Kong, DK, Donkey Kong is here”.

Just hearing these words always made me happy, it was the moment that I have never forgotten, mainly because the opening song to this game was one thing I do not think any of us expected when we originally booted up Donkey Kong 64. The other reason was the song was just so memorable and very cheesy, and just made a funny opening to the game as well as doing something truly great, introducing us to the characters and some of their abilities.

Of all the Donkey Kong games, Donkey Kong 64 is by far my favorite game in the franchise taking our monkey protagonist on a journey that is enjoyable almost constantly. It probably helped that Donkey Kong 64 saw a major expansion to the known Kong family using each member as a crucial part of the game.

Across the entire game there were many problems that had to be solved and many golden banana’s to collect. Using each character we are able to search out and find new locations and collect these banana’s using our characters individual abilities. Each was fun to play as and continued to offer different challenges and continue to provide different idea that never let the game get dull, constantly allowing a change up in ideas. Better still was the progression of character abilities throughout the game, most levels would provide you with a series of new abilities which would offer new things to get through using each characters new powers, again constantly keeping things interesting even late into the game.

The level design was perhaps my favorite part of the game. At no point did two levels ever feel the same, with each one containing unique ideas and even at times feeling like a throwback to Donkey Kong Country. I will always remember levels like Jungle Japes, as well as Frantic Factory, both of which were different and were great in level design, I enjoyed journeying around the jungle and into the caves and loved going across all the conveyor belts and traveling through the factory in general. The levels were always fun and will always be remembered. Likewise with the musical scores that lay within (ah so beautiful).

One of the best things I can say about Donkey Kong 64 is that it made a wonderful transition from the classic 2D games of the Donkey Kong Country games to the third dimension. Whereas many games failed to find footing in 3D worlds Donkey Kong found the best footing in his platforming adventure which honestly put everything about Donkey Kong Country to shame.

Donkey Kong 64 is one game that I personally think really needs a remake, or at least a virtual console release. Common Nintendo you know you want to and your fans will appreciate it, but of course that is an opinion piece for another day.

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