DK Can Fight, But He Can't Rap
So, you insert the cartridge, flick the switch to turn on the N64. And then sit on the sofa in total awe and excitement over your new game purchase Donkey Kong 64.
The first thing that comes on the screen, the N64 logo bouncing around to jungle bongos, you get more excited and in the donkey mood! Just then, to ruin it all! You get the beginning of the worst rap song possibly ever written! Well it's good to learn about the new kongs! But they have the tutorial for that! They could've just done a movie clip!
So the rap doesn't impress. But the rest of the game will suffice! The plot...you're Donkey, doing press-ups in your jungle pad, pumping up those guns. When all of a sudden, a parrot messenger flies in and squarks (sqwarks?) to you that you're ENTIRE golden banana hoard has been stolen! Holy ****! Also you gain knowledge that all your Kong pals have been locked away too! You must have been doing press-ups for a long time Kong! So off you go to investigate what happened, and as you go through the game you have to complete missions in order to earn a golden banana.
This game is a pretty long game to complete everything 100%. There are 200 golden bananas to collect in 8 fairly giant levels. Plus you have to play as 5 Kongs, each with their own special moves, jumps and characteristics. As you go along and progress through the game you have to collect bananas, coins, medals, fairies....many items. And you gain more moves and abilities from you're good ol' gramps Cranky (he still walking?!) So you wont get bored.
Like i said you have various moves with each of the 5 Kongs. Each having a familiar name to the monkey genre ("Simian Spring" being my personal favourite). Each Kong also has an equipped weapon varying from a feather bow to a pineapple bazooka. Also they each have a musical instrument which can open secret areas, and can kill every enemy currently in the area. Not a bad list of utilities for the Kongs to whip K.Rool's scaly ass with!
There's also multiplayer, which involves two modes, battle and arena. In battle, you're in quite a large area where you go forth in pursuit of your friends and shoot them down with your guns or kick them/punch them, whatever you want your monkey to do. Battle is where you're on a tiny platform and you have to beat your opponents by knocking over the edge or...beating them to death. Each both have fun power-ups where you can shrink in size or grow twice as tall! Very fun to play at your next sleepover.
Graphics are pretty much the best you will get from the N64. The texture is smooth, Donkey's fur looks like he washes with Pantene Pro-V shampoo
every morning. There is the usual, too many action in the screen, slow-down will occur N64 trait. But it's not as bad as other games! (Turok 2 being the main victim here!) I was quite impressed in how realistic the explosions looked, not too shabby at all.
Now i look for music in a game because, i like music in games heh, it kinda gets me more in the atmosphere of the game. DK64 has music that gets you in the jungle rhythm, you'll be renting out The Safri Duo
CDs when you're finished with this game. It does get you in the mood. The quality is also satisfactory, give clear tones and beats throughout. The effects aren't bad either, the Kongs dont talk, they only grunt and moan (you know, like monkeys do.) In fact it's all in the background aswell, and i find it funny that chimps sing along to the pause game music. On with the sound, the explosions sound heavy, Diddy's pop guns sound like their finely tuned with silencers...deadly for the kill.
Controlling the Kongs is smooth, i like it! As i said earlier there are many moves and abilities they can use, and learning all the buttons at first can be confusing. You can be meaning to do a handstand when you accidently fire a bullet at a croc! But it's not hard to learn. The positioning of the buttons are well placed, no need to bend your thumb out of the way to make that quick extraction of the gun. although fast pace isnt really needed for this game! Like in any N64 game, the camera always is a furious thing to work with. You tell it to go right, yet it goes left. Just when a boss comes out and reveals his weakspot, the camera turns away! It's that kind of work, and it can get frustrating.
Well the chimps have come back well since their last hits in the "country" series. And if you're into retro, and have an N64, i'd say this is one of the top N64 games around and a must buy! The gameplay is what makes this game great. It can last for a good 20 hours. And it's a hell of a lot of fun to play, the japing music, the cool moves and abilitites. Just the rap that is really the only negative, oh and that shoddy camerawork too. But overall, the Kongs have hit the spot, just stick to gaming my hairy friends, and stay out of the music business.