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Donkey Kong Country 2 Package Art
 GENRE
  Platformer
 DEVELOPER
  Rare
 PUBLISHER
  Nintendo
 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
  1-2
 WORTH PLAYING TODAY?
  yes
BUY NOW AT
Donkey Kong Country 2

Donkey Kong Country 2 is quite obviously the second installment in Rare’s Donkey Kong series, and probably the best one too. Rare has taken the original recipe which worked so well, and enhanced it in every way possible in just one short year and delivered this awesome game.

As you may have guessed, DKC2 takes place right after the events of DKC. Somehow King K. Rool has kidnapped Donkey Kong and it is up to Diddy Kong to rescue him. To accomplish this feat, Diddy has decided to team up with his good friend Dixie Kong. You start off the game on K. Rool’s pirate ship, which is located in “Kremland”, and you must trek your way through several different brand new areas in search of your kidnapped friend DK.

visuals

Building upon the visual masterpiece that they had created in DKC, Rare has somewhat improved the graphics for this game. The graphics look much smoother and more cartoon like as opposed to the computer generated look in DKC, and the backgrounds have also been tweaked to newer heights of quality as well. If there were any visuals that you could point out to be improved in DKC you will probably find that they have been fixed here in DKC2. All of your expectations will most certainly be met, and perhaps even surpassed again.

If you take a step back and look at where you travel in DKC you will notice right off the bat that one place that you didn’t travel to was a volcanic land. Well, DKC2 doesn’t disappoint, and better yet, after the initial ‘introductory’ level they send you right off into a volcanic land!

Aside from the previously mentioned volcanic level, you can expect to find very similar surroundings as you found in DKC with all new twists and improved scenery as well as a few new worlds such as the introductory pirate ship level.

audio

One of the high points in DKC was the amazing audio behind the gorgeous visuals and DKC2 doesn’t disappoint one bit at all. There are a lot more new tracks and sound effects packed into DKC2, and the quality remains equally as good, if not better in most cases, than its predecessor. If you found the songs catchy before, you will no doubt find them absolutely mesmerizing in DKC2.

On the sound effects side, there doesn’t appear to be any noticeable improvements made in this game. There are all new enemies, surrounding and interactive environments which call for new sound effects, and they are right on the money as the previous ones were.

gameplay

The basic gameplay is exactly the same as DKC, but Rare is not one to disappoint so they’ve added a whole bunch of new features and whatnot into this game to spice it up a little bit and keep you on your toes.

Dixie Kong for starters, has a technique which neither Donkey Kong or Diddy Kong has, and that is the hair twirl. When you jump with Dixie, simply press and hold the Y button in mid-air and she will twirl her hair allowing her to glide great distances as she gradually descends to the ground.

Another new ability you can do is what I like to call tag-team. When you have both characters you can press the “A” button and your other character will jump up on your shoulders. From this position you can either throw your partner as a weapon or you can throw them high up in the air to try and reach a barrel or items that were once unreachable. Whenever you do use this ability however, there is a good chance that the other character will die, but if they don’t but rather end up halfway across the screen, you will have to be able to touch them to regain control of them again.

The map screen has had a lot of changes since the previous game, one of these changes being the fact that nothing is free anymore. Instead of being able to get free saves and free passage to any previously visited area via Funky Flights, you now get one free use per area, and each additional use will cost you banana coins.

There are several different Kongs who are selling they’re services now in DKC2, some of which are old and some new. Those Kongs whom are returning are Cranky Kong with his hints and tips on the levels, and Funky Kong with his Funky Flights. The new Kongs are Shanky Kong with his trivia for free lives, and Professor Kong with her save spot and gameplay tips.

At the end of each level you will now find a lever to jump on, and depending on your timing, you can win different prizes from free lives to bananas and banana coins.

Here’s a list of the things you can collect in this game:
Bananas (single or groups) - collect 100 to earn 1-up.
Banana coins - collect to purchase hints, tips, and saving your game.
Kong Letters - collect all 4 letters in one stage to earn a 1-up.
DK coins and Krem Coins - these are earned after completing a mini game and boss battles.

multiplayer

DKC2 offers us exactly the same thing as DKC does for multiplayer-- two-player contest and two-player cooperative.

Two-player contest is just like a single player game in which both players compete against each other to ultimately beat the game first. Each player takes one turn at a time on each board. Once you either complete the stage or die trying, your turn is over and the next player starts. Each player must complete each stage individually thus not allowing one player to advance to the next stage if the one player completes that board and the other doesn’t.

Two-player cooperative puts one person in control of Donkey Kong and the other in control of Diddy Kong. Only one person can play at a time during the game but you can tag each other in and out during the game. If one player dies during the game the other player takes over and if he/she finds a DK barrel they can bring back the other player again. It doesn’t matter which player completes the stage, once the stage is complete you can advance to the next stage.

overall

If you enjoyed DKC1 and are craving some more of that Rareware goodness, than DKC2 is just what you’re looking for. DKC2 is packed with tons more new enemies, features, and collectibles to satisfy you with, and it is very easy to pick up without having played the original.

Once again, DKC2 is another visual and audio masterpiece from Rare filled with challenging and entertaining gameplay.

final score 9.9/10





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Staff Avatar Jeff Pearson
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"I've given all I can, but it's never enough."


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