Donkey Kong 64

I thought the original Donkey Kong Country game was pretty good, but I never got any of the sequels. They were a whole lot like the first one, or so I understood, but they each expanded the universe a little bit. Eventually, though, I got a system with snazzy new 3D graphics, and after I had that for a while, a new game set in that Donkey Kong universe came out. So I gave it a shot.

Donkey Kong 64 is a lot the same as the older Donkey Kong Country game. It still stars Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong searching around their home island for bananas stolen by King K. Rool. Only this time, they do so in three glorious dimensions! Oh, and they have three more Kongs to help them this time around.

See, to progress in this game, you need to fight the various bosses that are in each of the stages. To get to the boss you need to collect a certain number of bananas that are scattered all over the stage. There are 100 bananas per Kong per stage, and you need increasing numbers of them to proceed. The kicker is that although you can see all the bananas, you can’t collect bananas that belong to the other Kongs. So you have to traipse through each stage at least five times to get enough bananas to fight the boss. But that’s not all!

You also have to find and collect Golden Bananas to open up new stages. These you get for doing certain Kong-specific tasks in every stage. But, it’s just more collecting. If you like running around giant 3D stages and gathering stuff, then this game should give you your fix.

But who are we kidding? The real reason anyone got this game was because of the Monkey Rap.

Yeah, the Monkey Rap was pretty hilarious. And the boss fights were pretty awesome, but all of the mind-numbing collecting in between the awesome bits was really really tedious, and kind of made the game feel artificially lengthened. Especially toward the end, when you unlock the whole Kong family, and then have to go back to the first few stages and collect a few hundred bananas that you couldn’t get to before. Bleh.

But the game also hides within its depths versions of the original Donkey Kong game and Jetpac. And even though Jetpac wasn’t anything special, Donkey Kong was a nice surprise.

I keep thinking that I want to play through this game again, but I just can’t work up the motivation to collect the few thousand bananas that would entail.

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