In this occasional post, I’ll take a look at how a game franchise has progressed over time by ranking my favourites in the series.
If I haven’t played it I’ll tell you, and ports and remakes automatically go last but their impact will be recognised if necessary.
Do the games get better with each new iteration?
Or do they lose their lustre and become stale?
I’m kicking things off with the Donkey Kong Country series. I’m not including the handheld Donkey Kong Land games, it’s Country only.
1. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (Super Nintendo)
Released second, in 1995. Bettered the original in the graphics and variety of levels, Diddy stood on his own as a star.
2. Donkey Kong Country (Super Nintendo)
Released first, in 1994. Original and most memorable, but ideas were refined in DKC2. Check out this Australian commercial from 1994…
3. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
Released sixth, in 2014. HD graphics and a blistering pace make the game feel new again.
4. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! (Super Nintendo)
Released third, in 1997. Felt a bit try-hardie in terms of going bigger and better, and although I like Dixie, I don’t think she deserved to be in the title.
5. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
Released fourth, in 2010. Wii controls were not ideal in some instances, a bit too difficult in some areas, and some bosses just pissed me right off.
6. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS) and Donkey Kong Country 3 (Gameboy Advance)
These are just enhanced ports, so last on my list. I have never played either of these. Still, check out this cool commercial, back when Nintendo was at the top of their marketing game…
While the buzz around how amazing the original DKC’s graphics were on the Super Nintendo certainly made playing it that much more exciting, the Country series has, from the start, had pretty much everything going for it.
Loveable characters, a cheeky sense of humour, and genuine gameplay thrills. Whether it be the nerve wracking rush of the on-rails levels, or the thrill of finally getting the better of a deviously tricky level- the Donkey Kong Country series is fun and frustrating, but almost always manages to get the balance right.
While the second in the series is best for me, all the games are among the highest quality platform games ever made, and all were critical and commercial successes.
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