Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Diddy Kong Outdoes Donkey Kong in SNES Sequel

Written By: SRB Guest Writer - Cole Thomas

Console: SNES
Genre(s): Platform
Players: 1 - 2
Developer: Rare
Published: Nintendo
Released: 1995

My first gaming console was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). While Nintendo 64 will always be the system of my childhood, I have some great memories attached to SNES. Among the games I owned were those in the Donkey Kong Country series. Released in 1994, 1995 and 1996 respectively, the Donkey Kong Country series was one of the most successful series on the console. While none of these games were bad by any means, I am here to say that Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest was my not only my favorite, but arguably the best of the three. Why’s that? Let me explain…

For those who don’t remember this game, DKC2 begins when Diddy receives a note from Kaptain K. Rool, stating that Donkey Kong is being held hostage in exchange for the Banana Hoard (securing this hoard was the objective of the first game). Joined by his girlfriend Dixie, Diddy embarks on a quest to Crocodile Isle to rescue Donkey Kong.

While each game in the SNES series had an overworld (Donkey Kong Island in DKC and the Northern Kremishpere in DKC3), Crocodile Isle in DKC2 was home to the Kremlings. This permitted the worlds in this installment to be darker and creepier. Of the six worlds in the original, only Kremkroc Industries, Inc. displayed a direct influence by the Kremlings. The bright, colorful aesthetic in DKC3 overshadowed the Kremlings’ influence in worlds like Mekanos. In this installment, out Kong heroes had to work their way through worlds that included:

- Crocodile Cauldron: A volcanic area located at the bottom of Crocodile Isle.
- Gloomy Gulch: A haunted forest inhabited by the ghost Kremlings and plagued by strong winds.
- K. Rool’s Keep: The castle of Kaptain K. Rool located at the frozen top of Crocodile Isle.

While the “tag-team” approach was used in the first installment, DKC2 took this concept one step further and gave each Kong unique abilities that proved advantageous at different times. Dixie’s helicopter spin could be used to kill certain enemies and to glide across levels. Diddy’s cartwheel could be used as a lead-in to a super jump. Together, each Kong could pick up and throw the other to reach Bonus Barrels and hooks. Appropriately, Diddy reached with his tail and Dixie with her ponytail.

In addition, DKC2 featured numerous animal buddies that helped Diddy and Dixie find coins, Bonus Barrels and just kick some Kremling butt. Returning from the original were:
-          -Rambi the Rhino
-          -Enguarde the Swordfish
-          -Squawks the Parrot

Diddy and Dixie also had the pleasure of working with these animal additions:
-          -Rattly the Rattlesnake
-          -Squitter the Spider
-          --Clapper the Seal
-          -Glimmer the Angler Fish
-          -Quawks the Parrot

While animal buddies were featured again in DKC3, this installment had the most varied roster (not to mention Rambi doesn’t appear again until Donkey Kong 64).

The original may have sold more, but Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest built on its predecessor to create a great platformer that’s still held in high regard today. I forgot to mention Diddy and Dixie perform their own rock numbers at the end of each level – now can you really beat that?

To read more great articles written by our friend Cole please be sure to check out his blog at: http://dudeslife.wordpress.com/

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