^ TY! I really didn't know how this would be viewed by you guys. I LOVE reviewing games in my head and then bugging the hell out of my wife about it. I think she is thankful as well that I have a place to rant and speak my mind about it. I play old games like 90% of the time, NEW games.. don't me wrong.. I love new games.. they just don't make them like the use too. And I can't believe I have so many BAD games... UGG! In all fairness though, all these years later after I bought these games... the worst games are some of the cheapest I bought. I snagged Secret of Evermore for about 11 bucks at a video rental place inside of WAL-MART sometime in 96. The rental store was going out of business and selling all their games at dirt cheap prices. I snagged a few games that will be mentioned in this thread... But sadly.. a few of these games were paid for at top dollar new for Christmas presents or birthday presents. Bummer! I have to say that much of my years of searching for games... I was looking for just one after awhile... Anyway, another topic - that is. Back to BAD GAMES.
So, lets talk about trilogies. So if something is so good it not only warrants a sequel but a THIRD game/movie as well? Well, certainly this should solidify any question of quality for the product. With trilogies, each is pretty good and normally in this equation the middle one is usually the one that is lacking. Usually with trilogies the first one is epic then the second is never as good as the first and then the third one is a pretty good ending to the set and leaves you feeling satisfied. For example, Mario Brothers on NES. Two was my least favorite (even if you sub that for the REAL lost levels version.. both were not as good as oh say, the third game! I would spend hours playing the third game just for fun! The first one, well only to see if I could beat it in 20 minutes or less. I never did that with Mario 3 and for good reason... it is just fun the way it is. Another example, Metroid! The first one was fantastic! The second one.. was harder than Chinese algebra.. The third one.. probably one of the best games that humanity has ever produced in the history of the human race.
Now with the Metroid Prime games> again, the first one was fantastic! Probably the BEST of the series then the second one was... hard...( I still liked it though) but it was the most un-liked Prime game and then the third game was GREAT! I loved that game! (I also have the Prime Trilogy on Wii with updated controls.. this statement still holds true with the updated games.) Usually with these sets the third game is GOOD if not FANTASTIC and the middle child is always neglected and left to twiddle its thumbs on a see saw ALONE. Now there are some anomalies in this! TMNT on NES.. The first one was TOTAL GARBAGE... not even worth looking at for nostalgia reasons.. it is horrible! The second game ... OMG FUN! It was one of my favorite games in the 80s and couldn't resist the lure of the arcade game when ever I was out in restaurants or arcades. The third one.... it was good... but like pizza - even when it is bad it is still pretty good, at least it brought special attacks to the table and tons of new moves (I got sore at this game as a kid because none of the bad guys were actually IN the cartoons or movies.. only bad thing imo). I bring all this up to show that usually... USUALLY companies learn from the mistakes of the past games/movies and put all sorts of awesome into a third installment... Now lets shift gears to the year 1996. The holiday season was in full swing and Rare @ Nintendo was busy planning for all the new awesomeness on the Nintendo 64. BUT.. They needed something to put on the SNES... what cold they slap on there... OH! Something that kids will go BANANAS over! Donkey Kong Country 3! Yes, thats right. I'm retro reviewing DKC3. Seems like a good game.. I mean the other two games were masterpieces! I can remember in 94 when Donkey Kong Country was coming out and Nintendo Power sent me this video tape of an interviewer walking through the "Tree House" at Nintendo. The video showed all the groundbreaking new technology being put into this game. "Will I need some sort of an adapter to play this new game?" And the answer was "No!" They then took apart the DKC game and showed all the new chips that is in this game and took apart an old standard SNES game and showed the difference. DKC WAS PACKED FULL OF CHIPS AND AWESOME.."wanna banana?" Great video and the game...This game would revolutionize platforming games of the 90s. No other game had this many colors, this many secrets, this many sprites on a screen at the same time AND with fully rendered backgrounds AND characters. The music in the first DKC was absolutely STUNNING. I remember I saved up all my Nintendo Power points and bought the sound track (a cassette tape) with all the music from the game. I was a MEGA nerd in the 90s and I loved it. (side note* I enjoyed this tape up until a few years ago when my wife split some hair conditioner on it and ruined it.... bummer...guess I shouldn't have had it in the bathroom sitting on the counter...doh!) Anyway! I love this game TO THIS DAY and went through DKC earlier this year. And more bonus stages than Cranky Kong could shake a stick at. (Which he did in those side splitting scenes.) I loved the humor of the game.. it wasn't afraid to make fun of its self or it's past. The game embraced the past as it moved into the future and Cranky Kong was the bridge. This game was a fantastic work of ART. Then DKC 2 came out some time after.. I have to say that this middle child was one wild and energy packed individual. This was with out a doubt THE BEST DKC ever made. It surpassed the first game by leaps and bounds. Adding even MORE color and EVEN MORE gameplay into this cartridge that any ever thought possible. The secrets and the double ending was a personal favorite of mine back in the day.... and the music.. can't forget the music! (Brambles in the breeze & Swamp music FTW) Who cares if Donkey Kong wasn't in it till the end.. it didn't need him! I liked Diddy better anyway! AND I could fly when I wanted to with Dixie! This game took everything that made DKC a masterpiece and IMPROVED IT. I didn't think the mine cart level could get any better from DKC but then on DKC2 they turned it into a roller coaster level.... One of my favorite levels ever in DKC history. Nice work, Rare... VERY NICE. So then DKC3 comes out, it has to be even BETTER, right? Well, perhaps DKC2 was actually the demise of DKC3. Perhaps that because the other two games WERE so good that this one just didn't live up to the reputation of its predecessors... and maybe I'm just crazy and I don't see how good this game really is... But for now... IT IS ON MY BAD LIST and I'll tell you why. I first slapped this game in my console and noticed that my percentage of the game was at 103.. I had assumed that it was totally finished... giving that DKC had a max percentage of 101 and DKC2 had a max percentage of 102.. It was natural to assume that DKC3 was at 103... According to the internet though... it was actually maxed at 105! YES! I have something to do! I hadn't went through this game over and over like I did with the other DKCs. I only went through it the one time and then put it away. I assume this is because the N64 came out around that time and I became entranced with it. But in retrospect.... hmm.... I started up a new game and began my quest. Ok, number one.. This game is called Donkey Kong Country.. Not Dixie Kong Country and certainly not Kiddy Kong Country. Kiddy? Who? I'll get to that. The game just DUMPS you in the water.. ok? Monkeys can't swim but, alright. Thats ok. What the heck do you do? There is no level one.. there is nothing to even clue you into what is even going on in this game. In DKC1 you got a nice idea as to what happened. You exit and find all your bananas have been stolen by Krimlings. Well, we are just going to have to get those back, right? (side note* I ain't complaining but really, what DOES King K. Rool think he is going to do with all those bananas? I mean, He is a lizard, lizards don't eat bananas! Logic says that he is just bullying DK and has no real use for them. Much like the play ground bully has no use for a little girls hair bow but will take it from her just for spite or to build character... which brings me to... WHY THE HELL COULDN'T HE JUST STEAL KIDDY KONG? IF anyone ever needed their character built up, it was him. Or at least steal those god awful pj's with the booties.. Steal those! And another thing, why Krimlings? Soviet Russia has lizard people that steal bananas? Is this really what the cold war was really about? A cold blooded lizard war to steal all of Central America's banana supply? ok, jk) The end of DKC1 you fight K. Rool on his pirate ship and take your bananas back! In DKC2 you actually START OFF where you ended the game in DKC1. On that same pirate ship! The back ground music is even a remix of the song in the final battle in DKC1. Nice tie in! In the distance on the ship you can see DK Island where you were in the first game. So there was excellent progression to the game letting you know just where you are going and how you got there. The story has you saving DK after he was kidnapped by K. Rool (apparently just after the credits rolled in DKC). In DKC3... I have no idea where the hell I am. I lake? Where do I swim? The only place you can go is an empty cave and Funky Rentals (the new version of Funky Flights.. the way you would get around the levels in previous games) "Well, I have no need to go to Funky's place right now.. I'm not even ON level one.. WHERE IS LEVEL ONE!?" So I swim about for several minutes before I give in and GO to Funky's. There, Funky introduces me to his 1 year old cuz, Kiddy Kong. He tells me he will be useful on my journey. Why? Useful for what? Collecting the flies? Slowing me down? Annoying me? Why am I even here? And WHERE THE HECK IS DIDDY!???!?!! I may not have been angry with this game if they had given me Diddy.. What isn't to love? Diddy Kong rawks! What, he was too busy making "Diddy Kong Racing" on 64? Please... Ok, so Kiddy is suppose to be JUST like Donkey Kong. Same size and same weight so you can kill enemies that DK would normally only be able to kill. Then why the heck didn't they just give us DK? I mean the game IS DONKEY KONG COUNTRY. And no DK in sight..... Game would be better if DK was at LEAST the sub character.. Instead we have this toddler who we don't even know... or what we are doing... So then we go out the other side of Funky Rentals and guess what? It is more lake! So I swim down to the closest area we can crawl up. I touch the wall and it crumbles and falls... "A CAVE?! AWESOME!" I go in and there is a small bird that looks like a banana. Ok, I'm down with banana bird. Whats he do? He then flies away and I leave the cave.. (this leads me to think that all these hidden areas to collect these birds.. you just go in between levels and areas mashing the heck out of the buttons? Cheap way to get kids to kill a few hours..) Then I go to the nearest area I can land at (again) and I find.... LEVEL ONE! YES! As soon as the level starts I notice that this game... just doesn't FEEL right.. DKC felt polished and perfect. DKC2 also felt polished and quite perfect. For example. Here is the soundtrack to the first level: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx7mI1rdykw
NICE SONG! Quite catchy! I love this song to this day and is one of DKC's most memorable songs! They put a HUGE amount of work into the sound track to ALL the levels. To this day I still get cold hearing the snow music and I can't see a single snow fall in real life with out thinking of DKC's snow levels. In a word: Memorable! Now lets check out DKC2. The first levels music was this one:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwyipDW-t4Q
Also quite nice! It was a remix of the final song in DKC1. Fitting!
Also just because it IS so nice:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73n7HTcmb5g
Great game and they also put a LOT of work into the soundtrack. If you visit any music site that covers video game remixes you will find DOZENS of DKC2 songs. For a good reason, they are awesome and well written. Now DKC3.. The first song you are treated to in the level is this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hig3uTdvdTI
WTF? It sounds like circus music! I don't know if any of you out there are aware of this, but ol LLR HATES CIRCUS' AND CLOWNS. And anything that reminds me of them.... falls into my no no list.. Ok, perhaps I am not giving this game enough of a chance with just its music. Perhaps the songs get better? No, in just about all of the first 6 or 7 levels they are ALL this same song. Bummer, in the Second area that contains more levels... it is more of the same.. but I'll get to that... oh yes..... I have a bone to pick with area 2...... the size of an elephant.. The music just seems to be done by totally different people! I don't know if they were all busy on other projects but the sound of the game FOR SURE was no where near as polished as the other two... not even in the same ball park. Bah! So, I go into "Wrinkly's Save Cave" to... save my game! What else? There stands old Wrinkly Kong... in spandex and exercising. *Shudders* DIDN'T need to see that! And srsly not right before I try to go to sleep! Thanks Wrinkly, now I know why your stuck in a cave.. X_x. Oh that bird I saved is here.. what is it doing? Wrinkly says "Bring me more of these birds.. I like them!" Ok, why? It is pretty well known that monkeys will eat just about anything, bananas, birds, rodents.. doesn't matter.. they eat them.. And I would imagine that a bird in the shape of a banana is pretty high up on the list of yummy things to eat if your an ape and stuck in a cave (and wearing spandex
). So this game just seems... ODD. Since we are on the subject of sub characters... There is a trading system in this game.. You take one item here and trade it over there for some other item to trade somewhere else. I'm no n00b here, I've played OoT before.. I know all about GOOD trading. So I walk into this shack and there is this bear standing behind a counter.. your first meeting with this BEAR goes like this: ME: "wut? bear... in DKC? why?..." Bear: "I wouldn't take anything to git rid o this bird... nope.." Me: "bird?... um.. k..." I literally groaned out loud waking up my wife. "what is it?" really ME:" This bear! it has the worst dialog EVER.. I mean, READ THAT.. " My wife squints, looks at the screen and said "its terrible.... turn it off and go to sleep. zzzzz" I bring this up because in ANY DKC game you could walk in and out of a place like Cranky's or Funky's and CRACK UP from the off the wall crap they would come up with! GREAT DIALOG! Always good for a laugh. My first meeting with this new character is... just mediocre. Not on par with anything of the past at all. Did they try? Subject of debate, there. So in the next area I meet ANOTHER BEAR. None of the bears give me any clue as to what they do or why they are there or want to help me... all they do is say lame things like "oh I found that there shell in the lake.. *silly grin*.... This thought crossed my mind:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnXb-i7zSPc
This game didn't even feel like it was from the same people...Not like any of the other DKC games before it at all. Different feel to it, it doesn't SOUND the same and it just doesn't control the same way either. Remember me saying that Kiddy Kong is big like DK? Well, one of his moves is to roll over water and skip over it.. pushing the jump button each time you hit the water so you skip like a stone. Problem is, getting a 600lb ape to skip like a stone over the water is a bit like ......getting a 600lb ape to skip like a stone over water
. It just doesn't control right. I sank over and over and I missed the bonus stage barrel repeatedly. This forced me to repeat the stage... and hear more of that music.. UGGG... Anyway.. I think I'll get to the second area now... Meet Ellie the elephant. This pint-sized pachyderm is prone to panic attacks. NICE... The first stage I used this elephant in I was actually sort of enjoying using the trunk to pick up barrels and throw them. The stage was filled with zingers (bees) and these rats. No big deal at all. As the elephant, I stomp the rats and use barrels on the bees. I'm half way through the stage. This is easy.. I can fly through this.. but wait.. what? WHAT? As I walked up to another rat... my character, the elephant, just FROZE in terror and stopped.. turned around and RAN... running right into another rat that was behind me.. Two things here, first... Why? Ok, I understand the cliché of an elephant being scared of a rat... I do... but tell me why I was able to kill half the rats in this stage with no problem until now?
the second... Congratulations, Rare.. you just KILLED the number one element of the DKC series: GAMEPLAY & Responsive Controls. I thought maybe this was a fluke, perhaps this elephant CAN kill rats but it has to be under the right conditions. I give the stage another chance... naturally.. I kill off half the rats AGAIN.. no problem! I get midway through the stage again and suddenly the elephant starts freaking out. I don't know why, it doesn't make sense. So I take a flying LEAP off this ledge. Like Sonic the Hedgehog games.. You can't SEE whats below you, you just have to take a leap of faith. And I did! As I flew through the air I saw a rat below me.. and I was about to land on him.. I grinned at this about 6 pixels above the rat.. my elephant froze.. freaked out.. and fell like a rock.. "No worries! I'm falling straight down on top of him! I'll just crush the rat and be on my way!" No.. as soon as my feet touched the back side of this rat... my character died
! Explain that to me! Really!?
I have several other gripes as well.. I may get to them tomorrow.. but tonight.. I'm done... good night
*takes game out and puts it away*