Thursday, June 16, 2011

Game Boy Donkey Kong Makes Me Feel Foolish

Donkey Kong for the Game Boy is a deceptive game. A friend of mine left his copy of the game at my house a while back, but I didn't bother actually playing it because I've played Donkey Kong on the Atari 2600, the NES, and in arcade, and I thought “what is there really to see in another port?” So, yesterday I purchased a Game Boy Player because if something is capable of playing Game Boy games, I want to own it, and when I plugged it in my friends told me to put in his copy of Donkey Kong because he wanted to see his save game. I thought “what could there be to save in Donkey Kong? Does he have a really good high score or something?”

When I actually started the game I understood how completely wrong about the game I was. He was on World 9. There are 9 worlds and a Mario 3 style map in a DK game? Madness. I start up a level and it's basically like an extended version of the first level of the original, and I beat that without much problem. There were a few more barrels coming down, but nothing too bad. The level after that has me completely confused, because it was not something that could be navigated simply by jumping or picking up hammers.

As it turns out, this version of Donkey Kong was almost completely new, and Mario had a bunch of new tricks he could do. Basically, it is the precursor to the puzzle platforming of the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong series. I started up my own record today, and I still say the game is very deceptive. On top of being simply titles Donkey Kong, the first four levels are the original levels from the arcade game, and they do a gotcha when you think you've beat the game and DK takes off with Pauline and you discover that there is a huge game ahead of you. I can understand DK trying to steal Pauline, unlike Princess Peach or Daisy, she dresses kind of slutty. But as Law & Order: SVU would have you know, that is no excuse for rape.

Anyway, the game is really neat. Mario has a bunch of new abilities, like tossing the hammer up in the air so he can jump or climb a ladder, then catch it again, a special handstand jump, picking up and using keys, and swinging on vines horizontal wires in order to get some height. I feel foolish for overlooking the game just because of it's name instead of trying it out and finding all these interesting levels. In a weird coincidence, just today Donkey Kong has been released on the 3DS's Virtual Console, and at the risk of sounding like a shill, at four bucks it is a steal. Another coincidence is that it was the first game to use the new capabilities of the Super Game Boy, and it was the first game I put in my Super Game Boy.

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