In this thrilling sequel (prequel?) to the original Donkey Kong title, you are Donkey Kong Jr., and you must rescue your father from Mario, who has locked Donkey Kong up, possibly for kidnapping Pauline in the previous game. Naturally, therefore, the best course of action would be to release him and allow Stupid Monkey to continue his rampage, possibly at an oversized greenhouse. I digress – as his son, it is your duty, and if you should knock some fruit down or injure some plumbers along the way SO BE IT!
Donkey Kong Jr., while not perhaps the most memorable or diverse game, was still a worthy addition to the Donkey Kong series and to the Donkey Kong family canon. The controls are well-composed, so movement feels natural and makes sense. The climbing mechanics are interesting and logical, and the power up are predictably fruit-flavored. The enemies consist primarily of some sort of living jaw-traps and, of course, the levels themselves, which are often built specifically to confound the physics under which our gorilla baby operates.
John’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0. It’s quirky, but generally loveable. It’s not exactly the sort of game that amounts to “hours of fun,” but I’ll often settle for “minutes of enjoyment” or “moments of nostalgia” in a pinch.
I should probably do Donkey Kong Jr. first, as it is technically the second game in the Donkey Kong series and also was released chronologically before this one, but as the games don’t exactly lead into one another, I feel little to no remorse about sticking with alphabetic order.
Having said that, Donkey Kong 3 is a game wherein you spray a monkey’s hindquarters with insecticide in an effort first to drive him away, then to mash his head into a bee’s nest, presumably out of spite over his attempts to teach his son math; all this while attempting to protect flowers and avoid bee stings.
John’s Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0. This is a solid, albeit simple, action game, all things considered, and stands as proof that familiar characters can be transplanted into unfamiliar gameplay without making a game suck by default. Mind you, Super Mario Bros. 2 and The Adventures of Link both prove that, but they’re hardly unanimously accepted. Also, BEES!
As a wise man once said, “Everything is better with monkeys.” By “wise” of course, I mean “drunk,” and by “said” I mean “imagined,” but the principle still holds true: EVERYONE loves monkeys, with the possible exception of people who give them Xanax.
Remember when you were a kid and balloons, powered by your imagination, could hoist you off the ground and into the stratosphere? Well, screw you, kid! That requires about a fafrillion balloons because physics, bitch! But you know where one can frequently take refuge from the doldrums of everyday physical reality? Video games, that’s where!
While it may well be the first game I have encountered with poor response on the title screen, Commando is a strong proponent of the shmup truism, “You never run out of bullets: just grenades.”
It’s a respectable title as far as top-scrolling walking shmups go, but, as should be expected of the era, brings very little to the table as far as what we modern folk think of as originality. For its time, it was groundbreaking, of course, because when nothing has been done yet, everything is fresh.
John’s Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0, because it’s kinda fun, but not something you can maintain significant interest in – that is to say, it’s in the video game “friend zone.”