Donkey Kong, Jr. (VC) Review

One of the best games to come down the pike for the NES was Donkey Kong Jr. The game’s central task was to rescue Papa Donkey Kong from Mario, who is the villain in the game. DKJ is a platformer and game action involved the climbing of vines, avoiding obstacles, and using dropping fruits that hung on vines to clobber the enemies below.

Nintendo’s Virtual Console edition for the Wii is a direct port of the game and includes the original short four stages of the game: Vines, Chains, Springboard and The Hideout. When you first fire up this game, you’ll be transformed back to a time where graphics were blocky looking and gameplay was the main determining factor in a game’s success.

I really had to laugh out loud when the classic Nintendo electronic synthesizer music started on the DKJ game. Compared to today’s fully orchestrated music masterpieces of the likes of Gears of War and Final Fantasy XII, the DKJ music was primitive. But wait, I didn’t say that was bad. What got me laughing was playing this old-school game and hearing the familiar cartoon music of the title; nostalgia will do that to you.

The Virtual Console version of the title plays the same as the original version. Gameplay essentially revolves around navigating DKJ up, down, right and left against a black background full of colorful vines, chains, moving conveyor belts, fruits and objects. Control of DKJ is done by using the Wiimote, a GameCube controller, or the Classic Wiimote controller. Your mission is to successfully navigate yourself to the top of the screen while avoiding being killed in the process by snap jaws, snakes and other baddies.

The graphics are quaint and colorful, but extremely limited because of memory constraints during the days of the NES.

Donkey Kong Jr. will bring some nice memories back to old-school gamers or some interesting experiences for those who missed out on the golden age of video games. The gameplay is simple to a fault, but still commands a certain amount of skill. It isn’t bad by any means, but whether or not you want to spend 500 Wii Points ($5) for Donkey Kong Jr. depends on what you are buying it for.

If you’re doing it for memories sake and some warm retro fuzzy feelings, you’ve got the right game. If you’re doing it for laughs and want to experience the dawn of modern video games, you’ll have a good choice in DKJ. But because the game is so short, and essentially revolves around the same four levels, with the difficulty increasing each time you play through, those who are used to longer gameplay may want to skip this title in favor of another NES VC title.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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