This week for the Retro Replay we’re going back to the game that started it all for Nintendo, the arcade classic, Donkey Kong.
For those of you not in the know, and really I’m not going to lie, I’m ashamed for you for not knowing about Donkey Kong and the fact that I am forced to explain it to you. So here we go, you play as Jumpman, who we all now know better as Mario, but he wasn’t named Mario at this point in his history, we was just Jumpman, because he well, um, jumped a lot (real creative there Miyamoto). Anyways, the titular character Donkey Kong kidnaps Jumpman’s girlfriend Pauline. “Pauline!” You say, “what about Princess Peach?” And to that I say, if you know all of this about Mario’s history, then why am I explaining this to you? But yes, this was Mario’s girl before Peach, and probably because Donkey Kong doesn’t take place in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Anyways, DK kidnaps your girl and you have to scale these girders in order to get her back. This is classic platforming at its finest. DK stands atop the rafters and chucks barrels at you that you can jump over (hence your name) or grab a hammer and smash them. Whichever way you choose your goal is to get to the top and save the girl.
Technically the game has only three levels. Once you finish level three Donkey Kong falls to his doom and you reunite with your stolen love and a heart appears over the two of you. However the game isn’t over, you just restart from level one and continue on with your score and you go on and on until you lose all your lives or the game crashes.
This was one of my favorite games when I was a wee-one (or should I say “Wii-one”, no, no I shouldn’t). My dad had a Collecovision and we had a few games for it, one being Donkey Kong (my other favorite from then was War Games, which if I ever get a copy will definitely be featured here). I played the hell out of that game when I was young, I can’t remember if I was very good at it, but I kept playing so I couldn’t have been terrible.
I always get a warm feeling when playing Donkey Kong, it’s one of the few games that takes me back to my childhood when I play it. I’ll admit it has been quite a while since I had played the game, I mean actually played it. I downloaded it to my Wii U maybe a year ago when they were offering a Virtual Console sale for 40 cents. It was a deal I couldn’t pass up. When I got it I played for a few minutes but didn’t really dive into it.
Well I dove in to it the game this weekend it all came back to me. The timing of the jumps the patients to let things pass by. This game is a classic platformer in the purest sense of the word. There is precision jumping, there is dodging and if you get the hammer you can also dish out some punishment. I’ve played through the game a few times and I’ve enjoyed myself greatly.
Final Verdict: There is one thing you can count on from Nintendo and it’s that there games are quality and have a timelessness about them. Their first breakout hit has all of these qualities to it. In spite of it’s age the controls of the game have always been crisp. If you die you can take heed that it was your fault you missed timed a jump and not the controls. Donkey Kong is a fun game just to play on your own or with a group of friends trying to beat each other’s high scores. If you pick this game up on the Nintendo Virtual Console for $4.99 you won’t be sorry. That is why I’m giving this game our Retro Reply review of Relive It.