Donkey Kong Country (1994) Review

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Donkey Kong Country is a 2.5D plat-former that was developed by Rare Ware for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the game came to be after Rare Ware played around with silicon graphics. It was the first game in the Donkey Kong Franchise to not be directed by Shigeru Miyamoto however he was involved with the games development.

 

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The plot of the game is explained over four pages of the games original manual, the plot is very well written and is a humorous but atmospheric way to get players in the best mood for the game to come, to briefly break the plot down Diddy Kong was guarding Donkey Kongs Banana Horde when he was attacked by a group of King K Rool’s Kremlings before being stuffed into a barrel, the next morning after noticing Diddy’s absence and the lack of Banana’s in his collection Donkey Kong runs into the Jungle to rescue his nephew Diddy and get his Banana’s back.

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The game is an action plat-former where you play as both of the Monkeys, this also allows 2 player simultaneous game-play. In levels players can collect banana’s and Kong letters to earn more lives.

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There are various animal friends hidden in some levels which allow the monkeys to easily take out tougher enemies and find secret passages, another use of animals in the game is when you collect three matching golden animal statues,  this will open a bonus area where you can quickly add larger quantities of lives.

The two main monkeys each play the same but have different strengths Diddy Kong is lighter than Donkey Kong and is better at getting through tight spaces, Donkey Kong is much larger and a little slower but his extra weight allows him to take out armoured enemies with ease.

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There are many different types of levels in the game and all of them are very well made, the two that stood out the most to me were the water levels and the mine carts.

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These are in my opinion the most challenging in the game both require quick reactions and well timed movements, I normally hate water levels in games but I really like these ones they have great atmospheric music and they don’t tire out your thumb as much as over games water stages do, if you ride the fish you can actually go through most of these stages without any repetitive tapping as well.

I like the mine cart stages because they give off quite an adrenaline rush due to the high speeds that you travel on the mine cart and the fast reactions you need to survive, these stages leave you feeling very satisfied when you finally manage to beat them.

The only other stages that really stand out in this game are the light stages where you need to keep turning on lights to see your way through the levels, there are only a few of these but they are very difficult.

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Between worlds you can pay visits to Cranky Kong who will both insult you and also provide you hints on secrets in some of the stages.

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The boss fights are not very inspired, they all get hurt the same way and apart from one or two of them they are not that memorable, this is not including the final boss which is great.

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/clvs/manuals/common/pdf/CLV-P-SAALE.pdf

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/clvs/manuals/common/pdf/CLV-P-SAALE.pdf

The games soundtrack is one of the most beloved video game soundtracks of all time, the music is extremely well done and fits the tone and atmosphere of the game perfectly. It uses various nature sounds and music styles to make the music fit perfectly into the jungle environment and its hard to give it justice in words alone but composers David Wise and Eveline Fisher made most of the music for the game and deserve their place in video game history.

Donkey Kong Country is an amazing game, it is known to be one of the best games on the Super Nintendo and you can see why, I would argue that it isn’t perfect though one thing that bugged me was that they mapped the roll move with the same button as sprint and this caused me to roll off of edges more times than necessary and I found some areas hard to see properly due to the realism in the visuals. Don’t get me wrong the graphics are really impressive and they suit the game very well I just wish at times they were a little bit brighter, apart from these two things the game is flawless, it controls well, looks and sounds beautiful and is overall one of the best video games of all time 9.4/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Donkey Kong Country for the SNES

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Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) Review

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We’ve taken quite a time jump with Creature of the Black Lagoon, this is the first time I have ever seen the film and I was surprised that it was able to use my wide screen television to its advantage as the other films we have looked at only took up a percentage of the screen.

Julie Adams and the Gill Man in CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, 1954.

The creature is one of the most popular monsters of all time, it became a beloved icon after the success of the movie and many toys, food promotions, board games and plush toys made Universal more than 10 times the amount they got from the film alone, today the simple story of a group of scientist’s hunting a man/fish monster so they can study it probably wouldn’t be so popular compared too some of the more complex horror movies of today, so what made this so famous and why did so many people love the monster?

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Some may believe that the creatures success is purely due to how brilliant the movie is and the creative design of the monster but I beg to differ, I believe the success was for two reasons, the first is that the movie was shot in 3D which was a new concept back then which would surely draw in an audience and the other reason is just because of when it was released, in the 1950’s monster movies were huge and more popular than they have every been and throughout the decade many popular monster movies were released including Invasion of the body snatchers, Tarantula, It came from out of space and Godzilla just to name a few.

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The creature was played by two people Ben Chapman played the creature on land while a gentleman named Rico Browning played the creature whenever he was in the water, the supporting cast is a lot of fun they each bring a lot of energy and charisma to the production, apart from the creature itself  Richard Carlson, Richard Dennings and Julie Adams are the best part of the film these three actors have an amazing chemistry and their personalities are always bouncing off of each other also Julie Adams did a bikini scene which helped to sky rocket her acting career.

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The sets for creature are not too great but this is due to a big chunk of the movie taking place underwater and when the movie takes us somewhere else its only for a short while, the underwater scenes are fantastic and beautifully shot, they were recorded in the North Florida Wakulla Springs while the rest of the film was shot at the Universal back lot in California, the problem I have with the sets is that apart from the Wakulla Springs the rest just aren’t that memorable you haven’t got a Dracula’s Castle or a Doctor Frankenstein’s Laboratory which is a real shame.

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The Creature from the Black Lagoon is a really great film, the movie is a lot of fun to watch, out of all of the films this month I would say that this one felt like a proper monster movie, Creature from the Black Lagoon was like watching a Godzilla movie that’s loosely based on King Kong its absolutely brilliant.

The Blu-Ray is once again lacking in Bonus Features although there is a decent documentary and a directors commentary to watch also a 3D version of the movie is available on the disk which is pretty cool.

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com