In another bid to make me feel old beyond my years, the original Donkey Kong Country for the Super NES turns fifteen years old this month. Kombo's David Oxford has taken a look back at the franchise and how it's fallen into disarray since Nintendo's former golden developer Rareware moved over to Microsoft and Xbox development.
The original trilogy was touched up and ported to the Game Boy Advance a few years ago, but otherwise, the world of Donkey Kong that was created by Rare has been relegated to cameos and other games, such as the racer Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast and DK King of Swing.
Donkey did return to action platforming in the phenomenal but underrated Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, which was even remade and re-released this past year for the Wii, and while it did bear numerous earmarks of the DKC games, it just wasn't quite the same.
The original DKC game was *the* gaming event in my world back in 1994, but while the sequel improved on the formula, I don't remember the excitement level being quite as high for it. Of course, both Diddy's Kong Quest and Yoshi's Island debuted in 1995, so it's understandable where my attention was focused. Then came the third adventure, Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, which came out in 1996 at the same time as Super Mario 64, so while I did receive both games as holiday gifts that year, I was well entranced with the Nintendo 64 for about a week before I cracked the seal on DKC3. It was all downhill after that, and other Donkey Kong games in the style of the Country titles just never quite hit the highs of the original trilogy.