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Review by: Jeff Burke
Published: August 17th, 2005
Trying to think of a sub par Donkey Kong game is like trying to think of a sub par Zelda game… and if you even think to throw in any of that 3DO trash then no amount of talk to lead you to the light and show you how great a game Donkey Kong: King of Swing is. Leading into the American release of this title, I kept an eye on the overseas release and couldn’t decide if the import was right for me. In retrospect I should have just went with my gut feeling of going for it – I mean is there a bad Donkey Kong title? Even the Diddy Kong spin-offs had quite a bit of merit.
If the last Donkey Kong you played was of the DK:Country nature, then that prepares you as much for this title as playing a good hand of solitaire would. The only thing borrowed would be our hero and the normal band of baddies including King K. Rool. The back story, as if a game like this needs one, is that of an upcoming tournament that King K. Rool sabotages by stealing all the medals for. Enter stage left our “monkey-brained”, as K. Rool would say at least, friend. Furious as ever he starts out on his journey to reclaim the medals.
Short into aside, a quick tutorial from the seemingly out-of-character Cranky Kong takes place, introducing you to the basic controls of the game, L and R shoulder representing each of Donkey Kong’s hands. Through a combination of both Donkey Kong swings from pegs, switches and other graspable objects to goals found almost always upwards versus the common left to right. Holding L and R serves to “power-up” Donkey Kong to give him a little extra heighth, break obstacles in his upwards climb (or swing), and finally to dispose of the many enemies.
Health is measured in a classic 3 hearts fashion, allows for DK to get hit three times before being forced to start the level over. Without much in the form of powerups to this game, getting back health is accomplished by collecting bananas, and converting them into either life to replenish your lost hearts, or by “going bananas” and spending a larger amount of collected bananas to grant a strength increase, limited invulnerability and higher jump ability.
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