Posted on October 18, 2012
My Top 100: #65 – Donkey Kong Country
In the last post, I mentioned that I loved snowy levels in video games. After looking at my “super-secret” top 100 list to see which game I’d be writing about next, I found it funny that it was a snowy level that really made me think this game was something special.
In the 8-and-16-bit eras, I can’t recall many games having more hype than Donkey Kong Country. Of course, I may have been a little over-exposed to it, having a subscription to Nintendo Power and all. Where Sega had “blast processing”, Nintendo would tout “ACM (Advanced Computer Modelling)” as the future of video games. Pre-rendered 3D graphics on a 16-bit console was a big deal, and they made sure all us readers knew it!
Issue after issue, I was buying into the hype. I was convinced that I would love this game, and even though someone would always beat us to Blockbuster after its release in November of ’94, I got it for Christmas that year without having played a minute of it beforehand.
As with other games in this list, I spent most of the holidays playing it, and pretty much had it beat by the time I went back to school. I found that the platforming was quite fun, what with the slick controls and bouncy jumping mechanics. It was pretty fun to jump onto to one baddie, bounce off, land on another, into a barrell, or whatever. It flowed nicely, and it felt a bit more acrobatic than Mario’s usual stunts. Diddy could also do a cartwheel off a ledge, then jump in mid-air. It’s weird, and I’m still not sure if it was designed that way on purpose, but it adds to the experience rather than taking away from it.
As usual, we made the trip up north to my grandmother’s like we did every Christmas. Blizzards in the Baie area tend to be pretty nasty, and though our drive up was clear, the day after was far from it. We didn’t have to go anywhere, so we stayed in, put some wood in the stove and laid low. Of course, I played DKC all day.
I had already made some progress through the game, and found that a lot of the levels were quite memorable indeed. That one with the suspended walkways, the one with the red light\green light enemies, and awww man, the mine cart level?? They were so good, and looked fantastic on screen.
The day of that storm in Baie Sainte-Anne, I got to the level shown in the video above. Not only did the trees in the background remind me of the massive pine trees in our front yard at home, but the way the clouds gather and the snow slowly picks up… I could look out the window, and it looked pretty much the same as what was going on in the game. Amazing! It was such a blast.
Even to this day, I find there’s something really cozy and relaxing about a crazy Winter storm…