Donkey Kong Land 2
Description official descriptions
In Donkey Kong Land 2, Donkey Kong has been captured by the evil Kaptain K. Rool, leaving it up to Diddy and Dixie Kong to save the day in this side-scrolling adventure. Fortunately, they will have plenty of help along the way from their friends.
Like the original Donkey Kong Land, all the graphics in this game are pre-rendered three dimensional models. The gameplay is also similar, with platform jumping and banana collecting remaining a core part of the game experience.
- ドンキーコングランド - Japanese spelling
Credits (Game Boy version)
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Average score: 89% (based on 11 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 24 ratings with 1 reviews)
This is Rare's second attempt to adapt their successful Donkey Kong franchise for the Game Boy. The first game was its own thing, this one is a bit more port-ish in the sense that it tries to follow closer to the Super Nintendo sequel stages and its map screens. But of course, as always, out of the Game Boy's limitations the layouts of levels have been redesigned, to the point that they feel kind of new.
One of the many problems the first Land game had was how enemies appeared out of nowhere, the scrolling and the movement was so fast and the Game Boy screen so tiny, that it really didn't give you time to react. That is not an issue here: some of the enemies' animations might look a bit clumsier and they definitely move a lot slower, but at least we don't get cheap hits and deaths. It's a great improvement.
Now the kinetic platforming, the fast moving gameplay that the series is known for, is back on the menu.
The difficulty has been nerfed down but you still get a moment or two of unfair challenge: the sword Kleaver boss fight is a nightmare to deal with.
Gone is the terrible Save System experiment of the first game - where you had to collect all the four Kong letters in order to save - here it follows the SNES. You have a free save per map from Wrinkly, and then you have to pay 2 banana coins if you want to save again. Is for the best.
The coins are back! The silly mini game bonuses that bring a disruptive variety in gameplay still reward you with Secret World Kremkoins and each stage still has a hidden Cranky's challenge DK coins, almost always a blast to look for these. So the re-playability is guaranteed.
All the Animal Friends are here - they are a great part of DKC2 and they play a fair role here, bringing variety to the gameplay, and though you cannot mount them anymore -just transform into them- Rambi, Enguarde and Rattly they all have their characteristic special charging moves, and you can even make web platforms from Squitter.
There's still a minor problem with the hit boxes, but they tweaked it a little bit and it's nowhere near close to the first Land game. Most of the times the hit boxes are generous and work in your favor.
But back are the cheap deaths just by dropping on thin air when you know there's a platform below out of the system's short memory: I guess there is no way around this, the hardware is just weak, but as a consolation I can say that for the most part these are not that frequent.
The stages are huge, some of them oddly enough feel bigger than their Super Nintendo counterparts, which creates some orientation problems... usually kind of fixed in a somehow cheap way with banana arrows that guide you in the direction you need to go. But still, the stages sometimes feel just too long.
The music in this game could be a huge plus, there's enough variety of well arranged tunes and most of the original score is here; but inexplicably they choose to use one tune per map screen, over and over. I never thought I could get annoyed by listening to David Wise's amazing rendition but when I hear Lockjaw's Saga for what it feels like the 10th time in a row I had to turn down the volume.
And it's a bit disappointing to see from renowned Grant Kirkhope - the man in charge of the music here - there wasn't a single new composition... though it was his first job at Rare so I'll give the guy a break.
The Bottom Line
Donkey Kong Land was a technical marvel but a very hard game, and the glitches and scrolling issues at times made it unplayable.
Donkey Kong Land 2 is just as impressive -if not more- in every single department, it feels and plays better, and the issues, for the most part, were fixed, making this the absolute very best way of experiencing a DKC game on the Game Boy.
Game Boy · by pelida77 (36) · 2023
- Electronic Gaming Monthly
- March 1997 (Issue 92) - Handheld Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
- MobyGames ID: 5592
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by quizzley7.
Nintendo 3DS added by GTramp.
Game added January 9th, 2002. Last modified September 21st, 2023.