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User Reviews

Arcade classic with puzzle elements NeoJ (455) 2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars
Here's One Worth Your Hard-Earned Dollars and Cents Steve Thompson (126) 3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars
THE essential Mario game for the GBA. optrirominiluikus (118) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
AI The quality of the game's intelligence, usually for the behavior of opponents. 3.4
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 4.0
Graphics The visual quality of the game 3.7
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 3.6
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.6
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they are executed. This rating is used for every game except compilations and special editions which don't have unique game content not available in a standalone game or DLC. 3.2
Overall User Score (27 votes) 3.6

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
GamePro (US) (May 24, 2004)
Jekyll and Hyde, Taylor and Dr. Zaius?the struggle between man and his savage self has struck a chord with anybody who has suffered internal conflict between the repressive demands of civilized society and the often times unbearable urge to immediately satisfy oneself. Hence, playing any game that pits man against monkey is always a morally ambivalent experience. Who among you can say that, if given the chance, you wouldn?t tear off your clothes, drop down to all fours, grab a gal and some bananas, and climb the nearest tree or skyscraper?
Utterly addictive with smooth visuals and great sound. Nintendo's new colourful platforming adventure really is the monkey's nuts.
Mit Mario vs. Donkey Kong bekommen wir jetzt das nĂ€chste Update des extrem spaßigen Gameplays ab. Dank neuer Technologie farbenprĂ€chtig und mit einem Mario, der noch in keinem JNR mehr Moves drauf hatte. Er rollt, schlĂ€gt Saltos, Flik-Flaks, Wurfattacken... Klasse Spiel mit enormem Fun-Faktor, leider ein wenig zu kurz.
Jeuxvideo.com (Nov 19, 2004)
Quand un épisode de Mario combine réflexion et plate-forme, ça donne un condensé tout simplement délectable. A la fois drÎle et intelligent, Mario Vs Donkey Kong est susceptible de passionner n'importe quel type de joueurs. Le challenge est à la hauteur et le plaisir de jeu est omniprésent. Foncez !
IGN (May 24, 2004)
Ten years have passed since Nintendo revisited its original 1981 arcade Donkey Kong on the black-and-white Game Boy system, taking the classic design to new heights with fresh action and puzzle elements that faithfully retained the Donkey Kong arcade game's look and feel. Almost as if it was marking the anniversary, Nintendo has brought back that design in a new package for the Game Boy Advance in Mario vs. Donkey Kong. Unless you've already been familiarized by the original Game Boy title, though, you'd never realize it was a revisit; it really feels like Nintendo and developer NST made a conscious effort to give the Mario vs. Donkey Kong the image of an original franchise. But we know better. Even though the game isn't unique, the entire experience is because every one of the challenges are new to the GBA production. And though we miss the old-school presentation, it's still great to play the fantastic game design in a fresh perspective.
Game Over Online (Jun 18, 2004)
And so the feud continues, fuelled by new moves, new puzzle elements and old references from the days of Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 64. The result is a portable platform puzzler that while simple in nature, is sure to please fans of both Nintendo characters.
Retro Gamer (Jan, 2006)
This time around, Mario must collect a number of mini Mario toys and a key that will allow him to reach the next level. Needless to say, it’s far from easy and throws a number of different obstacles (as well as everyone’s favourite ape) at the Italian plumber. Fortunately, Mario has a vast number of moves at his disposal and will soon be jumping around the beautifully designed levels with ease.
Games TM (Jul 15, 2004)
Considering things don't really start getting taxing until the fourth or fifth world in a game that initially seems to have only six (...) this may not look like a huge title, but you really don't appreciate how evil level designers can be until the later stages - the - Expert levels alone will be enough to turn GBAs into projectiles. Thankfully, the game's mechanics are consistent enough that most (if not all) outbursts will be due to human error, and the feeling of accomplishment that emerges from the wake of a particularly tough challenge makes all the hair-tearing worthwhile.
Eurogamer.net (UK) (Nov 11, 2004)
It won't come as anything new or inspiring to anybody who's tackled a DK title before, but it engages the brain in ways that we enjoy being probed, and for all its age the formula is still as sound as ever. Meanwhile, it's a new thrill for a younger generation of handheld owners, and has the potential to be a fantastic stocking filler for anybody who likes to haul out the console on a train or bus to school. It's not the most imaginative, it won't last forever, and we're not particularly sold on the pre-rendered visual approach (give us something from Yoshi's Island any day), but it's hard to argue with any game where every level feels like slotting in the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle.
4Players.de (Jun 02, 2005)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong ist in meinem Herzen: Niedlich, aber nicht hĂ€sslich. Simpel, aber dennoch herausfordernd. Einfach zu lernen, schwierig zu meistern – toll! Zwar mag das Ganze wie ein Kinderspiel aussehen, aber jĂŒngere Spieler werden schnell an den teilweise beinharten KopfnĂŒssen verzweifeln; ein dickes Frustfell ist absolutes Muss. Auch HĂŒpfer, die hier ein neues Jump-n-Run erwarten, werden enttĂ€uscht sein – MvDK ist allem Herumgehopse zum Trotz ein Knobelgame, und zwar ein wirklich cooles! Genau das Richtige fĂŒr euch, wenn ihr gerade Donkey Kong: King of Swing oder Yoshi's Universal Gravitation durch habt und nach mehr Gehirnfutter verlangt.
Gameplanet (Jul 27, 2004)
A superb mix of twitch platform action and cranium-busting strategy, Mario vs. Donkey Kong is the way all classics should be revisited. It's fun, it's playable in short bursts and it has loads of variety - exactly the kind of game that is ideal to leave in your GBA at the bottom of your bag. The only real thing against it is its incredibly short length, but it's a fun ride while it lasts.
G4 TV: X-Play (Apr 06, 2006)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong is oh-so-close to being the perfect handheld game. Its rich, entertaining gameplay can be enjoyed in nuggets, and simply put, it’s beautifully designed. It's a little on the short side and there are times when you'll want to rip out Mario’s vocal chords because he won’t shut up, but Nintendo proves once again that games like this are arguably what it does best.
1UP (May 27, 2004)
Mario Vs. Donkey Kong is a strange creature. It's almost a sequel to Donkey Kong -- the Game Boy Donkey Kong, that is, which was in turn something of a sequel to the original DK arcade game. But while DKGB expanded upon Nintendo's breakout hit with breathtaking ambition, turning a 4-level platformer into a 100-level brain-teasing action puzzler, MvsDK is content merely to reprise the previous handheld adventure while casually introducing a few new elements during the course of the quest. It's somewhere between a remake and a full sequel; call it an expansion pack, if you will.
GameSpot (May 24, 2004)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong isn't really a direct sequel; rather, it's an update to the 1994 release of Donkey Kong on the original Game Boy. This 1994 release was an update to the original Donkey Kong formula, which introduced two of Nintendo's best-known characters and built the original template that platform games would work with for years to come. The 1994 update gave Mario new moves and gave the game's levels an almost puzzlelike quality. The game was a really cool merge of puzzle-solving and classic 2D platforming. The 2004 release, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, updates the look of the game and makes some cool changes of its own, making it a worthwhile action puzzler for Game Boy Advance owners.
Years from now, people’s memories of this game will probably outshine its reality. Mario vs. Donkey Kong is a quick romp that has you using Mario’s impressive action moveset to complete a series of puzzle rooms. That being said, the speed of the game seems to highlight its brevity – I was smoking through worlds in no time, but didn’t get all of the collectibles. I guess I could go back later to be a completist, but I’m not really that kind of girl.
Joypad (Jul, 2004)
Enfin un titre GBA exclusivement (ou presque) réservé à Mario Superstar. Le soft mélange plate-forme classique, action et puzzle, et nous sert un cocktail fort appétissant. Des graphismes tout en sobriété et en couleur, une musique pétillante, et une maniabilité quasi instinctive. Un plaisir trop court.
JeuxActu (Dec 13, 2004)
Mario VS Donkey Kong reprend avec brio et fidĂ©litĂ© le concept du titre original, tout en accentuant le plaisir de jeu grĂące Ă  une rĂ©alisation soignĂ©e et une dose de rĂ©flexion bien pensĂ©e. Si le nombre de tableaux est consĂ©quent et d’une grande variĂ©tĂ©, la difficultĂ© du jeu ne dĂ©colle vraiment qu’à la seconde partie du jeu. Cela lui permet ainsi d’ĂȘtre accessible Ă  tout le monde.
Yahoo! Games (May 28, 2004)
After years of starring in his own games, it's easy to forget that Mario once played second fiddle to a big ape. The two have finally reunited, with Kong suiting up for one more turn as Mario's hairy nemesis. And while Mario vs. Donkey Kong isn't perfect, it's still a fun way to relive some 1984 arcade nostalgia while solving one puzzle board after another.
The Video Game Critic (Jul 18, 2004)
As you would expect from Nintendo, Mario Vs. Donkey Kong's production values are through-the-roof, with polished graphics, entertaining sound effects, amazing background music, and crisp control. The only control issue I had was difficulty jumping off the vines. Charming little details like the hammer from Donkey Kong (along with its original theme music), and the hilarious animations like cymbal-clapping monkeys elevate the game's average gameplay. The cartridge automatically saves your place and records the high scores for each screen. Mario Vs. Donkey Kong is an interesting twist on an old theme, but it's not as fun as the games that inspired it.
videogamer.com (Feb 08, 2005)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong becomes something of a train wreck just halfway into the game, with the colour coded puzzles offering nothing new apart from untold levels of frustration. Perhaps to a gamer that has never experienced the joy that is DK '94, Mario vs. Donkey Kong may hold up better, but when you've seen how excellent this game could and should have been, you can only be left disappointed.
EL33TONLINE (Oct 16, 2006)
Before I go, I should mention the art style - they’ve gone with pre-rendered sprites similar to the Donkey Kong Country games, not pretty hand-drawn ones like in the Super Mario Bros games, and I must say that I would have much preferred it with the hand-drawn style. Nevertheless, the game has some good puzzle-solving elements, a lot of content and I thoroughly enjoyed the race-the-clock to get the gold star mechanic. Certainly this title is unique in today’s gaming landscape, and if you like puzzles this one will keep you entertained.
UOL Jogos (Jun 29, 2004)
"Mario vs. Donkey Kong" Ă© um jogo simples e divertido. Apesar de nĂŁo ser tĂŁo elaborado como o inesquecĂ­vel remake original, ele ainda serve como um Ăłtimo passatempo. VocĂȘ vai querer arrancar seus cabelos em algumas fases (e, ao contrĂĄrio do outro, muitas vezes por besteiras na estrutura da fase, e nĂŁo pela sua habilidade como jogador), mas desistir do game? Jamais.
GameSpy (May 26, 2004)
Ultimately, Mario vs. Donkey Kong winds up being a quirky and sometimes frustrating puzzle action title that fails to do its two famous mascots justice. I'm sure that there are plenty of GBA gamers that will disagree with my assessment and jump at the chance to crack all of the difficulty settings found within the confines of Mario vs. Donkey Kong. On the other hand, I'm also thinking that there will be the other gamers that agree that this game could have been something much more than just a straightforward puzzle title. If you can, give it a rent to see if it leaves a good or bad taste in your mouth. Personally, I'll stick to the likes of Puyo Pop and Tetris if I want something puzzling to play.

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