Tuesday 12 May 2015

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (SNES review)

Developer: Rare
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: 1996

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! was the final game in the series to appear on the Super Nintendo.

This time both Donkey and Diddy are absent as they've been kidnapped. Instead you control Dixie Kong (who has a helicopter spin) and her cousin Kiddy Kong (who can bounce on water). Both have little personality and feel like second tier characters. Several playable animals return along with new ones such as Perry (a bird that floats above you to collect items) and Ellie (an elephant who can throw barrels and shoot water). This is easily the weakest line-up in the series as none of DKC3's exclusive animals are any fun to play. Rare went for more of an adventure feel here as there's now a map you can freely move around and explore where the next world is located. There are also vehicles you can unlock that allow you to access new areas. Unfortunately the game feels like a rehash of previous entries and there's little that hasn't already been seen. Most levels are shallow and seem like half-baked ideas such as the ones where you're climbing tree houses. The only ones I enjoyed were Fire-Ball Frenzy (almost 3D in nature as enemies throw flames towards the screen) and Lightning Lookout (dodging bolts while racing through the level). The bosses are bland but the highlight is the snowman fight as you shoot into the screen and battle across multiple planes in a similar fashion to Shinobi's bonus stages! On a positive note, you can now save whenever you'd like. The graphics are as good as ever but there's quite a lot of slowdown. The music is mostly generic but I do like the Super Mario 64 track that occasionally plays when you enter a save point!

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! comes across purely as a cash-in title as it brings very little new to the table. In my opinion Rare seemed very bored with the franchise at this stage as the gameplay is uninspired and the two playable characters are instantly forgettable.

Random trivia: The DKC series went into hibernation after this game and wasn't seen again until Donkey Kong Country Returns arrived on the Wii in 2010.

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