Friday 27 November 2015

Donkey Kong 3 (NES review)

Developer: Nintendo R&D#1
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: 1986

Donkey Kong 3 is an action game that was originally released in the Arcades in 1983.

You play the role of Stanley and your mission is to capture Donkey Kong who's loose in the greenhouse. Armed with only a can of bug spray you need to continuously fire upwards until DK is pushed to the top of the vine. To make things more difficult a host of enemies swarm downwards and try to steal your five flower pots that act as bonus points at the end of each round. Protecting them is key to a high score and you'll need some serious multitasking as DK slides back down if you leave him unattended for too long. You can sometimes collect a Power Spray which is much more forceful but it only lasts for a short amount of time. The small space you have to work in, coupled with the constant barrage of enemies, makes this the toughest DK entry on the NES. The difficulty is extremely high and unless you're willing to spend a lot of time learning the game's nuisances you'll probably get frustrated quite quickly. The shooting mechanic feels slightly off and you can only fire in small bursts which leaves you in perilous situations too often. There's only three screens that look and play very similar, and the only real differences are slightly tweaked platform structures and stage specific enemies. The lack of variety in the gameplay and level design makes for a boring experience and it feels far less expansive than the first two games. In my opinion, the bug spraying mechanic just isn't a strong enough to sustain a whole game and it feels like a rushed release. More than anything though DK3 just isn't fun and instead of feeling motivated to play another round I constantly felt the urge to turn it off.

Donkey Kong 3 is almost like a mini-game that's been inexplicably released as a full fledged title. It has very little depth, barely any variety and overall it's just a massive disappointment considering how enjoyable the first two games in the series were.

Random trivia: Following this game, the DK series was put on hold until Donkey Kong Country was released on the SNES in 1994.

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