Just one year after the smash hit of Donkey Kong Country in 1994, developer Rare and Nintendo published Donkey Kong Country 2 in 1995 on the Super Nintendo. The sequel would change leads and add a new female playable character with Dixie Kong. Would Donkey Kong Country 2 be just as amazing as the original or would this game be second banana? We’re twirling our way into this Donkey Kong Country 2 review!
Donkey Kong Country 2 Plot:
Our favorite Kong has been kidnapped by Kaptain K. Rool. He’s left a ransom note asking for the banana hoard back in exchange for Donkey Kong. Poor DK was just enjoying a nap on the beach when Cranky Kong approached whacking him on the head with his cane. After a few moments of Cranky insulting DK about how lazy he is, Cranky leaves DK alone to nap on the beach. It is during his nap that DK was kidnapped by the crew of K. Rool.
The Kongs gather around figuring out what to do next as Diddy swears to go after DK and take down Kaptain K. Rool again. Looking around at the Kongs, Cranky is too old and Funky Kong hates adventures. Suddenly, Dixie Kong, Diddy’s girlfriend speaks up saying she will partner with Diddy and get DK back. While shocked, Diddy reluctantly agrees and together the two of them set off to find DK and take down the Kremlings.
After making their way through various traps and kremling filled levels, Diddy and Dixie find DK roped up hanging from the ceiling with Kaptain K. Rool. Battling the Kaptain, the duo defeats him and rescues DK before making their way back to Kong Island.
Donkey Kong Country 2 Gameplay:
The formula for gameplay didn’t change much in my Donkey Kong Country 2 review. This is an excellent platformer that has you taking control of Diddy and his girlfriend, Dixie. Diddy controls identical to how he did in the original but with no Donkey Kong, Dixie was quite a change of pace. Both are small and quick but Dixie has the unique ability to twirl her hair and float from platform to platform. She controls great and I found myself using her much more than Diddy. There were even sections later on that required Dixie to make jumps between hazards. Her end-level celebrations were rad too with her guitar whaling anthem.
Back are the familiar and helpful animal pals although I think I used them much less. You can still use the rhino and swordfish but instead of actually jumping on them and using animals, you are transformed with barrels. Jumping into specially marked barrels will turn you into a giant snake, spider, or parrot. I didn’t like that aspect but it still played the same way. Aside from the typical levels of platforming, my Donkey Kong Country 2 review featured familiar levels of cart rides and water levels.
Collecting is emphasized more in Donkey Kong Country 2. There are mini-games that you can be transported to by finding items or secret barrels. These include collecting all the coins in an area or killing all the enemies. Overall, while quite fun I didn’t seek out these mini-games. If you collect enough of the hidden coins you’ll unlock the Lost World which is a bonus world. I had a hard enough time beating the game to try and go for hidden levels but it’s cool that they included it for other players.
Overall, Donkey Kong Country 2 is almost the exact same as the original. That’s not a bad thing but aside from changing characters, it didn’t feel different. The soundtrack is fantastic along with all of the sound effects. Truly, the Donkey Kong series has some of the best music when it comes to games on the Super Nintendo. Although if I had to pick one complaint, I’d say that the level variety is smaller. There were just as many levels but the themes were not as diverse.
Boss fights were challenging but not impossible. The hardest fight as it should be was the final fight against Kaptain K. Rool. Jumping over his cannonballs was tricky but once he started to turn invisible and slide across the room things got tough. It took me numerous attempts to beat him but once you understand his pattern, it became as simple as memorizing his routine.
I had a friend when I was in elementary school who had a Super Nintendo. His mom would babysit me after some school days, and we’d head to the basement to play the SNES. I can only think of three games that we’d play and by now I’ve reviewed them all. The first two were Blackthorne and Donkey Kong Country.
Playing Donkey Kong Country 2 as a kid, I remember thinking Dixie was pretty cool with how her hair could spin making her float. It was a great element to the gameplay and made her very valuable in some parts of the game. I don’t think we ever got very playing it but I at least remember my introduction to Donkey Kong Country 2.
Many, many years later, I’d attempt my first Donkey Kong Country 2 review. I was about halfway through with it when I accidentally deleted my save file. That made me quite mad, and I didn’t play it again for at least another year until just recently. Dixie was still cool as ever.
Donkey Kong Country 2 Review Score:
Rare struck gold with the original Donkey Kong Country, and they didn’t change the formula a bit with Donkey Kong Country 2. Smart, because it was just as amazing and immersive as the first with the wonderful soundtrack and inclusion of a new character. Dixie stole the show, but the real winner is gamers everywhere who experienced the second game in this wonderful series.
Donkey Kong Country 2 scores a 9.6 out of 10.
What would you write in your Donkey Kong Country 2 review? Which did you like better the original or sequel? Who was the toughest boss? Did you use Diddy or Dixie more? Let me know your thoughts and comments on Donkey Kong Country 2, I’d love to read them.