Diddy! Dixie! Swanky! Expresso! Glimmer the Angler Fish! They're all back in this update to the excellent SNES game.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong-Quest would have to be the most fondly remembered game of the DKC trilogy. And why not? It featured Diddy as its star, boasted better graphics than the original, had a ton of difficult secrets to uncover, and even had a hidden Lost World buried away for the persistent. Not to mention that it was released when the Nintendo gaming world was gripped in DKC fever (DKC2 was released shortly after Donkey Kong Land.) The game took a much darker tone as well, with the Kongs crossing over to Kremling territory on Crocodile Isle, as they chased after the kidnapped Donkey Kong.
Those who were concerned about the graphics for the game after seeing the less-than-perfect DKC port need not worry. DKC2 seems to be pixel perfect. The detail is all there, and the levels are as bright or as dark as they were in the original. In fact, it looks like the SNES version in widescreen. Transparency effects such as fog, water, clouds, and the ray of light from Glimmer the Angler Fish's lamp are all present.
The overworld maps for level select have all been completely redone, similar to DKC GBA. It all looks much more detailed, as you can now actually see Cranky's Cabin, Swanky's Bonus Bonanza Barrel, and Klubba's Kiosk. The map also fits properly as it has been designed for the GBA's wider resolution. Aside from that, the layout of the map screen is fairly similar to DKC GBA.
Klubba's Kiosk also seems to have changed completely. Previously, you would just select his Kiosk and pay him to enter the Lost World. Now he seems to have an overhead mini-game with a time limit. Perhaps you have to run away from him and make it to the kiosk to sneak into the Lost World yourself?
The Expresso Racing mini-game seems to be an homage to the now-lost Donkey Kong Racing. Up to four different coloured ostriches take part in a race to the finish! There's a standard timer counting upwards, and what appears to be a lap counter. There are also two counters for separate items, but what these are for is not yet clear. Weapons, perhaps? And naturally, the Zippers from Diddy Kong Racing seem to have made a return too. It'll be interesting to see how a side-scrolling racer turns out.
The Gyrocopter mini-game seems to take place in the hauntingly beautiful Bramble levels (yes, the ones with Stickerbush Symphony). The Gyrocopter doesn't look like the same one Funky gives you in DKC3 -- maybe it's a prototype. This mini-game has a timer counting downwards, a radar display, an ammunition counter, and what looks like an acceleration meter. The aim of the game seems to be to fly through rings of stars within a set time limit.
Similar to DKC GBA, DKC2 seems to be fixing up some of the continuity with small little touches. (In DKC GBA, there were references to Banana Birds, which aren't seen until DKC3, and the introduction was actually played out as a cut-scene.) After defeating Krow in DKC2, his ghost now flies off out of his body, which didn't happen in the SNES version. Those who've played DKC2 before will know why this little touch has been added. Seeing as this DKC2 update seems to be similar to the DKC1 update, there's good chance that the boss difficulty will be increased too! Hopefully Cranky will be much more insulting than he was in DKC GBA.
All up, DKC2 GBA looks like it will be an excellent update that does justice to the SNES original. Special thanks to Mundo Rare for their information and screens on the game.