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Donkey Kong Land 2 (3DS) Review Mini

by Bryan Rose - April 8, 2015, 11:34 am PDT
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Pint-sized primates are just as fun!

It's hard to take a console game and shrink it down to pint-size for portable systems. It was even tougher to do it back in 1996! The developers at Rare most likely had an arduous time trying to cram their graphically impressive (at the time, at least) masterpiece Donkey Kong Country 2 into a smaller scale for the Game Boy. The end result we have here is Donkey Kong Land 2. Overall, I had fun with the game even though it borrows a lot of gameplay concepts from its console counterpart and implements them well. The graphics sometimes impede on gameplay, but those instances are few and infrequent.

The game borrows heavily from DKC 2. Level names and boss fights are mostly the same as on the SNES, but level designs are brand new. Not new enough that it's totally distinguishable, but enough that you realize they were probably changed due to understandable hardware limitation purposes. The number of levels in the game has been cut as well, but I found that to be fine as this was designed to be a game you play on the go. It's very easy to pick up and play, and while there are some tough challenges, it’s not a game that will take up a lot of your time. It only took me a few hours or so to beat it, though that’s without collecting everything, which improves in the replayability factor.

The only problem I had with the game were concerns with the graphics. It's not fair to compare Game Boy graphics to the SNES graphics, because the hardware was completely different. One thing I can call out Rare on is that the backgrounds and character sprites tend to blend together a lot. It can sometimes be difficult to maneuver through a level, but not know what you're doing because something else is happening in the background and you can get easily lost, or not always know where you can or can’t step. It didn't happen a whole lot, but it was still annoying to get through.

Donkey Kong Land 2 is a fun trip down memory lane. The game carries the graphics and music that made its bigger, better brother so memorable. Now, the way the graphics were implemented could’ve been better, and I wish it the game were a bit longer, but it was a fun experience while it lasted. For a portable adventure, Donkey Kong Land 2 fit the bill, and it holds up years later as still a relatively fun experience.


  • Fun music
  • Great gameplay
  • Graphics make maneuvering difficult at times
  • On the short side

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Genre Action
Developer Rare

Worldwide Releases

na: Donkey Kong Land 2
Release Feb 26, 2015
jpn: Donkey Kong Land
Release Apr 16, 2014
RatingAll Ages
eu: Donkey Kong Land 2
Release Oct 23, 2014
aus: Donkey Kong Land 2
Release Oct 23, 2014

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