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Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble (Wii U VC) Review Mini

by Zachary Miller - April 9, 2015, 2:46 pm PDT
Total comments: 3

7

It's not great, but it is different.

The DKC series peaked at DKC2, in my opinion. I played all three DKC games when they originally came out, and I distinctly remember not loving DKC3 almost 20 years ago. When it came out for Wii Virtual Console and I actually beat it all the way through, 103%, although again, I remember not loving it. And now it’s finally out again on the Wii U Virtual Console, and I’m here to tell you that it’s just not that great.

First, I have no idea why Donkey Kong isn’t in this game. He’s been Kong-napped (again), this time with Diddy, and has been replaced by Kiddy Kong—who is functionally Donkey Kong but wearing a onesie. The game takes place in the Northern Kremisphere, which provides some new environments to explore like pine forests, waterfalls, and cave systems. The overworld is a bit more organic, with more freedom to move; you’ll go through a lengthy trading quest with a large family of bears who lives in the overworld, and search for Banana Birds. Dixie controls the same way she did in DKC2, but Kiddy Kong is imbued largely with DK’s moveset, excluding the hand-slap. But he also comes with a few new moves of his own, including a new ability to skip across water.

The standard pickups are all here—Bonus Coins, DK Coins, and Banana…er, Bear Coins. New features include minigames involving throwing balls at background objects, infiltrating Krematoa (this game’s version of DKC2’s Lost World), memorizing button sequences to free Banana Birds, and an ill-advised rocket barrel level that brings to mind traumatic flashbacks to the Earthworm Jim bathysphere sequence: limited fuel, easily-overshot controls, and lots of walls to bump into. I also have to mention how terrible and lazy the enemy design is. The first boss is literally a barrel.

The game is about as long and difficult as DKC2, but feels more like a chore. The more experimental stages go on too long. The new animal friends (an elephant and a pheasant) feel under-utilized. Despite being different, the new environments also feel sterile. DKC3 is technically competent and well-designed, but it’s lost the magic. It offers local two-players competitive and cooperative modes if you’re so inclined, and there’s a cheat menu that offers up a hard mode (not difficult to find online).

I feel the same way today about DKC3 as I did back when I originally played it: enjoyable, but not overtly so, and maybe not worth full price.

Summary

Pros
  • Kiddy Kong is basically Donkey Kong
  • New environments and stage-specific challenges
  • New stuff, like Banana Birds and a trading sequence
Cons
  • Any time you have to race against time or fuel
  • Enemy design has reached peak lameness
  • The magic is gone

Talkback

Disco StuApril 09, 2015

Paging Dr. Metts.

Retro DeckadesApril 09, 2015

ProsKiddy Kong is basically Donkey Kong
:Q

Mop it upApril 10, 2015

This game is missing something the first two had, I can't quite place it, but I still like the game. In fact, I might like it more than the original DKC since it has more varied level design. Kiddy is a dumb character though.

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Genre Action
Developer Rare
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble
Release Feb 26, 2015
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Super Donkey Kong 3: Nazo no Kremisu Shima
Release Nov 26, 2014
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble
Release Oct 30, 2014
PublisherNintendo
Rating7+
aus: Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble
Release Oct 30, 2014
PublisherNintendo
RatingGeneral
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