DK: Jungle Climber Review
Posted by Stuart Reddick
You spin me right round baby right round...
It's time to spin, swing, and fling yourself into adventure with DK: Jungle Climber! Using the game’s simple controls, players take control of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong as they journey throughout the land trying to assist a talking banana known as Xananab. For you see, the evil King K. Rool stole five Crystal Bananas belonging to Xananab. After Donkey Kong shot down Xananab’s banana ship, Donkey Kong agreed to assist him in finding the five Crystal Bananas that King K. Rool stole. Ok, that's the plot out of way - what's the game actually like?
Like its predecessor DK: King of Swing, Jungle Climber uses mostly the L and R buttons. By pressing and releasing both buttons simultaneously, DK will jump. By pressing the A button, DK will jump and attack enemies. If you have Diddy Kong, you can press A again to launch Diddy Kong into the air so that he can retrieve items that Donkey Kong can’t.
At the beginning of the game, Cranky Kong will give you a rundown on how the game works. After viewing the concept on the top screen, Cranky applies what you have learned in a short minigame. By completing the minigame, Cranky moves on to teach you another technique. After getting explained the basics of the game to you, you can embark on your adventure. Throughout the game, Cranky will appear and teach you advanced techniques as well as share valuable information about stages and items.
In each level, there are several things you can collect. For starters, there are four letters; K, O, N, G. The letters are found in the order listed and once you find all four letters, something special will happen. In addition to this, there are Banana Medals as well as some other things. As usual, there are bananas to collect and by collecting one hundred bananas, you gain a 1-up.
In Jungle Climber there are pegs that you must grab unto. To grab onto a peg, press the L or R button. The L button will make Donkey Kong grab unto to a peg to the left of him, while the R button will make him grab unto a peg right of him. By grabbing unto a peg, Donkey Kong will spin until you release the L or R button. Once you let go, Donkey Kong goes in the direction that he stopped spinning in. While he jumps, you can grab unto another peg by pressing the L or R button. If you are spinning you can press the opposite button (Press the L button if your holding the R button and vice versa) to grab unto another peg and stop spinning. When you are not spinning, you can attack and launch Diddy Kong but when you are, you can’t launch him.
Besides grabbing unto pegs, there are also flowers you can grab. By attaching yourself unto one, you’ll be flung to another part of the stage. In addition to this, there are also boulders you can grab. If you grab unto the right part of a boulder, the boulder moves right. While the boulder is moving, you have to concentrate on staying on the right side of the boulder. If you happen to end up on the left side, the boulder will halt. If you continue to stay on the left side of the boulder, the boulder starts moving to the left.
In each stage, there are Bonus Barrels that you can jump in. Jumping in will blast you off to play a minigame. Besides Bonus Barrels, there are also barrels that will just simply send you to another part of the stage. In one way, DK: Jungle Climber is very similar to the Donkey Kong Country series, but in another, it’s very different. There were bananas scattered across each stage, letters to collect as well as barrels to blast off in. In Jungle Climber, you have pegs to grab unto, whereas in the Donkey Kong Country series, you never had that, but you did however have ropes to climb.
Occasionally you will engage in conversations with other characters. While the dialogue is decent, what really impressed me were the character models. Each character is very well done and they look like they came out of a Nintendo Gamecube game. The backgrounds are 2-D, unfortunately, which is why we came away a little disappointed with the graphics.
The sound in Jungle Climber is pretty decent but it’s definitely not something of high caliber. Essentially the music is a little like that of the Donkey Kong Country games, which is a good thing. It is usually very joyful and upbeat but it can get a little repetitive. We personally loved the music but I would have liked to hear a little more variety.
In addition to the single player adventure, there is also a multiplayer mode for you to play. Thankfully it’s a single card multiplayer mode and up to four players can play together using just one copy of Jungle Climber. Though the multiplayer mode is nowhere near as good as the single player mode, it may still be worth checking out for some people.
Our biggest complaint with Jungle Climber is the difficulty. The game starts off really easy and gets hard really fast. The first couple of levels don’t even have any enemies to kill you. However once you reach the second world, there are a lot of enemies which can get a little frustrating. Speaking of worlds and levels, the level design is great. One minute you are in a cave and the next you are under the sea. Each level and world is really unique in my opinion and it’s really hard to find a game where each level and world is unique these days.
Overall, Jungle Climber is definitely one of the most unique Nintendo DS games available. Though it doesn’t use the touchscreen at all, the game still feels a lot like a Nintendo DS game. The graphics are fabulous, the music is decent, and even the controls are good. Our only major complaint with Jungle Climber is that the game starts off a little too easy and then it gets really difficult. Other then that, Jungle Climber is a decent addition to anyone’s Nintendo DS collection.