Review: Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (New 3DS / SNES)

Awesome ape action

Well, here we are again – ape platforming shenanigans from Rare in a game bearing the lengthy packaging title of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble. Thanks to previous Virtual Console releases, all six of Rare's 2D Donkey Kong titles are available on New Nintendo 3DS; with the changing Kong lineup helping to keep things fresh. This is a chance to fill that gap in your Donkey Kong Country folder, but more importantly it's a chance to grab another ruddy good SNES game for your portable.

Dixie Kong returns, but this time she is joined by tough youngster Kiddie Kong. The different abilities of the two characters are something you must consider during your playthrough as certain situations will suit one Kong more than the other. Team-up moves also come into play for accessing bonuses. As always there are a variety of locations visited and as well as jumping over gaps you'll be shooting from barrels, swimming underwater, climbing up the inside of trees and moving around in low gravity. There's a range of different enemies to deal with too, looking different but behaving similarly to those from the previous games.

Progress through the game is not as linear as before. Funky Kong provides you with water vehicles that allow you to explore the map. There are hidden secrets to find, but you can also tackle different worlds. Stuck on a level in Mekanos? Hop back on your hovercraft and head over to Cotton-Top Cave to try something different.

Visually the game (like the previous two SNES instalments) looks amazing on New 3DS. The pre-rendered graphics can look messy and a little underwhelming on modern TV sets, but viewing on the smaller screen reminds of how impressive they were 'back in the day'. Lush environments, good lighting effects and lots of detail in the characters and their surroundings, combined with decent animation, help to pull you in to this wonderful game.

The music impresses too with plenty of adventurous tunes as well as mysterious and sinister ones that greatly enhance the experience. The tracks don't stick in your head the same way as the previous SNES games, but they are well put together and you'll still want to pack headphones if gaming during the boring parts of your client's trial, or whenever you bust out the 3DS for a bit of gaming.

As before there are lots of things to find and collect if you are to fully complete the game - DK Coins, Bear Coins and Bonus Coins too. There are also Banana birds and items that are picked up and traded. It can get a bit too much, but you can always play casual, grabbing what you can then going back later to search for what you need. As a Virtual Console title the ability to break up your gaming sessions with suspension and restore points is a welcome one, should you be struggling on a stage or just a way off from Wrinkly's save cave.

Should you wish to play with a friend… you can! The ability to change "controllers" on these SNES re-releases (hold the Z buttons and press Y) is usually pointless, but works well for the Donkey Kong Country games. As it is alternating turns, "2P Contest" works smoothly, but you need a bit more thought when co-operating in "2P Team". If tagging in your friend you have to be careful there are no dangers about as they could get hit before they've touched a button, but it's an accident that's easily avoided. A change of character from getting hit works the same way as the previous games. Here the incoming player is invulnerable until they've pressed a button, so there's no chance of losing both players at once.

Conclusion

It's another great-looking, great sounding platformer from Rare - and one that plays well too. The different types of levels and their aggressive inhabitants provide a variety of fun platforming challanges. Finding everything in the game will keep you busy for some time, and once you've done that there's more fun to be had from trying to do it quicker - or just revisiting your favourite levels. Dixie Kong's Double Trouble (and the series in general) is a recommended download for your New 3DS.

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