Poor old Stanley the Bugman, not only have all the bugs got into his greenhouse, there’s a big ape pestering him too. To add insult to injury, he would never feature as a playable character in another Nintendo game again and be forgotten forever, whilst Mario went on to international stardom.
Donkey Kong 3 started out life in the arcades and was quickly ported to the NES. It is a radical departure in terms of gameplay from its predecessors Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr; it's more of a shooter this time around.
The aim of the game is simple, you must spray Donkey Kong’s crotch with bug-spray so that he retreats off the screen. This can be a bit time consuming, so if you see a super-sprayer laying around it is worth trying to pick it up so that you can finish the job off more quickly.
Of course it's not all that simple; Donkey Kong punches the hives at the start of each round in order to coax the bees and bugs within to attack you. All you have to do is try to stand in the middle of the screen spraying the big ape whilst frantically dodging all the pests at the same time, or try to spray them also. Whatever you do, keep spraying DK as if he gets to the bottom of the vine then you are in trouble!
That’s pretty much all there is to DK3. The gameplay does get very repetitive quickly as there isn’t really any variety; you either push DK off the top of the screen, or on other levels push him up so that a bee hive lands on his head. Between levels the trees move around and change from green to red, and the bugs swirl around you much more frantically to make it increasingly difficult.
The graphics and sound are both unremarkable, which isn’t surprising for a NES game of this era. They do the job, however, and add to the old-school arcade vibe. There isn’t really much music to speak of — it’s more like a crazy ringtone gone wrong.
For 500 Wii points it is hard to recommend Donkey Kong 3. There are far better NES games already on the Virtual Console that offer much more depth and longevity. The two-player option only allows you to take turns, and not play simultaneously, which could have been fun in a game like this.
From the perspective of being a part of Nintendo’s history it is interesting, however, unless Stanley the Bugman surprises us and pops up in a future version of Smash Bros as a playable character (he was a trophy in SSB Melee) it is unlikely we will ever find him in another videogame again.