Donkey Kong Country (Game Boy Advance) Preview

By Adam Riley 12.04.2003 2

During the days of the Super Nintendo, Rareware, a company once synonymous with quality Nintendo products, produced a special technique by the name of Advance Computer Modelling (ACM). It took the world by storm - and was first introduced in Donkey Kong Country, which was seen to be a slight risk as the Donkey Kong franchise had been in a steady decline over the years and was thought to have barely any life left in it. But everyone was proved wrong, as Rare are not simply graphical tarts, they have some clever gameplay tricks hidden up those secretive sleeves of theirs.

Two more SNES games later, followed by three Donkey Kong Land games on the Game Boy Color, Nintendo decided to milk the series even more by asking Rare to port the technical marvel of the original DKC to the humble GBC. But despite critical acclaim, it was mostly over-looked at the retail level. But now, even though Rare is no longer Nintendo's right-hand company, the Game Boy Advance's ability to emulate SNES games and then some has led the Japanese behemoth to unleash its creative tendrils on the almost-a-decade-old title. And we won't have to wait too long for the results of its labour...

The original SNES game saw Donkey Kong teaming up with his faithful side-kick, Diddy Kong, to take on the evil King K.Rool and his Kremlings, who had stolen DK's hoard of bananas. Rolling, cartwheeling, jumping...You controlled either of the Kongs, depending on your prefence, by a simple press of the select button as you progressed through the many different Jungle and Industrial (to name a couple) settings.

In terms of new aspects that will be found, there will not be that many. There will be some additional multi-player mini-games, as well as the option to save the game at any point in order to keep in-line with many handheld titles of late. Also, as certain tasks are completed, players will be able to unlock special artwork and detailed statistics. Will this be enough to convince owners of either the SNES or GBC iterations to part with more of their money, though?

Screenshot for Donkey Kong Country on Game Boy Advance

The first screenshots (which can be seen in this preview) show that the game is definitely a port of the old game, rather than being based on it. But it is hoped that by the time DKC is released on the GBA, the graphics will have been vastly improved, as at the moment they are far too dark and poor in quality. Surely the GBA can easily handle the once-revolutionary ACM technique? All will be revealed within the next couple of months...

Just reading the following overview can give you a good idea about how this game is shaping up against the original version...


  • Technically impressive graphical models
  • Option to save mid-level
  • Lots of new extras included
  • Currently lacks the graphical polish of the SNES game
  • Whilst the gameplay was good nearly ten years ago, it may be stale now
  • Will gamers just see this as another cheap cash-in?

Screenshot for Donkey Kong Country on Game Boy Advance

Final Thoughts

A once-revolutionary game, rejigged for the second time, complete with minimal extra features. It's a tough one to call; for those that have never played DKC before, then this will undoubtedly be the definitive version; those that already have one of the previous versions will most likely not need to bother with this in the slightest.






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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