Though this is not a DKC port or remake of any kind, it certainly looks and feels like one.
ROUGH SCORE: 9.2
FINAL SCORE: 9.0
- great level design
- easy-to-learn controls
- action on both screens
- well-balanced difficulty
- has a definite DKC feel to it
- the voice acting
- the story (strictly speaking in comparison to the DKC series' plots)
GS classifies DKJC as an action game, but I have to say that I think it's definitely more of a puzzle platformer. I can't say I've ever played anything prior to DKJC that I could describe as such, but that's exactly what this is. You're jumping, collecting a whole lot of various items, blasting in barrels, smashing into enemies, overcoming various obstacles, etc. In that sense, it's definitely a platformer. The puzzle element comes into play when you're dealing with said obstacles/enemies and you have to figure out how to get past them. There's a bit of strategy involved.
The game is fun. Just straight up, unadulterated fun. The game starts off insultingly easy, which is great for people like me who had never played King of Swing. By the end of the first world, it was already getting challenging. From there, the difficulty does pick up, which is something that's very welcome in this day of easy games. Now, it's not like how it was in Mario Hoops, where the difficulty seemingly experienced steep spikes. The difficulty increases at a gradual rate and as a result, you never really feel frustrated. The same goes for the different obstacles and types of pegs and peg boards you encounter. As a side note about the difficulty, I was very happy about it. It reminded me exactly of the DKC games, about how I slowly but surely made it through each of the games because I occasionally got stuck in places. It was just like that. So I always took it in stride, and with practice and many lost lives, I made it through. It was always very satisfying when I beat a level.
The graphics are awesome. Enough said on that.
The minigames are great. They're pleasant, engaging diversions from the main game that are very fun to play. It was nice to see that you could even play them to get high scores.
My only real gripe about the game is the voice acting. DK sounds a bit goofy, Cranky is a crazy, incomprehensible monkey ("waaay. WAAAAAYY!"), and Funky is ...well, there are no words for what they've made him sound like ("HEY MAAAAAAAIN!" -_-). Perhaps Cranky was better off out of the sun.
But overall, the music is pretty good. I still have to say it was the part of the game I liked the least, but that's not to say it isn't good, or that it's painful on the ears. I just didn't really enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It does get the job done though, mixing well with the levels' diverse atmospheres. And I will say that a few tracks really stood out, like the forest ruins track and the songs that were remixes of songs from the DKC games. I was very pleased with them.
When I think about the game's overall value, I have to say that it's amazing. There is so much to do! Even though the Adventure Mode is a bit shorter than I would have liked, you can still go back and play the levels again just for fun. And then there's all the minigames. And don't forget the multiplayer stuff. Now as I'm in a college dorm and I'm the only one I know of that owns a DS, I can't play the multiplayer stuff, but if the rest of the game is any kind of indicator, it's probably just as good.
As for the tilt, I'm a hardcore DKC fan. The DKC-esque look and feel of this game is what drew me to it and is why I enjoy it so much. If you find yourself in the same boat, then you have to do yourself the good deed of getting this game yourself. From the moment I first saw screenshots of this game, I thought it was going to be a great game that would bring back all the good memories I had from playing the DKCs. It delivered this experience. And hey, it wasn't a bad game in and of itself either...not by a long shot. So, if you loved the DKCs or you loved King of Swing or you just have a thing for monkeys, then I HIGHLY recommend this game. =D