Donkey Kong Country 2 E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

Nintendo's revival of its SNES platforming classics continues with the second installment in the jungle-spanning action epic.

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Nintendo's got a pretty good thing going with the Game Boy Advance and its back catalog of classic Super NES platformers. We've seen several Mario games show up on the small screen, and now we're looking at a follow-up to the release of Donkey Kong Country, Rare's seminal platformer that brought the concept of 3D-rendered graphics to the mainstream. The game should give on-the-go platforming fans even more of the action they crave when it's released in the fourth quarter.

Donkey Kong Country 2 actually sees the big ape himself getting kidnapped, so you'll have to take control of sidekick Diddy and his gal pal Dixie as they try to rescue Donkey Kong. Diddy Kong has a special roll ability, while Dixie can hover for short periods. You'll be able to switch between the two throughout the game's many levels. This isn't rocket science; it's just good, hearty platforming action.

The basic gameplay here remains unchanged from the SNES original, although a number of technical tweaks and additions will round out the package. For one, you'll be able to save after any level, which will make the game well suited for quick play sessions. Some of the game's graphics are also being enhanced to improve its appearance on the GBA screen. In the gameplay department, you'll be able to participate in Diddy's Dash, which is effectively a time attack mode in which you'll try to complete levels in the shortest possible time. Three minigames will also be included: Expresso's Racing, which is a four-way ostrich race; Funky's Flights, where you pilot a gyrocopter; and Bag a Bug (which we didn't get to take a look at). The former two games will even be playable by up to four players with the GBA link cable.

As with its previous SNES-to-GBA releases, Nintendo is taking the right track with Donkey Kong Country 2 by not messing with what made the original good. The minor tweaks and the bonuses should add up to make a platforming experience that will satisfy fans of the genre. Look for more on Donkey Kong Country 2 for the GBA soon.

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