What a great game! One of my All-time Favorite games.
The graphics are the best ever on any 16-bit system (including, in my opinion, Neo Geo and Turbo Duo CD). The pre-rendered images used for the sprites and the backgrounds are just perfect. All the characters, including even the smallest enemies like the fishes in the water levels, are gorgeous. Donkey Kong, and his pal Diddy, are of course two of the best sprites in 16-bit history. The backgrounds are simply stunning. The jungle, the forest, the aztec ruins, the water levels, the tree-top village, they are all marvellous. There is great variety too. Apart from the ones I mentioned there are also some industrial levels, some caves (here the lighting effects are marvellous), mines and some snow levels that are in my opinion the best. The 2D graphics of this game are only topped by its sequels. The only disappointment is the lack of impressive stills like the one you see when you finish Donkey Kong 2 with 100%.
The sound follows the quality of the graphics. Although happy music was hardly my favorite, I must admit that the music is one of the best on any 16-bit game. There are many music tracks to fit with the theme of the various levels. The SFX are of high quality and there are several sampled animal sounds as well.
Simple and fun. The control system is simple and responsive, and you will get to grips with it instantly. You control Donkey Kong, but any time in the game you can switch to Diddy and vice versa. There are 6 worlds divided into several stages. As I mentioned there is great variety in them (jungle, snow, water etc) so you won't get bored. At the end of each 'world' there is a boss. There are also many secret levels, and by finishing the game without finding them you will get only about 60% of it. The difficulty level is as it should be. Challenging but not impossible. Fortunately there are many save points.
Simply the best platform on the SNES, topped only by DKC 2 and DKC 3. Looks, sounds and plays like a dream. No SNES collection should be without this masterpiece.