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Is Donkey Kong 64 A Good Game?

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Maybe you are a fan of some of the Donkey Kong games, and you are curious about Donkey Kong 64 and if it is even a good game. Well in this article we will go over everything you need to know about Donkey Kong 64 and if it is a good game. 

So is Donkey Kong 64 a good game?

Though Donkey Kong 64 had some pretty fun features when it was first released in 1999, it is definitely not one of Nintedo’s best games. Overall it is a good game and was loved by critics and fans alike. 

If you want to know more in detail about Donkey Kong 64 you will want to keep reading this article. You can also take a look at this walk through video all about the Donkey Kong 64 game.

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Nintendo had great expectations for Donkey Kong 64

Donkey Kong or DK, is a highly popular video game character created by Shigeru Miyamoto. He is a big gorilla living on Kong Island with his gorilla family. Donkey Kong has been developed by Nintendo and he is a popular character used in many different games. Donkey Kong 64 adventure platform game was developed by the comic artist Rare and published by Nintendo. It came out in 1999 on the Nintendo 64.

Donkey Kong 64 came into the market when the 3D effects on gaming were starting to become more popular. Super Mario 64, which remained a very popular game for many, was a forerunner in the 3D movement. When Donkey Kong 64 was released from Nintendo during this time, Nintendo had great expectations for the game. Nintendo thought that it would become very popular because Donkey Kong was already a very beloved character. Needless to say Nintendo gave a huge welcome to Donkey Kong and made his game on a large scale. 

Rare, which had previously developed the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, started the game in 1997. It was supposed to be a highly engrossing 3D game, as a lot of investments were made. A 16-person team finished the game in 1999. The game was then released worldwide in December. It was the first game to have used Nintendo 64 console’s expansion pack memory aid. This was used for better memory management on the console. 

Donkey Kong 64 was Loved by Critics

Donkey Kong 64 received “universal acclaim” and it was even Nintendo 64’s top seller during the year 1999. Donkey Kong 64 received the Best Platform Game award in 1999, E3 Game Critics award and many other awards from other game events and game magazines. The problem was that there were many mixed emotions among the players who had played the game. Even though critics had loved the game, one can safely say that that the game as a whole left a lot to be desired. Whoever has played the game would presently think that the game wasn’t as good as Super Mario 64 or other games of that time. Overall though, it was a good game. 

The Good Features of the Game

In Donkey Kong 64, King K. Rool and his Kremlins’ group of reptiles attack Donkey Kong Island and kidnap Donkey Kong’s friends.  King K. Rool has unleashed his evil plan to destroy the Island. In the game, the players explore Donkey Kong Island to collect items and rescue Donkey Kong’s kidnapped friends from King K. Rool. 

The player completes different mini games and puzzles with five playable Kong characters and can receive bananas and other collectibles. Donkey Kong 64 is a 3D platform adventure game. Donkey Kong 64 does have some pretty good features. One of them is the solid animations. Donkey Kong is known for its solid animations and artwork. The dynamics of motion, the basic maths and physics algorithms that went into doing the game was nearly flawless which made the jumps, runs, catching and firing look super realistic. The design of the game is also really well done with different landmarks all across the game which is really well done. The research map with the collectibles is worth checking and is also another feature to the game that gamers really loved. 

It also has a really great multiplayer platform. Donkey Kong was released during 1999 and in those days there were not a lot of multiplayer games out there. The game had a separate multiplayer mode, where at most four players could compete in deathmatch and also last man standing games. Though it appears rather school boy stuff when we look at it now, at that time it was a luxury and a whole lot of  fun.

The Characters

The characters in the game are memorable. Simple little things added to the characters made them more relatable and likeable. It looked like the characters had better emotions and subtlet. Candy Kong and Chunky Kong could be seen having really intriguing  conversations in one portion of the game where Candy Kong shows how to use different instruments to Chunky Kong. This part of the game is still very memorable to this day. 

All the character models are really well designed. They were designed with the help of the latest designing algorithms that were available those days. The basic design blocks were polygonal and with few exceptions, everything in the game, the surroundings and the characters looked beautiful.

The Bad Features of the Game

Now there were definitely some not so great features in Donkey Kong 64 such as the camera angles. In some cases the camera angle is just terrible. It will constantly get stuck on walls and doesn’t want to move properly as well. This makes playing very irritating as the player’s vision either gets taken away or becomes limited. Also, the direction of the camera when you press the desired camera buttons doesn’t work properly. It is especially in the locations of Gloomy Galleon, which takes place mostly underwater. 

Another feature gamers really did not like was the terrible mini games. They just really did not capture anyone’s attention and did not meet the gamers expectations. A lot of gamers agree that the most irritating mini game is the Beaver Bother. This game also has a rap song from the game’s introductory sequence also known as “The DK Rap”. This rap song is often known as the worst song to ever be featured in a video game

Donkey Kong 64 vs Other Games

Donkey Kong was not as well done as some other games that were released at the same time. In Mario for the Nintendo 64, you play the same levels many times but the levels are always changing with new things to learn and discover at every turn. When you play Donkey Kong 64, one will be navigating the same boring levels for all five Kong characters. This is one way that you can see where Donkey Kong 64, even though it did have some pretty cool features, was not the best game of its time. Overall though, the game was a good game. 


So now that we know more about Donkey Kong 64, we can see where it may not have been the greatest game of all time, but it did have some really great features. Now keep in mind, Donkey Kong 64 was a huge hit when it was released. It makes it easy to say that it is a good game.