Donkey Kong 64

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Donkey Kong 64 is a 3D platforming/adventure video game developed by Rare Ltd. and published by Nintendo. It was originally known as Donkey Kong Country 64 in development. It was released on November 24, 1999 for the Nintendo 64 game console.[1] The game was later ported to the Wii U Virtual Console, apparently solving a dispute over certain copyrights issues. DK64 represents a stark contrast from the 2D Donkey Kong Country series of games, and the game more strongly resembles Rare's other 3D platformers such as Banjo-Kazooie, since the main emphasis of the gameplay is collecting various objects to make progress within the game. The game was packed in with an Expansion Pak that added four megabytes of extra RAM when installed in the Nintendo 64 console and this accessory was required to play the game due to a game-breaking glitch that was somehow remedied by the usage of the Pak. Bundling in the Pak for free was a costly decision, and cut into the profits Nintendo and Rare were able to make from sales of this game.

Plot

The plot involves King K. Rool, (a play on the word "cruel") the primary antagonist of the game, creating a ray called the Blast-O-Matic that is intended to blow up DK Isles, the residence of Donkey Kong and the rest of the Kong family. K. Rool has built a mobile and electronic version of Crocodile Isle, and it gets stopped and the Blast-o-Matic needs to be repaired. To buy time, K. Rool has his henchmen capture Donkey Kong's family members and steal his Golden Bananas (the main collectible of the game) and Donkey Kong is required to go out and find them, initially receiving help from Cranky Kong.[2]

Gameplay

After leaving the training area in the first part of the game, Donkey Kong meets K. Lumsy (a play on the word "clumsy) who agrees to help DK unlock new areas if DK recovers keys held by the main bosses in the game. These bosses are reached by collecting a certain amount of standard bananas, another collectible in the game. Golden bananas are used to progress to new worlds, and a character called B. Locker (play on the word "blocker") blocks the entrances to the worlds until the player has enough golden bananas to progress.[3]

Marketing

The game had an aggressive marketing campaign behind it, including commercials, toys, and Nintendo sending out video tapes advertising the game much like what happened with the first Donkey Kong Country game.

Reception

Upon release, the game was received well critically and commercially.

Retrospective reviews of the game have often criticized the sheer amount of what reviewers have deemed pointless collectables, and the fact that one has to reach one of several "tag barrels" to switch between the five playable characters in order to collect everything in game. Reviewers have often been harsh, and attribute this game as a primary reason the "collectathon" type of game has largely died out, the notable exceptions being the titles Yooka-Laylee and A Hat in Time being eighth generation titles intended to revive this style of gameplay.

References

  1. GameFAQS
  2. Donkey Kong 64 instruction manual
  3. Players are also able to bypass B. Locker and enter without the correct number of bananas, a glitch in the game often utilized by those in the speedrunning community.