Donkey Kong Land Goes Bananas On Nintendo 3DS

By Spencer . March 27, 2014 . 1:45am

imageDonkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is out now and if you want a look back at where Donkey Kong was check out Donkey Kong Land.


This Game Boy game was a follow up to Donkey Kong Country with a meta-story about Cranky Kong complaining that it was the fancy graphics that made the Super Nintendo game a success. Donkey Kong and Diddy then go on and 8-bit adventure to show him there was more to Donkey Kong Country than pre-rendered graphics.


Donkey Kong Land will be re-released on 3DS Virtual Console in Japan on April 4.

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  • Tales_of_Master

    I only got into the Donkey Kong games a few weeks ago when Tropical Freeze got released. I don’t know what made me suddenly interested in the series, but I picked up both DK games for the 3DS and Wii U, and hoo boy am I glad I did that.

    Returns is platforming at its finest, although I found the main antagonists to be uninteresting, and the music had more misses than hits, it still was a blast to play through. Tropical Freeze however, is near perfection to me. Amazing level design, awesome graphics, and god-like music. Video games don’t get any better than this.

    Although I have yet to play the original games, DK is now easily one of my most favorite Nintendo franchises. I don’t think I can appreciate the old DK games since I only got into the series recently, but for anyone looking for some retro-platforming, consider trying these games.

    • Robgoro

      Definitely consider returning to the original three. Each is a masterpiece in its own right. I wrote a piece here attesting to Tropical Freeze’s soundtrack and how it fits into the series’ legacy, if you’re worried about the tracks in Returns. :)

      • That you inexplicably can’t buy from Nintendo. Why’s this out and not DKC?

    • Pyrotek85

      You won’t regret the originals, some of the finest 2D platformers ever IMO, even measured up against Super Mario World and Yoshi’s Island. The Donkey Kong Land trilogy was pretty solid too, but the graphics are obviously inferior. They do have original levels however, they’re not simply ports.

    • dragoon_slayer12

      You love the new entries, play the original. So much harder, and I think it’s better. I haven’t played TF, but 1 and 2 definitely has some great music, better than DKCR and DKC3

  • Luto

    I’d suggest skipping this one and go for the better super nintendo games instead if you are interested in the DK series.

    • Barrylocke89

      The Super Nintendo games are certainly better, but this is still a solid platformer for the GB. And this game has a bunch of different levels that were pretty interesting, unlike DKL2, which was solid for what it was, but was essentially a GB port of DKC2.

  • Barrylocke89

    I remember hearing that DKC1-3 were on the VC for awhile, but then taken off. Were they also taken off of the Japanese VC? I’m curious to know what the chances are of DKL coming to the 3DS VC are

  • Noelemahc

    I’m still perplexed just why Nintendo refuses to release SNES games on the 3DS VC. The DSi was powerful enough to run SNES games via bootleg emulation, which means the 3DS, with its stronger hardware and bigger screen resolution, should be more than capable of handling it.

    • The most plausible reason speculated for why Nintendo won’t release SNES (or GBA) games on the 3DS VC is that while the 3DS’ system memory can handle 16-bit emulation, VC emulation for Nintendo’s commercially released games involves a number of additional functions – namely, the ability to run the rest of the system’s software, i.e. the Home menu, pedometer, SpotPass, StreetPass, etc. – beyond just running the game, and the 3DS (allegedly) doesn’t have enough active memory to do that easily. Hence, playing GBA Ambassador games or DS games emulated on the system suspends all other functions, and Nintendo don’t want to release future games which require that.

      Also, it’s unclear at the moment whether Nintendo securely owns the rights to the Donkey Kong Country games, which were developed by Rare (which is now owned by Microsoft). The SNES games were removed from the Wii’s Virtual Console a couple years ago, and none of Rare’s original IPs from the pre-Xbox era have been re-released on Nintendo platforms. The announcement of this game might indicate a change, though.

      • Noelemahc

        Good point. The 3DS, like the PS4 and XB1, illustrate the dangers of removing the one hardware advantage consoles have over the PC: not having to devote half the hardware to running the OS.

        • Pyrotek85

          That really struck home for me when our family PC (Windows 95 lol) was having problems all those years ago.

          ‘Oh well, at least my Nintendo still works’.

          Sometimes less really is more, and it’s one of the reasons I think retro gaming remains popular.

  • Huh. This game was developed by Rare, right? Does that mean they’ve reached an agreement with Nintendo about putting their Donkey Kong games on Nintendo’s devices again? Or, is it just handhelds, or what?

  • Krisi92

    Too bad Donkey Kong Land is a pretty average game, and the least good Donkey Kong Country-esque game out there.

    • Pyrotek85

      My biggest gripe (at the time at least) were the graphics. It was really hard to see what was going on at times because they tried to make the graphics detailed, but the Gameboy screen just wasn’t up to it. Remember these things weren’t backlit either. Simpler graphics would have fared better I think, I didn’t have half the problems seeing what I was doing with Super Mario Land 2 for example.

      Now of course on VC those aren’t as big factors…

      • Krisi92

        I absolutely agree. The first DKL also had some additional problems, like the camera couldn’t follow you fast enough when you were falling, and you could die for falling on the ground from a high enough platform. Well, at least it had some unique stages, like the sky and city levels.

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