Donkey Kong

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Donkey Kong NDS. Great NES Conversion, Solid Gameplay. Read The Revew!

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Nintendo lovers and original Donkey Kong aficionados will be pleased that they can have a taste of the 80s on their Game Boy Advances. DK makes his comeback as the fiendish ape who has kidnapped the beloved Mario’s girlfriend, and it is up to you to save her, fighting through a series of girders and broken ladders.  

Graphics: 4

Donkey Kong NDS stays true to the original NES release with the same 2D rendering and similar characters from the original story. The colorful characters, ladders, and girders contrast well against the dark background. The aspect ratio conversion from GBA to that of a regular TV screen may make some of the text look squeezed and graphics a bit grainy.

Gameplay: 4

Donkey Kong NDS ports the original version of the game on a virtual console for the GBA. DK, the antagonistic ape, has stolen Pauline, and you (as Mario) have to get her back.

In the 1st stage, you have to navigate your way to the top through a series of girders as DK throws barrels at you. You have to avoid these by climbing ladders at opportune times or busting them with your hammer. In the 2nd stage, you have to make your way to the top through elevators and moving platforms, against a barrage of jacks that DK swings at you. The 3rd and final stage is where you get to finally knock DK out by loosening bolts on the girders and crashing the entire assembly down.

Once this stage is completed, the process loops with slightly higher difficulty until you run out of lives. You can work towards the high score and rack up bonus points for extra lives as you progress.

Controls: 4

The controls on this game are quite responsive and convenient for the side-scrolling, arcade architecture of the game. You can connect your controller directly to your TV and conveniently control your character from the gamepad buttons. You can also choose the Wii Remote or Nunchuck stick for the controls since movements are just as simple as climbing, jumping or crouching.

Replay Value: 3

An entire Pie Factory set is missing from the original game which is instantly disheartening. This means you have limited play options with this game. A few of the initial elements such as the DK stomp and the ‘how high can you get?’ sequence have been cut completely. There isn’t any new content, and the game is lackluster. I’d probably replay this game once a year.


Donkey Kong NDS does a good job of emulating the original game on NES. It doesn’t offer much in terms of play options other than a bit of 80’s nostalgia. The cut-down on scenes will also make die-hard players cringe. For new players who never got to use the NES, this will be pretty much a bore to them.


This isn’t worth a $20 investment except for collectors but serves as a good trip down memory lane..

Pros : Responsive controls.
Great emulation which is similar to the original DK.
Simple to play.
The sound effects and Hammer music are cool.

Cons : Manually need to save high scores.
Missing scenes and lacks an entire level.
Too expensive.

Graphics 4

Gameplay 4

Controls 4

Replay Value 3

Average : 3.8


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