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Review: Donkey Kong Jungle Climber - DS

by Nick Haywood on 25 October 2007, 10:54

Tags: Donkey Kong Jungle Climber, Nintendo (TYO:7974), DS, Platform

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Sounds kiddy, but isn't.

Hang on a sec, since when did Donkey Kong become the good guy? What’s going on at Nintendo when all their classic bad guys are becoming good guys? I mean, here we’ve got Donkey Kong setting off to save the world and in Super Paper Mario you end up with Bowser on your team too… so what gives? Perhaps Donkey Kong and Bowser were ‘in joke’ metaphors for some Japanese national enemy and their video game good-guy status reflects a change in international relations? Or maybe I’m just slightly delirious from several hours of Donkey Kong Jungle Climber on the DS, which is actually more likely.

The DS is pretty much the perfect bit of hardware for platform games with that double screen giving developers lots of scope for the game layout. Of course, a platformer isn’t going to make much use of the touchscreen and Donkey Kong Jungle Climber pretty much leaves it well alone. No, here you’ll find yourself pummelling the DS shoulder buttons instead as these will be you main method of getting around and, as is usual for Nintendo, you won’t be running back and forth on platforms.

Ok, Donkey Kong is a big monkey or gorilla thing, yeah? Well, he’s a primate of some sort and those that want to get picky can think about the fact this is a video game before they start mailing in the differences between apes and monkeys. Back to the game, your stereotypical ape/monkey likes nothing more than to swing from a handy branch and that’s pretty much what you’ll spend a huge amount of your time doing in Donkey Kong Jungle Climber.

You’ll be guiding Donkey Kong through a variety of imaginative levels in his quest to reclaim the Crystal Banana for the mysterious banana shaped alien, Xananab. Once you’ve done that you embark on a quest to stop the evil crocodile King K. Rool from causing anymore mischief, for it is he that nicked the big banana in the first place.

And all this sounds quite kiddy, doesn’t it? Well, it is but don’t let the childish storyline and cartoony characters put you off because underneath Donkey Kong Jungle Climber is a quietly challenging platformer chock full of original ideas.