Donkey Kong Country 3 – Underrated? – IMPLANTgames


Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double
Trouble is often regarded as the black sheep of the original DKC trilogy. Being released during the formative years
of the 5th generation console war, few seem to have much nostalgia for this 1996 installment
of the series. However, to my surprise, DKC3 was actually
successful, selling 3.5 million units worldwide. In fact it was a top 10 selling game for the
system, not bad for a late release. Even more surprising is how well the game
was received critically. You see, like many, I’ve always been under
the impression DKC3 marked a dramatic dip in quality. But it turns out, Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble
was reviewed highly by the critics. In the February ‘97 issue of Electronic
Gaming Monthly, the four reviewers collectively scored the game 32.5 out of 40 giving it their
Editor’s Choice Silver award, while incorrectly labeling it a PlayStation game and noted,
“Clean graphics, solid gameplay and hip sounds make DK[C]3 an all-around great title
for all ages.” The January ‘97 issue of GamePro was even
more positive, scoring the game a 4.75 out of 5 stating, “If this is the SNES’s swan
song, then at least the great old system is going out in style.” Early internet reviews were equally positive. The AllGameGuide scored the game 4.5 stars
out of 5 proclaiming, “Even though it is similar to the previous games in the series,
video games just don’t get much better than this.” So, is Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s
Double Trouble still as good as the critical reviews of the day, or as bad as the cynics
have since declared? Let’s dive in. Like it’s predecessors, DKC3 is light on
story. The game just sort of begins in an all new
overworld, and the player is forced to visit Wrinkly Kong. As I’m playing the Japanese version, I have
no idea what is going on. Next, the player visits Funky, who constructs
a boat, opening up the next area of the map. DKC3 then slowly reveals new levels for the
player, with the hovercraft allowing travel over rocks, and the turbo ski allowing travel
over a waterfall. While mostly linear, it does give the slight
illusion of being an adventure title while still nudging the player along a predetermined
path. Despite this wrinkle, Dixie Kong’s Double
Trouble is still a 16-bit platformer at its core. Players make their way through 5 levels in
a given world, battle a boss, and then move onto the next world. Standard stuff. Also standard is the introduction of a new
character. The first game had Diddy, the second had Dixie,
and the now we have Kiddy Kong, a giant baby ape. This marks the return of the power character
giving DKC3 its own flavor. Of course this does mean the speed character
is missing. But the tag-team gameplay is as engaging as
ever. Dixie’s helicopter hair is useful allowing
slower descents and longer jump distances. Kiddy Kong has a traditional jump. Thankfully, the jump height is nice and there
is maneuverability while in the air allowing for confident leaps and precision when bashing
enemies. The only downside of having two slower characters
is I rarely used the rolling attacks. Jumping was simply faster. Kiddy Kong can use the roll in conjunction
with the jump to skip over water though, which is needed to access a couple of bonus barrels. Also tweaked are the team-up attacks. Kiddy Kong can throw Dixie and it works just
like the previous title, allowing for a projectile attack or being used to reach higher platforms. On the other hand, Dixie is severely handicapped
when carrying Kiddy. She moves painfully slow for example, but
Kiddy can be used to smash through a couple of designated platforms. On the surface this may seem like a negative,
but it actually gives each character distinct, rather than subtle, differences. Players are more incentivised than ever to
keep both Kong’s alive. Kiddy needs to stick around for smashing larger
enemies and for his superior throwing. Dixie needs to be kept around for her floating. More subtle are the hitboxes. Kiddy is quite the beast, and I actually found
for bonus rooms where the goal was to collect stars, his increased girth made nabbing stars
easier. Some may be offended by the baby’s design,
but I find his overall aesthetic to be about on par with Bonk or Chuck Jr. Also new are additional animal buddies like
Ellie the Elephant. She can jump on enemies, but will run away
from sneeks. She can also use her trunk to snag nearby
barrels and toss them. Finally, if there is water in area, she can
suck some up with her trunk and then shoot it out as an attack. This adds some puzzle elements to the gameplay
and makes her levels feel like a nice evolution to the buddies, without straying too far from
the established formula of running, jumping, and tossing barrels. Sticking with this puzzle theme is Quawks. He is similar to Squawks, but cannot shoot
an endless barrage of eggs. Instead, he can pick up barrels and then release
them at enemies or use them like a shield. Finally, there is Parry the Parallel Bird. This guy hovers just above the player, and
levels are designed around him snagging items out of the players reach. There are often separate obstacles in his
path too, giving more for the player to contend with. Returning are Enguarde, Squawks, and Squitter. And all control exactly like they did in previous
titles, so I won’t elaborate. There are also new barrels to interact with. Booster barrels launch the Kongs high up into
the air to traverse waterfalls. Switch Barrels have a large S on them and
switch other barrels from TNT or Wooden to Steel kegs and then back. Ghost Barrels will fade in and out, sometimes
being a detriment to the player, and other times a benefit. There is also a Rocket Barrel which is featured
in the final level of Kremetoa, this game’s version of Lost World. Overall, I have to say Donkey Kong Country
3 meets my expectations for what Donkey Kong Country 3 should be. A previous character is replaced. Some animal buddies stick around for another
go, and outgoing buddies are swapped with new ones. And of course, there are new barrels for the
player to interact with, keeping the adventure feeling fresh for those who have played the
previous installments. What is different is a slight change in focus. Now don’t get me wrong, DKC3 is a platformer
true and true. The game challenges the player to run and
jump through dozens of levels and reach flag poll at the end of each stage. However, the main campaign feels slightly
less hardcore. While precision platforming is still the name
of the game, there are many moments where a little more thought and reason is asked
of the player. Door Stop Dash has the player pulling on levers
to open up doors, and then race through them before they close. In Squeals on Wheels, the player needs to
knock mice out of wheels to lower a gauge eventually allowing progress. The aforementioned Quawks is needed to strategically
drop barrels to take down Buzzes. That isn’t to say there isn’t some more
hardcore platforming. The chase levels are some of the toughest
in the game. Ripsaw Rage has the player running up hollowed
out trees trying to escape a saw racing up the screen. Kong Fused Cliffs forces the player up ropes
which have been ignited. And there are familiar challenges like the
classic barrels falling down a waterfall trope. However Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s
Double Trouble definitely represents an evolution of the difficulty formula. While there are moments of navigating rotating
barrels, it’s not as frequent. Same goes for bottomless pits. They are sprinkled here and there, but are
no longer the primary hazard. In their place are some tough enemy patterns. When done correctly, avoiding fireball hazards,
skillfully bouncing off of penguins, and navigating around helicopter enemies, is fun and engaging. Failure won’t always result in an instant
death though, with the tag-team partner being retained for a second attempt or free pass. Also evolved are the bosses. Each of the 7 main worlds ends with a boss
fight against a creature fitting the theme. The result is a vast array of strange creatures
to fight, though the difficulty is tame throughout Belcha tosses out barrels containing bugs,
which can be hopped on once to incapacitate them, and then thrown inside the enemy’s mouth. After digesting the insect, Belcha belches,
sending it backwards. It does a decent job using both the jumping
and throwing mechanics while not resorting to tossing barrels. The barrels do return during the Arich fight. The player is tasked with dodging the boss’
projectiles, and then tossing a barrel into its face. This boss is made significantly easier with
Dixie. As she holds barrels above her head, one can
allow the boss to simply smash into it, rewarding players who play to the strengths of each
Kong. Squirts Showdown utilizes Ellie, challenging
the player to maneuver around the stage avoiding a water attack, and then unleashing Ellie’s
water attack during the cool down period. The fourth boss gives the player the first
taste of Kaos, a barrel like robot. While the bosses up to this point have been
easy, this one ups the difficulty. The player must dodge a fire attack, then
skillfully traverse up some temporary platforms to bonk the boss on the head. The worst boss fight is against Bleak the
snowman. Everything about this boss feels sloppy. The player needs to throw snowballs at the
snowman, which seems counterproductive, while also avoiding incoming attacks. In between these is some dodging where the
Snowman cannot be hit. The fight itself isn’t awful, but there
is a dip in quality. The boss has minimal animation frames making
it look choppy, and his laugh is cringey. The gameplay mechanic and the art style just
clash with the rest of the game making this feel gimmicky rather than innovative. Thankfully Barbos is much better. Here it is Enguarde’s time to shine, utilizing
his unique ability actually dish damage underwater. The enemies in the first phase require timing
to hit as they aren’t always vulnerable. The second phase requires precision swimming
and avoidance maneuvers to cause shells to charge the boss. The last phase requires the player to dodge
an increasing number of spike attack. The patterns are complex and it’s nice to
see Enguarde used to full effect for this third adventure. Rare saved the best for last with King K.
Rool. The battle against Kaos is fine, but the King
K. Rool fight is awesome. There is a constant threat of electricity
on the bottom of the screen, but it can be utilized to harm the nemesis as well. The goal becomes figuring out how to launch
barrels into the helicopter blades of King K. Rool’s contraption, dropping him into
the electricity. Like the previous final bosses there are patterns
to learn, tough attacks to perform, and a decent skill level necessary for success. So, DKC3 features a nice evolution of the
Donkey Kong Country formula with all new barrels, new animal buddies and a new hero. The level design continues to be massaged
to incorporate more puzzles and timing elements. The bosses have retained a decent quality
level and are a vast improvement over DKC1. And finally, the tag-team formula is as good
as ever with an agile character and a power character, complete with new moves and a more
defined throwing difference. On paper, DKC3 should be a satisfying conclusion
to the Donkey Kong Country Trilogy. But at some point in history, a vocal minority
started turning their back on this entry. Most angst was aimed squarely at Kiddy himself. His inclusion meant fan favorite Donkey Kong
was not playable, and some seemed bothered by the concept of a giant ape baby. From his little tantrum animation to his footie
pajamas. Next, many find the soundtrack to be lackluster,
missing both the ambiance and emotion from the first two games. The final complaint lobbed at DKC3 is it being
too gimmicky, using gimmicks to spice up the gameplay rather than solid game design. Starting with Kiddy, I have to admit a giant
baby the size of Donkey Kong is, well, odd. But the character certainly has some charm,
and this comes from those expressive eyes. He looks absolutely adorable on the game over
screen, and I love the little wink when grabbing bonus coins. He also looks like my fat cat when he sits
down, which is disturbing, yet comforting. And of course, if one doesn’t want to hear
Kiddy Kong cry, well, Git Gud. If someone was going to make an objective
argument against his inclusion, one should look at the series as a whole. Assuming one were to play these games in order,
be it back in 1994 or today, the player would be getting older as they make their way through
the trilogy. However, with each DKC installment, the cast
is getting younger. The first game has an adult, the last game
has a baby. The character design is not growing with the
audience. Next is the soundtrack. Let me start by saying the opening track in
Lakeside Limbo, is not pleasing. Maybe it’s the drab instrument selection,
but it lacks that hook needed to draw players in. Oddly enough, the next level features terrific
music. While roaming around an old barn, the player
is treated to some wonderful lounge vibes featuring awesome instrument selections and
some genuinely catchy melodies. The music in Krevice Kreepers feels like Rare
back to their old form with heavy drums and haunting guitar strums offering a real sense
of tension as the player navigates the mountainside cliffs. In fact, once one arrives at the later worlds
of the game, the moody and dark tones the series has been known for are featured more
frequently. In some ways the arc of the entire adventure
shifts. DKC3 starts off light and bouncy but the tone
changes as the player gets closer to their goal, getting more bleak as the danger level
increases. While nothing comes close to the best tracks
found in the previous games, the soundtrack is still way above average and doesn’t receive
the acclaim it rightfully deserves. Finally, let’s talk about the gimmicks. The level of variety in Dixie Kong’s Double
Trouble is quite high. This includes the aforementioned rats running
in wheels, but also levels like Fish Food Frenzy. Here the player is being followed by a hungry
fish. The goal is to have him eat the clownfish,
and avoid the undesirables, like critters with spikes. Fail to feed him, or feed him too many spikes,
and he’ll turn red and attack the player. Lightning Look-Out features lightning. It will telegraph it’s striking point and
the player is tasked with getting out of the way, hiding beneath an enemy, or grabbing
a barrel. The player will also need to avoid the water,
which conducts electricity. Koindozer Klamber features a bunch of Koindozers. These guys will charge the Kongs and push
them off ledges with their shield. The only way to get past them is to land directly
above them, using their shields as platforms. The classic minecart mechanic also returns,
in the form of the sleds. Like before, the player is tasked with dodging
obstacles, bouncing off enemies, and following banana clues while racing along an auto-scrolling
level. Generally speaking, the level gimmicks don’t
feel gimmicky, rather their thoughtfulness and implementation feels like an integral
part of the experience, rather than something tacked on for the sake of variety. To better explain what a bad gimmick is, let’s
take a look at the proverbial punching bag that is Sonic ‘06. Shadow has a number of vehicle stages, but
the vehicles control poorly and the stages don’t seem designed with the vehicles in
mind, making for an unsatisfying experience. Same goes for this area on a giant floating
sphere. It’s a mind-numbingly slow experience, and
would never work as a stand alone game. Super Monkey Ball, this is not. Therefore I would say most of the so-called
gimmicks found in Donkey Kong Country 3 are not really gimmicks at all. The controls are never a problem, implementation
is terrific, and removing them would take away from the overall experience, rather than
enhance it. But I’d be a fool to say the designers nailed
them all. The reversed controls in Poisonous Pipeline
are tedious. Now in the final boss fight in DKC2, reversed
controls were used as a punishment for failing to dodge one of K. Rool’s attacks. In DKC3, reversed controls are not a punishment
for poor play, but rather forced upon the player. The controls revert to normal when jumping
out of the water too, adding unnecessary complexity. Moving on, let’s talk about the one thing
I feel Donkey Kong Country 3 truly excels at. The graphics are stunning. While the opening stage has a weak music track
to kick off the adventure, the graphic fidelity is amazing. First, I love the way the mountains reflect
off the lake, complete with a little ripple. But even cooler is how the player is also
able to see to the lake floor. The artistic vision with the transparencies
and line scrolling effects to make it all work is outstanding and this ranks up there
with the beehive and swamp as one of my favorite level themes found in the trilogy. The hollowed out trees are also fantastic. The depth and detail of the bark, branches,
and the convincing shadows look amazing and are a massive improvement over similar themes
in other games of the time. In fact, I’d say the artists had a firm
grasp on not only the 3D modeling process but also sprite digitization. Underwater areas look realistic and vivid
giving a convincing sense of an ocean reef. Not everything is outdoors though. The sewers look grimy and gritty and the factory
stages have a distinct lived in aesthetic to them Donkey Kong Country 3 also feels like a much
brighter game. While snow is again used to liven things up,
mountain areas are equally bright, like years of weathering have warn rocks down to a shine
allowing the sun to reflecting off them. Overall the level themes are easily up there
with the best of the series with a wide array of different light levels, a huge amount of
color, and a good variety of organic themes and man-made. Transparencies are also expertly utilized. Not only for sewer goo and water, but these
amazing waterfalls. They looks great and I love how platforms
will go behind them, along with the characters, and the waterfall reacts accordingly. Even the saw is brighter when outside of the
tree. The only downside to all of this graphical
wizardry is the framerate. Of course I can’t know if the programmers
and artists were pushing the Super Nintendo to its limit or if the game engine wasn’t
as optimized as it could have been, but the level design isn’t always mindful of the
limitations, causing the game to slow down when the action gets heavy. So, the soundtrack is good, the graphics are
awesome, and the level variety vast. Donkey Kong Country 3 nails the presentation. Combined with the gameplay tweaks noted earlier
and it would seem DKC3 is a competent game. But I’d take it a step further and say this
game is… great. I went into depth about the amazing controls
in the first video of this series so I won’t belabour the point, but like it’s predecessors,
Donkey Kong Country 3 has brilliant controls. Starting, stopping, changing directions, jumping,
and landing all feel perfect with excellent momentum and little slip. I also find the level design to be great. First, the game does a nice job communicating
things to the player. I am playing the Japanese version for economic
reasons, and I had no problems figuring out the controls and concepts of the new animal
buddies for example. When the player is introduced to Ellie the
Elephant, she can bounce off sneeks without issue. However, later in the level she freaks out
and runs away, because the sneek is now illuminated by light. The player will need to take them out from
a distance. And how does a player know they can manipulate
barrels? Well, if one doesn’t figure it out organically
by holding Y to run, there are bananas in the shape of a Y to hammer the point home. There is a bonus barrel underneath a cracked
wooden plank, with a large A, again altering the player to a new move. In fact, the game is littered with Banana
hints. Ellie’s ability to store water and then
use it as a weapon is hinted at with a large L and R. Now I’m not saying placing items
in the shapes of letters is brilliant game design in itself, but it does show the designers
put thought into the placement of even the most basic things. DKC3 is also void of anything I would call
cheap. There are no sporadic enemy patterns meant
to trick the player. Instead patterns can be learned and overcome
without trial and error deaths. Same goes for those bosses. Having never played this game before, I had
no idea how most of these worked. But because the game allowed ample time to
experiment, I was able to overcome each and every one of them without cheap deaths or
use of a guide. In fact, about the only time I felt level
gimmicks and enemy placement didn’t quite jive with the moveset available, was on Konveyor
Rope Flash. These conveyor ropes move ridiculously fast
and it can be difficult to discern their direction while simultaneously avoiding enemies. Granted this level is near the end when the
difficulty is at its highest, but it is one of the few times I felt the game was a little
unfair. Saving and checkpoints are also improved. First, the player can finally save their game
whenever they please. One doesn’t need to play 3 or four levels
prior to reaching a save point nor is there any cost to said feature. The player is free to leave a world at anytime
and visit Wrinkly Kong to save, even if one hasn’t reached they save cave on the current
world. This is a massive improvement over the previous
games and made my first playthrough far less tedious. I was allowed to focus on each level individually,
and save upon victory. Of the original trilogy, I would say this
is the most friendly. The most frustrating aspects like rotating
barrels and bottomless pits are far more sparse, the save system is no longer restricted, and
levels never wear out their welcome, meaning a return to a checkpoint is never a deflating
feeling. The lack of deflating feeling made adventuring
through the Northern Kremosphere to take on Kaos a real treat. And while the game generally fails to tell
a story from a visual sense, the reveal of King K. Rool as the mastermind is cool, and
a nice nod to Oz. For many, this will be the end of the journey. But I ended up completing DKC3 twice. And, I think 1996 is around the time where
the collectathon sub-grene really started. This game is packed with collectables. First are the bonus coins. These are obtained by locating the two bonus
barrels in every level, and then beating the bonus level. For those looking for a challenge, these bonus
stages should scratch that itch. Goals like getting through an obstacle course
or defeating all enemies return and make for satisfying breaks in the action. But the star bonus areas return with a vengeance,
really forcing the player to master the various mechanics to be successful. New is a 15 banana grab, where a banana will
appear in a random spot on the screen, and the player is tasked with grabbing it before
it disappears. These are easily the toughest in the game
and I found myself repeating them a few times during my non-recorded runs. Four of the bosses will also reward a bonus
coin, for a total of 74. These bonus coins are used to unlock stages
in Krematoa, a hidden bonus world. The player can use the bonus coins to blast
open rocks to unlock 5 new levels. Each of these new levels also feature bonus
barrels, and when the dust settles, the player will have collected 85 coins. The Krematoa levels are hard, but none approach
the maddening difficulty found in the lost world of DKC2. Beating each of these levels rewards a cog,
and all five will reveal the true final boss fight, against King K. Rool for the second
time. This won’t be enough to complete the game
though, but it does unlock a final vehicle for the Kongs, which can fly all across the
overworld. Next, there are bear coins. These are used to buy a mirror and shell from
the bear shop. Just 55 are needed to complete the game and
this is all but guaranteed to happen just by playing the game. So, no big deal. This does kick off a strange side-quest where
the player needs to visit the various Bear cabins of the worlds and the overworld, trading
items and earning a few of the 15 banana birds. The rest of the banana birds are hidden in
caves. Each cave contains a progressively more difficult
game of simon with each discovery, and rewards the remaining banana birds. After gathering all of them, Wrinkly Kong
will take the Kongs to the Banana Bird Queen. With all of her children present, she is freed
from captivity, and she takes down King K. Rool for the final time. The final cutscene isn’t amazing, but charming
in its own way. But this won’t complete the game either. There are 41 DK coins to collect as well. All 40 stages have an enemy called a Koin,
which the player must defeat by strategically throwing a steel barrel and having it ricochet
into their back. This is sometimes really easy, and sometimes
requires an elaborate set-up to achieve. Acquiring a steel barrel isn’t always a
gimme either, with the player sometimes getting a single barrel as a bonus for maintaining
an animal through the end point. If one fails to perform the throw correctly,
they’ll have to repeat the stage to get another attempt. Some bonus barrels work in the same way. Worse yet, a few levels have no meaningful
way to backtrack, forcing the player to restart the level from the beginning to try again. Honestly, as this is only required to complete
the game, it’s hard for me to be too annoyed. These are optional after all. Still, grabbing all of the bonus coins, DK
coins, the 5 cogs, and the banana birds will reward the player with a 103% on their save
file, a fitting conclusion for the third adventure. For those seeking the ultimate experience,
there is also a hard mode which eliminates most DK barrels and all checkpoints for maximum
difficulty. Completing the game on hard mode will reward
105% for those inclined. So, with all of that out of the way, I have
to conclude Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble is as good as those old reviews
claim, and not worthy of its black sheep reputation DKC3 is a great game. The controls are sublime. The level variety is terrific, with a good
mix of horizontal and vertical movement, loads of tricky jumping, and plenty of alternate
paths when utilizing the throwing mechanics of the Kongs. The tag-team mechanic is as polished as ever,
with each character having distincts strengths and weaknesses. Did I miss the quickness of Diddy Kong and
his super fast rolling jump? Sure, but that wasn’t the sole reason the
first two games were so great, so it’s omission isn’t a dealbreaker DKC3 borrows heavily from its predecessors
in terms gameplay, but the shift in focus from avoiding pits to light puzzles is a welcome
change and really helps this game stand on its own without feeling like old hat. Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble might also mark
the high point of the 90’s pre-rendered graphics fad. Environments are bright, vivid, varied and
detailed with just the right mix of realism and fantasy, creating appealing worlds to
platform through. The difficulty curve is also excellent, with
the opening stages being breezy, allowing one to learn the ropes, and the final stages
being the gauntlet the series is known for. This might even have the best difficulty curve
of the bunch, with few difficulty spikes in the middle of the game. Camera jank and collision issues are also
absent. While the bosses remain mediocre, they were
never the highlight of Donkey Kong Country, so it’s hard to get upset about it. Mix in an underrated soundtrack, and a ton
of replayability with the completion goals and a hard mode, and Donkey Kong Country 3:
Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble is a wonderful send off for the Super Nintendo. While some may be disappointed with Kiddy
Kong or some other elements not meeting their expectations, I’m struggling to find many
faults with the game. It’s a wonderful platformer and easily stands
toe to toe with best platformers of the era.


100 Responses

  1. JaidynReiman

    September 4, 2018 4:35 am

    The DK coins aren't "extra". You need all DK coins to get the Gyrocopter. The Gyrocopter is NOT unlocked by beating Knautilus (the second K. Rool battle), Knautilus grants a DK coin for completing it, and therefore, if you already got every other DK coin, you'll get the Gyrocopter after being Knautilus. If you got the banana bird queen cutscene, you got everything in the game and 103% completion.

  2. mr Tree

    September 16, 2018 5:52 am

    It's funny I never knew this game had so much negative view I guess when ur 6 or 7 when the game comes out your just happy to play more donkey kong. Playing these games when you were young is not the same experience playing it when ur old for the first time

  3. DerHobbitbeutel

    September 18, 2018 2:47 pm

    Ich habe ein Nintendo Emulator und dieses Spiel aber die Tastatur Einstellung ist nicht so optimal ich kann die Renn taste nicht gedrückt halten der triggert die nur wie ein Einzelklick

  4. Nietzsches Moustache

    September 19, 2018 12:03 pm

    My favourite game is the first, actually. I know the gameplay improved in some ways in DKC2, but i just think the first one is more classic and "cleaner" in a sense. The story was better. Don't like the idea of some ape girl and love couple trying to save Donkey. Stupid, haha. Dixie is the best charachter technically speaking, but I just feel more for Donkey. He was also advantagous in part on some levels compared to Diddy (and would have been compared to Dixie). When it comes to the third game it is still one of the best platformers on SNES, but I didn't like the giant baby charachter. It's just an example of how they kept adding ridiciolus things through out the sequels with most of them in the third. They added some things that improved the gameplay but also some things that made things worse. And had some corny enemies. Another example are some levels that are just annoying like the level in DKC3 where your controls work the opposite of what they are supposed to, so when you press left the charachter goes right. Annoying and not fun. I like it when you improve difficulty, but that was just pointless. They tried out some wacky ideas.

    If i started playing them now I MIGHT have thought DKC2 was the best followed by DKC. But now i think 1. DKC 2. DKC2 and 3. DKC 3. First one is like 5/5, second one 4.7/5 and third one more like 4.2 / 5 for me.

    I think they should have kept Donkey in the sequels, but instead for example added some item that you can find that made him jump better. And maybe had more charachters to choose from. Two at the time on screen, but in the beginning you could choose to play other apes as well. Or maybe just keep Donkey and have Dixie on as a sidekick and go save Diddy together. Makes more sense than big KONG being kidnapped. Just some ideas.

    As a sidenote: the first DKC is the best to speedrun if you are into that.

  5. Dom Dom

    September 19, 2018 3:03 pm

    Why do you play de Japanese version? I mean… you seems to know how to create and upload videos on YouTube, so why cant you figure how to play the english version ? xD I like your channel BTW

  6. Patrick Viet

    September 19, 2018 8:46 pm

    This game just doesn't have the spirit of DKC1 and DKC2. It feels like it's DKC that went to kindergarten. The two previous were innovative, charismatic, modern, and that 3rd one is kindergarten themed… And kiddy kong SUCKS.

    It's a bit like Shrek 3. Was it that bad? No not really… But compared to 1 and 2, it felt just like it was milking the franchise and nothing else. It's not as bad as the second matrix, but blehhhh, it's just stupid to make a kindergarten themed game, you're gonna alienate a ton of people over 10 years old (which I was at the time it was released in 95 …)

  7. NyteMyre

    September 20, 2018 9:02 am

    I love all 3 games. I usually replay all three of them at least once a year. But every time i reach DKC3, i feel a bit of fatigue when i start the first level and hear that "Stilt Village" theme. Compared to the first level of DKC1 with jungle beats and DKC2 with the pirate shanty, the introductory levels of DKC3 are kinda bad.

    I still love Novakovic deep/dark atmospheric sounds, but ughhh… Stilt Village sucks. David Wise version of Stilt Village for the GBA is A LOT better.

  8. TheWeekendGamerz

    September 20, 2018 3:28 pm

    I love dkc3 . How come nobody ever talks about how easy it is to get the dk coins? I loved the challenge of finding them in dkc2.

  9. etapia2012

    September 21, 2018 1:20 pm

    When I got my snes, DKC3 was the game I got with it so it was my introduction to DKC which is why I have such fond memories of this game and my favorite DKC.

  10. TBoneTony

    September 21, 2018 4:30 pm

    While DKC had the most lazy of boss fights, DKC2 had perhaps the most hard core of boss fights that make you use your skill and effort as well as mental stamina to wait for moments to attack.

    DKC3 has the most strangest and unique boss fights. I think that instead of throwing Snowballs at a Snowman, I would rather throw toilet paper at a large Poo monster instead that sings opera during the boss fight.

  11. MadSnake123

    September 23, 2018 2:21 am

    I really have to disagree on this one… I mean, I don't think is a bad game, in fact I think is a good game… But for me, it was annoying to play and my God there is nothing worst than playing an annoying game. To begin with, Kiddy is really lame, some of the levels are so boring and some others are frustrating. Not mentioning the music which it is lacking. In other words, a solid 7 but far from the iconic first game and of course miles away from one of the greatest sequels in a video game, DKC2. In other words, I don't think is underrated.

  12. Eduardo Furlan

    September 26, 2018 1:22 pm

    I always liked DKC3, though I agree it's not as good as the 2nd installment. However I think it's slightly better than DKC 1.

    One thing I don't like much about DKC3 are the enviroments, the tropical scenery was much more appealing. And the koins are a great idea, but I think it should have been put to better and more creative use.

  13. MarMax Gaming

    September 26, 2018 9:54 pm

    You did a GREAT job articulating why this game can easily stand to to toe with the others. I’ve always thought people gave it a hard time for not enough good reasons.

  14. Corey M

    September 27, 2018 3:05 am

    DKC3 is so underrated because, DKC2 was so hard near the end. I never finished it and by the time I discovered a DKC3 came out, I was playing MGS and Tomb Raider.

  15. Ryan M

    September 27, 2018 10:50 pm

    It's like The Godfather 3 coming after the critically acclaimed Godfather 2. Or Shrek the 3rd coming after the crazy popular Shrek 2. DKC 2 is one of the greatest platformers of all time. DKC 3 had big shoes to fill and did not succeed. Still, that doesn't mean the game is bad. It's actually fun.

  16. tunaXonXtoast

    September 28, 2018 6:06 am

    I really enjoyed this game. Having said that, it had no soul but was comfy as fuck. It brings back memories too, I got this baby for Christmas when it was new and read about it in Game Pro.

  17. Cerise Jaxel

    October 16, 2018 3:27 pm

    I skipped the "spoilery" parts of the video (banana bird collection, lost world) since I'm still working on those quests. The amount of content in this game is gold! This game really is spectacular, especially when you look at it for what it is on its own, rather then comparing it to its even better (my opinion) predecessors. 🙂

  18. Robert Anthony

    November 5, 2018 2:06 am

    I love this game and was surprised at the negativity towards it. This game felt SO refreshing after the punishing difficulty and darkness of DKC2. The music and the breezy island atmosphere felt so good, and the graphics! This game is easily one of the best looking on the system. Such a beautiful game, I almost felt a little emotional seeing those waterfall levels here again. This game is noticeably easier than its predecessors which just serves to make it all the more enjoyable IMO. It is a FUN GAME! Gone is the stress of trying to beat several levels in order to save. Kiddy is easily the most charming Kong yet and I love the kiddy vibe throughout. The rail levels and other fast paced levels are a blast. Each level feels like an accomplishment in gaming development. I wouldn’t hesitate to cal DKC3 a masterpiece and an essential title on the snes, a beautiful swan song for the og country series and a beautifully mature late period snes game. Love love love it.

  19. Bryan Lariviere

    November 5, 2018 4:02 pm

    DKC3 actually is a gimmicky game, In DKC1 there are gimmicks but those gimmicks are revisited in multiple levels. DKC2 has a few gimmick levels that are not repeated, DKC3 the level generally feel unique, but they should not. I feel like every level is different with no repeated mechanic.

  20. foxymetroid

    November 8, 2018 10:11 am

    I wish they brought back the free-roam overworld system from 3. That was always my favorite part of the game. Hopefully, if there's a third game in the Donkey Kong Returns sub-series, they bring back the overworld exploration rather than have the sprites move on a fixed path.

  21. mikeonthecomputer

    November 11, 2018 10:10 am

    I think you are spot on when pointing out the disconnect between the audience's age and the age of the characters. Especially as these games are meant to be friendly for children, there is an age range from around 8 lasting up through 14 or so, where players don't desire to connect with something ostensibly "childish" or "baby" things, because they want to identify themselves as someone older too.

    Personally, I had experienced this with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. When it was new, I refused to even touch the game, I just didn't want to be seen with something so apparently childish. Which is a real shame. I played it years later when it had a Game Boy Advance port (and then got it on SNES too), it is a wonderfully fun and challenging game that I love. I never owned nor played DKC3, mainly for this same reason, and this video makes me think I ought to change that!

  22. Cookie Skoon

    November 12, 2018 10:46 pm

    I think this game is great. However, I do not like baby themes. No matter what anybody says I will never like that character.

  23. DrewPicklesTheDark

    November 19, 2018 2:04 am

    I never got why people don't like this one, I understand it's not as good as the others, I prefer DKC2 myself, but it's not bad. People act like they are 2 > 1 >>>>>>>>>>> 3 when I think it's just 2 > 1 > 3

  24. Claude Rougemont

    December 30, 2018 8:23 pm

    Though I liked DKC3, that's as far as I could really go with it. Like. Not love. It was fun, yes, and the graphics were great, as were the smoother controls, and I'll even admit that I liked some of the stage gimmicks, but it just felt so different from the previous two titles. The collect-a-thon aspect certainly didn't help, and I was disappointed by the bosses compared to DKC2, but my biggest gripe was probably that…unless it was absolutely mandatory for a bonus barrel or something, I rarely found myself needing to use Kiddy Kong, nor did I enjoy playing as him.

    DKC2, at least for me, had me using both Kongs almost equally throughout the whole game, and I just felt like Kiddy's inclusion (and even the attempted focus) in the game was a big gimmick. The other thing that bothered me with DKC3 was that it felt like it didn't have much of the soul that the previous titles did. It wasn't that the game's music and such wasn't as great as its previous title, but that it never really stood out as great or noteworthy. It was just…okay, and sadly, a bit forgetable.

    Again, I don't hate this game. It's good, but…good was all it ever ended up being for me, and it isn't just because I greatly enjoyed DKC2.

  25. Chris theo

    December 31, 2018 11:17 am

    i dont get the gimmick complaint 2 is filled with them too and after playing all 3 again 3 was the most fun to me

  26. Mr.Cutsie

    January 11, 2019 4:06 am

    I loved this game as a kid, it was one of the first 16-Bit games that i played and i had a lot of fun with it since it was the only game i got to play on the SNES that i had back then. an also something funny about when i played it is that it was also the first game i played that had a save feature, but i was stupid enough to not know how to use it, but i eventually learned how to use it.

  27. Chris Gorski

    January 20, 2019 11:51 am

    Following DKC 2 was never going to be easy. With the 5th generation already underway, Kiddie being an unappealing character and a soundtrack missing David Wise, I get why this game has a weird reputation. It's still good, but a bit of the magic was lost in this game.

    I wonder how people would regard DKC 3 if they played before DKC 2

  28. Jordan Arnold

    February 13, 2019 12:20 pm

    The black sheep reputation is not one gained in retrospect. As a child playing DKC3, I enjoyed the game, but the whole time something felt off. Kiddy Kong contributed to that feeing, but was only part of it. All the kremlings looked different, gameplay felt different, the world being less linear, the sudden inclusion of a whole cast of bears. It almost felt like a different franchise altogether, with DKC characters added for marketing reasons. And with Rare at the time making games for the N64 (not so subtly advertised by Wrinkly Kong), even as a child I wondered if the team who made the first two moved on to bigger and better things while another crew took on DKC3.

  29. Miles Curtis Norwood

    March 21, 2019 1:54 am

    DKC2 is tough but DKC3 is way easier in difficulty. You don't need a kong college that requires coins to save so scavenging for coins isn't as needed in the 3rd one

  30. loudmuch

    April 3, 2019 1:38 am

    Outstanding video, I played DKC3 the day it came out, and eventually got the 103% completion. 23 years later, I had no idea that 105% was achievable. Thanks for the great work on this review/retrospective.

  31. Not Much Of A Fan

    June 13, 2019 1:06 pm

    I never liked this one personally. Not for its level design or anything, but I can't for the life of me recall what it was about since it didn't have a short intro scene like the first two did, and always felt like a weird mishmash of levels together for the sake of it. 2 definitely was my favorite of the bunch.

  32. Blarrgensnorf

    July 2, 2019 10:04 pm

    This is my favorite dkc game. It’s hard to find others who enjoy the game as well. One reason I love it is because the bosses are much more innovative than the previous games, especially the first installment in the series.

  33. supersmashbro596

    July 25, 2019 6:10 am

    I think the vitriol at kiddie comes from the us marketing of the game.
    the geek critique went into detail about this,
    but despite dixie being the one the game is named for, marketing for dkc3 in the west pushed kiddy kong as the star, when he very much wasnt. he was the sidekick, yet in a market like that, female protagonists were still relatively few. and marketing teams are morons.
    but, hey, american marketing in that era and even today can be hit or miss. and in that era, there were more misses than hits.
    also while i like the soundtrack, k. rools boss theme sucked just as much as the stilt village theme. it had no… energy to it. it felt mechanized but in the wrong way. i'd have been fine if they re-used crocodile cacophony there, it wouldve fit a ton better there. and that stinks, as k. rools themes of the first two were like, highlights of the soundtrack. i mean, big boss blues isnt horrible, but it is a disservice to what k. rool… is. it needed some more instruments and a stronger melody to it.
    also i can't tell if k. rools final defeat in the trilogy is hilarious, or anticlimatic given all the buildup hes had over the trilogy.

  34. ZX 1993

    July 27, 2019 3:44 am

    DKC3 is definitely underrated. It may not be like the previous DKCs but its still a great game with an awesome soundtrack. Sure its a tad slower and has more puzzles but is that bad? I don't think so. In my opinion I think DKC3 is better than DKC1 but not my favorite (that goes to DKC2).

  35. CxR2262

    August 13, 2019 3:08 pm

    Glad I found this channel, the reviews are just the right amount of "in-depth" and opinion vs facts.

    It would be a pain but you might want to cut out all of your breaths, they come in a bit loud after each line you say.

  36. Nash Doyle

    August 27, 2019 5:41 am

    One thing I will say though is throwing ice balls at the snow man boss isn’t really counterproductive because I think he’s a robot.

  37. Andyana Jonseph

    September 6, 2019 3:28 am

    It's great to see people appreciate Dixie's Double Trouble. It's really not "ambitious" like what everyone says it was just doing different things. Growing up Super Mario World's been my all-time favorite game, and I've always wanted a sequel to it. To me Dixie's Double Trouble feels like that sequel.

  38. Mauricio Paiva Facini

    September 8, 2019 11:03 am

    I think the biggest problem of this game is that they choose Kiddy Kong instead Donkey Kong. There are no reason to bring another new playable character (and a baby?). The franchise is called Donkey Kong Country and the character is playable only in the first one. And about the story, really that Donkey needs to be kidnapped again?. They waste a good opportunity to join Donkey Kong and Dixie.
    But at the same time I really liked this game. My favourite is Diddy's Kong Quest. This game is a perfection.

  39. Vincent Bédard

    September 15, 2019 6:47 pm

    I think the snowman bossfight is supposed to be a robot or animatronic of some kind because:
    1. He explodes when he's defeated. What kind of snowman does that?
    2. His laughter is a short loop, almost like a recording of some kind.
    3. He glitches when you hit his weak point.
    4. Why would be vulnerable to snowballs ? fits with the industrial theme of the game.

  40. Sexy cave Troll

    September 17, 2019 10:30 am

    I played this when it 1st came out. I never understood why fans eventually starting bto dislike it. It's all more of the same stuff that made people like 1 and 2. The new map wasn't a huge change, just a slightly different way to do the same thing . Only issue I had was kiddie, wasn't a fan on corny charecters

  41. Carbon Roller Caco

    September 29, 2019 9:58 am

    Finally, a DKC game that favors its lead character instead of its sidekick. Seriously, DKC1 and 2 were terrible at balancing the two.

    And the rest of the game is great, too. And good on you for highlighting the lack of cheap deaths. That shit’s EXACTLY why I hate Mega Man 2. (3 is MUCH better in spite of some douchey bosses, but that’s not here.) As for how “gimmicky” the levels were, how else are you going to push the DKC level design after so much of it in the previous two games?

  42. TheJadeFist

    October 10, 2019 9:45 am

    Having recently beaten this game, and one i've mostly put off or only partially attempted/ started over a few times over the years, there is one thing about the game's presentation that I feel the other 2 DKC games did much better. World variety and themes. In DKC 1 and DKC 2, there were certain returning level styles, but more or less every world had it's theme and even when re using styles from other levels they added a twist to it to fit in line with the world it was in. For example in DKC 2 the sunken ship levels appeared a number of times, but you had your lava world where the water would be red hot. All of the worlds in this game are basically the same, and nothing really makes one stand out over the other. You had your icey world with a few snow levels, but that is it, every other level in the game could easily had just been placed in another world and it wouldn't matter.

  43. MetaL BraiN m/Extreme Metal Enthusiast m/

    October 21, 2019 8:49 pm

    I didn’t like Kiddie Kong at first, but he does grow on you. I never played DKC 3 back in the day, but I recently bought it on 3DS. I was and still am a big fan of the series, but I had a PlayStation by the time DKC 3 came out. So far I think it’s a very good game. A top tier platformer from SNES days.

  44. Rai Sie

    October 27, 2019 7:53 pm

    I have a theory about the slowdowns. It might really be a thing of bad optimization. The game was produced in Europe where the SNES (and PAL TVs at the time) were only capable of 50Hz. The PAL version of the game is slightly slower but it has no slowdowns. This is actually the original version of the game and it runs fine. The rest of the world had 60Hz versions. While these games run faster they had occasional slowdowns due to bad optimization.

  45. Harry Doble

    November 1, 2019 5:37 pm

    I never understood the hate. This game was magical to me in a way the previous two games weren't. Completing it 100% was a joy.

  46. Joe S

    November 7, 2019 1:21 am

    As a kid, DKC2 was my jam. DKC was alright but 2 was the best. When DKC3 came out, I admit I completed judged a book by it's cover. I watched my friend play the game and when I saw the intro, Kiddy Kong, the art style in general of the first part of the game … I was sooo disappointed; to me it looked like a game for babies or something, so I didn't play it. Several years later, I gave it a shot on an emulator, and I ended up loving it!
    My rating: DKC2 > DKC3 > DKC

  47. Otto Von Bismarck

    November 9, 2019 2:39 pm

    DKC3 would have been a thousand times better if they just putted Donkey Kong in Kiddy Kong's place.

  48. Pixalmated

    November 14, 2019 6:31 pm

    I enjoyed this game alot as a kid for how different it looked n felt. It had a home vibe to it. Also I didn't know about the bananas being shaped like letters were hints. I just mashed a bunch of buttons until I progressed through the area, or found hidden shortcuts, or learned as I went. For some reason I use to have alot of dreams about being a player in this game

  49. A J

    December 5, 2019 10:20 am

    I didn't like 3 very much.
    I thought the graphics and music were low quality. The game just looked different. DKC 1 and 2 were the best to me.

  50. NaxoR93

    February 22, 2020 12:32 pm

    I liked this video. Most of people are extremely severe with this game, but back in the day it showed us what the SNES was really capable of. If it used the FX chip it would have been splendid.

    Although most of us agree that this is not the best DKC game (being that DKC2), I dare to say this is the best in terms of originality, and that's what makes this game unique. Every level tries to show us something new, sometimes it tries too hard but well, we just can't complain about it, given the fact that we've almost seen everything in the first 2 parts.

    Great game in my opinion. Definitively a must-have in any collection.

  51. spratz17

    February 26, 2020 10:45 pm

    It makes me laugh how people say they have any nostalgia for this game while its the most nostalgic game of all time, for me that is.


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