Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest

9.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 10/10

Fantastic level design | One of the best soundtracks ever

Somewhat difficult

Nowadays, beating an old NES or SNES game is a big deal. Heck, it was a big deal even back in the day, so it feels like even more of an accomplishment now that games have generally become easier, or that they at least offer easier paths to the finish line.

But I beat Donkey Kong Country 2 recently, and it’s an accomplishment I feel I can wear like a badge of honor.

Even though this game was a huge part of my childhood and remains one of my all-time favorites, it’s hard to recommend it to the newer, younger players of today. Its action-platforming stages are designed brilliantly but are unforgiving by modern standards.

238-DKC2 World Map

In case you don’t already know, DKC2 follows Diddy Kong and his girlfriend, Dixie, on their quest to rescue a kidnapped Donkey Kong. Diddy and Dixie each have strengths and weaknesses in their side-scrolling platformer skills. Diddy is quicker than Dixie, but Dixie can use her hair to glide after jumping. Levels are designed so that Diddy’s and Dixie’s strengths are kept in check, though you’ll still come across the occasional instance in which one or the other has a small advantage. And as long as you have both characters at your disposal, you can switch between them freely.

As I already mentioned, the level design in DKC2 is top-notch and still holds up today. Diddy and Dixie have plenty of bad guys to fight and elusive secrets to find. Completionists will have plenty to keep them busy in finding the huge, sparkly DK token hidden in each level, plus there are plenty of other hidden things to find. Everyone else will enjoy simply getting to the end of each level in a more casual manner. However, the difficulty is still there, and the “super guides” and “easy modes” of today are nowhere to be found.

239-DKC2 Swamp

There are two ways to play DKC2 locally with a friend: co-op or competitive. There’s no simultaneous play, so you’ll be taking turns. Still, it’s nice have this option built-in.

The visuals and music of DKC2 are truly one-of-a-kind. David Wise returned from the original Donkey Kong Country to compose for 2, and his music proves again to be gorgeous, and consistently so, throughout the game. As far as overall soundtracks go, DKC2’s easily makes my top 3.

The music pairs with visuals that manage to be both moody and whimsical at the same time to create incredibly immersive results. Diddy and Dixie are about as charming as the 16-bit SNES hardware could make them, and the other members of the Kong family you’ll meet are equally quirky. The game still leaves an impression today.

240-Diddy Kong Ending

The Recommendation

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest is a true platforming classic. It improved upon its predecessor while still going in wild new directions, and the payoff is evident. The gameplay may prove too difficult for some, but it’s a journey well worth taking for those who are willing. If you don’t own a SNES console, you can download the game on Wii U for $7.99.

Summary

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Author: Holly Fellmeth View all posts by
Site Manager/Editor - Holly's favorite hobby is playing new or different games. She believes there is no other medium that can offer such weird and wacky things as the gaming industry can. Her Nintendo Network ID is Aeroweth.