|Released on November 20, 1995 by Nintendo, and developed by Rare, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest follows the original with more challenging 2D platforming action.|
|It should actually be full of Super Nintendo games!|
A year after Donkey Kong Country's release, Rare returned with the 1995 sequel, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. Some people accused the original Donkey Kong Country of having less than stellar gameplay, and of not being challenging enough. Those people are both wrong and crazy, but Rare took their words to heart and created a tighter, more difficult game for the sequel.
|Literally everything in this picture can kill you, including the token and bananas, which are just siren's songs.|
Every level features a save barrel at the mid-point, and the letters "K," "O," "N," and "G," hidden across the level in order--get all four letters, and the player is rewarded with an extra life.
|Then lands on the weird porcupine and dies.|
Like its predecessor, Diddy's Kong Quest features animal enemies that can be vanquished by jumping, or by each Kong's basic attack, in Diddy's case cartwheeling, in Dixie's spinning. Diddy also runs faster and jumps higher than Dixie, but Dixie can use her hair to glide after she jumps. Dixie's gliding is beneficial for not only long jumps, but jumps where precision is more valued. The player will need this precision, because--second wrinkle--with more difficult jumps, and more spikey, lava-coated, stingy, death-bringing objects and enemies to avoid, DKC 2 is indeed more difficult than its predecessor.
|Wait, is there anything in this game that doesn't kill you?|
For instance, as in the original, Diddy and Dixie (well, Donkey, in the original) can toss barrels they find at enemies, and at select moments, can either ride or turn into an animal helper. There's Rambi the rhino, who can charge and ram through enemies, Enguarde the sword fish, who can swim swiftly and skewer enemies, Bocephus the flying squirrel, who can bite enemies and give them rabies, Squawks the parrot, who can fly and spit Kola nuts at enemies, and Squitter the web-spitting spider, among several others. I made one of those up.
Just like in the first game, using these Kong friends is a blast, particularly the hard-charging Rambi.
|That rat's gonna feel it in the morning.|
Each of the game's seven worlds feature five + levels, and a respective space for four other, deservedly less-beloved Kong's who Diddy and Dixie can meet for various ends. There's Wrinkly Kong, who can save the player's progress (for a price) and give gameplay tips, Cranky, who gives level secrets (also for a price), Swanky, who charges the Kong's to play a quiz game to earn extra lives, Beatrice Kong, who berates the Kongs for their shockingly subpar skills at karaoke, and Funky, who can fly the player to previously played worlds (yep, that costs, too!). Not all of those are real.
These Kongs must be paid in tokens for their services. These tokens can be collected from all of the game's levels (and they "respawn" every time the player dies, making it not entirely difficult to acquire them).
This leads to the one patch of scabies in Diddy's Kong Quest's fur: at very select moments, the saving system feels a little mean.
|I wish I only had one patch of scabies in my fur.|
|I'll juggle for a save!|
|Here, look at the pretty picture.|
|"Hot Head Bop" in your head right now, along with your usual thoughts of desperation and loneliness.|
|Glad they let you use Enguarde in this level, instead of Bocephus.|
|Yes, I'm bragging. No, that game clock doesn't count the 20 extra hours I spent dying.|
November 20, 1995 Nintendo/Rare
Lasting Value: 9.5/10.0