Donkey Kong Country Game Boy Advance

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. There's a certain intensity of action and sense of urgency that only a 2D platformer can deliver. This game is a great way to rediscover that feeling for yourself. [June 2003, p.118]
  2. 90
    Though some of the graphics have been given a downgrade and the soundtrack itself is a bit lacking, the overall quality of the game hasn't changed a bit.
  3. The music in Coral Capers remains every bit as magical as it was the first time around, the new mini games are actually fun, you can now save anywhere, and Cranky's still the coolest ape on the planet. [June 2003, p.56]
  4. Not only is DKC a triumph graphically, but the audio is simply superb, even through the tiny speakers of the GBA (and GBA SP).
  5. Like an Eggo Waffle, this game is just too good to leggo.
  6. As I got more into it, the game hooked me more with deeper, more challenging levels. It also has me coming back trying to find all the bonus levels and scrapbook shots. Another great platformer for the GBA.
  7. While the gameplay is still fairly solid, it just isn’t quite as fun as it used to be. It didn’t blow me away and make me want to play for hour after hour.
  8. Fun though DKC is, it is - as many have said in the past - rather on the short side. Stumbling through the game with a fairly good idea of where everything was, it took us about four hours to get to the final boss and dispatch him, picking up some 70 per cent of the game's secrets along the way.
  9. 80
    The gameplay is perfectly intact and the GBA version even has more stuff to do than the SNES original. But it's just disappointing to see the same environments and character art lose their detail in the move to the handheld.
  10. Worth buying to relive the fun of the original SNES game but don’t expect a whole lot more.
  11. 80
    Probably my favorite "new" feature is the DK Attack mode. This allows you to pick a level and try to complete it as fast as you can. DKC keeps track of scores of statistics, so it's nice to see if you (or someone else) can beat your time/score.
  12. First-time platform gamers will enjoy this, but veterans expecting a perfect port may feel a little cheated at first.
  13. DKC has staying power. Even at nearly 10-years old, it looks like it was made for the GBA. [Fall 2003, p.44]
  14. [Its] overall gameplay is nothing new and even the "extra" modes seem pretty desperate... but the base mechanics look terrific and ultra-smooth on the tiny GBA screen, and both newcomers and old-school fans alike will have something to go ape about.
  15. The complete package has a bit of a sour aftertaste because of the great potential the visuals failed to reach. DKC is a perfect example where gameplay triumphs over graphics, but it's a shame that the capability was there but not taken advantage of.
  16. The major aspect that sets Donkey Kong Country apart from similar games is the amount of variety present in each level.
  17. Monkeys by the barrel, a five-pack of zoo chums, sprawling levels and lotsa minigames - a trip to the Country still packs in tons of gameplay. [June 2003, p.136]
  18. The standards are accounted for: jumping, things to collect, different environment, secrets to find and bosses to defeat. But jumpin’ monkeys is this game hard!
  19. The graphics are technically inferior to the original, the level design and difficulty are very inconsistent, and the attempts to add replay value are downright laughable. Still, the impressive aural elements, delightful personality, and generally fun gameplay make DKC an entertaining video game.
  20. 75
    Blasting out of barrels, hopping onto the backs of wild animals, and swinging from vines never gets old. [July 2003, p.52]
  21. A game of this overall technical sheen that can really make you smile and take notice, doesn't come along every day... in fact it comes along every nine years. If you've not sampled it before, now is the time.
  22. 70
    Though not quite a substitute for the SNES version, DKC is still higher quality than 90 percent of the GBA's action lineup right now.
  23. Despite a distinct lack of impressive new features, Donkey Kong Country is nonetheless an enjoyable platform game offering around 10-15 hours of play (expect to devote even more time to get a 101% completion rate) and generally pleasing visuals and sound even if they aren't up to the level of the Super NES version.
  24. While Donkey Kong Country doesn’t have the ageless appeal of say, "Super Mario World," it still holds its own. The game would have scored higher had Nintendo added more new features to the game.
  25. 65
    On GBA, the second verse is the same as the first -- just a little bit smaller and it seems a bit worse.
  26. Besides the graphics, which still look good, the game has not held up well. [July 2003, p.118]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Jan 20, 2015
    Only guys who grew up with these kind of games can find this any fun and I am one of them. Old school side-scrolling Jump & Run action, thatOnly guys who grew up with these kind of games can find this any fun and I am one of them. Old school side-scrolling Jump & Run action, that says it all. I played this game on the SNES but the Handheld version is as much as fun, maybe even better. But in my opinion the controls are a little bit wonky and slow, maybe because I am more likely to play Mario which is much faster. Moreover the music is really great and very memorizing, like in the most Nintendo games. It matches the atmosphere in every Level perfectly (and the he boss levels were pretty fun too, just saying ;) Nevertheless there is a risk of a repetitive gaming experience.

    This game is a good alternation to today's graphics dazzling, that is why my final results for this game is a legit 8,1.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 29, 2014
    I have this on the SNES; it's just awesome. Story's simple, levels are challenging but fun. Music has its retro charm, and it definitely holdsI have this on the SNES; it's just awesome. Story's simple, levels are challenging but fun. Music has its retro charm, and it definitely holds some sentimental value. Great classic. Full Review »
  3. Sep 23, 2012
    I never really liked this game, and I don't understand why it was so popular. The first few worlds are okay, and they have a certain originalI never really liked this game, and I don't understand why it was so popular. The first few worlds are okay, and they have a certain original charm about them, but from about halfway on, the level design takes a turn for the abysmal. I found myself experiencing not fun, but mostly frustration, just like I did when this first came out on the SNES. There were countless times when I put my whole heart into getting through a tough portion of a level, only to get killed by a tiny projectile rocketing into the screen too fast to react to. It seems to be a theme throughout the game, and it gives the feeling that the developers just don't like you. On top of that, you may find like I did that the levels become too long, and it is no fun playing a good while getting through one part, dying because of one tiny mistake, and having to repeat a huge portion all over again. I frequently found myself edging along slowly and carefully through a level because there is no way of reacting to some of the things that are thrown at you apart from memorizing them. I don't think Rare playtested these levels with a normal audience.

    Play the first three worlds and you've essentially seen everything you're going to see in this game of heavily recycled graphics. It is just aesthetic, but I have an aesthetic side I can't ignore, and it does affect me when the first level feels extremely similar to the fifteenth, or the fiftieth. Even the bosses suffer from recycling, and they're not that interesting to begin with.

    Aside from that, the hitboxes aren't clear. The shape of the characters and level elements makes it very hard to tell exactly where you'll get hit, or where you can stand. It may sound minor, but for me it was a constant annoyance throughout the game. I can't count the times I was hit or missed a platform because I wrongly estimated the position of hitboxes

    The bright patch in the game for me was figuring out the "puzzle" like elements in the levels. They really do require you to think and act carefully, and it feels great when you overcome an obstacle. Unfortunately, the very un-puzzle-like deaths you usually suffer afterwards overshadow it with a feeling of being cheated, losing progress through no fault of your own, and then having to redo the puzzles you already solved. This could have been avoided with more checkpoints, and less reflex-based obstacles.

    Rare to me has always seemed like that developer who is convinced in his own mind that he's just as good or better than all the others, and you feel bad for them because they're embarrassing themselves without knowing it. Rare games have every appearance of being good, but look a little deeper and you usually find they're just mimicing other good games

    I do feel very negatively about DKC games, and I'm not being hateful, I really do just think they're bad, and I can't see how anyone could enjoy them for any considerable amount of time.
    Full Review »