Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest is the sequel to Donkey Kong Country. It was developed by Rare and is one of the best selling Super Nintendo games.
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I didn't enjoy this as much as the first for a few reasons, which is disappointing considering that this is so highly regarded.
This game does make improvements over the original, especially in its boss design. Bosses are far more varied and interesting in this game, although the king bee is a real pain. Similarly, the controls and hit detection have been more finely tuned and so this entry feels fairer in its platforming.
However, I can't say I enjoyed the setting, characters, or level design of this game.
The pirate theme is fine, but it leads to a lot of overused assets. All the water levels are visually identical and a pirate ship seems to appear in every zone to make sure they can use the masts and rigging for a few levels. This makes the whole game feel a little samey. When this is compounded by the fact a lot of the worlds don't have a coherent theme, it makes the game feel lacking in any sort of progression. Beehive levels are thrown in almost at random, and the theme-park area has only two relevant-looking levels. There are 3 bee levels, a swamp level, and two bramble levels in this area, which vary wildly in design and make the order of levels just feel random.
The soundtrack is great and deserves all its praise, but the way it's implemented leaves a lot to be desired. The starting area has one of the weaker selections of tracks and makes the first few levels feel lacklustre as a result. When better songs such as stickerbush symphony are eventually used, the levels are often weaker, lessening the impact of the soundtrack.
The level design is fine but feels focused more on gimmicks and tricks than solid platforming. I can't see why this is praised as better than the first game in this capacity. For every few good levels, you have to ride a slow spider, jump as a snake, or ride a balloon. Most of the non-animal levels are similar. What if this water level was dark? What if the whole level was just jumping through barrels? How about the same mast level you've played 4 times but the waters rising below you? All this feels surface-level, cheap, and ultimately uninspired. There is a sizeable portion of this game that could easily be cut out and it really makes you see why this only took a year to make.
I don't hate this game though, it's got enough to it that it's worth a play, especially if you already enjoyed the first one.