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SCORES EXPLAINED:

5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: Not Ranked

Genre: Platformer (Classic Arcade)

Awards: None
There's Donkey Kong Again... Still No Pants Pros: Unlike DK, All Levels are Included
Cons: Poor Graphics/ Tinny Audio
Junior at Least Has the Decency to Wear a Jumper


Overview: Donkey Kong, Jr. (which literally translates in Japanese as "My stupid son the ape"........ I think) has to go down as one of the better sequels since the Godfather 2. Although, the arcade machine Donkey Kong is a better game (duh- its one of the best games of all time), the kid's chance at glory is totally revamped
in the area of gameplay, and for the most part, it is a success. Yes, the premise, as with daddy's game, is still climbing absurd structures to rescue someone in peril. But this time, we sexily flip the perspective and take on the role of the bad guys... the super creepy evolving monkeys... "WE ARE THE DAMNED DIRTY APES!!!" This time around, Donkey Kong Junior is rescuing pop from the evil Mario. Yes... THAT fat plumber guy who had mild success starring in his own games. Platforming awaits, let's jump in.

Graphics: From the menu, to the characters, to the boards, the game's flat and unimpressive graphics are very reminiscent with the 7800's version of Donkey Kong. In fact, the graphics in Jr. aren't even as impressive as DK's. In certain animations, the kid looks just plain odd. When climbing two vines at once, he looks like he has four eyes. Mario is also curiously bland, and many enemies are flat and just ugly. There is a bird on level two that drops what could only be described as horrendous white excrement. I'm sure this is supposed to be fruit or something, but this particular item looks very "2600-ish", and can only be described as poop. POOP. The only thing that is very good about the graphics is that Donkey Kong's genital region isn't as disturbing as in his game. Thank heaven for small miracles.

Sound: Like in DK, there are plenty of background noises and music clips, but sadly, they suck as bad as Daddy's game. Again, everything is very shrill, but to make things worse, the irritating climbing noise is more apparent because our hero is a monkey. DK Junior climbs and climbs and climbs. So much so, you will be turning down the volume soon. The menu music sounds like stuff that sadists would listen to. Seriously, it's like Satanic circus music. Who wrote this crap, and why are they still alive? As an interesting side note, the computer sound effects from Impossible Mission makes a cameo in this game as the DK, Jr. walking effects. Excited yet? Oh well.

Gameplay: Well, thankfully for Junior fans, the programmers removed their collective head from their buttocks and included ALL four screens in the game, as opposed to including only three in the original Donkey Kong. Now the question is, how good does it play? Well, there's some good and bad here. Collision detection is off on some parts, for one. When the aforementioned bird drops the horrendous excrement towards Junior, it sometimes whizzes past it's head and for some reason, knocks him out anyway. Very irritating. Also, the jumping in this game feels awkward and difficult to control. But, there are good touches in DK Jr. that remain faithful to the arcade version. For example, when the kid climbs with one hand, he is much slower than when he climbs with two. That is a nice touch that could have been easily left out. Fans of the game will be happy about the inclusion of all four boards. The final level with the keys is almost as good as the original Donkey Kong's first screen with the pink risers. Those are my favorite two Donkey Kong levels in the 7800 library. Not too difficult, but fast and fun.

Interpretation: I believe the inclusion of all four boards probably hurt the graphics and gameplay a little because of memory issues, but it is real nice to be playing all four. If you can look past a few of the visual whoas and programming stinkers, DK Jr. isn't a terrible conversion. The only area where the 7800 developers dropped the ball was on screen order. But that should not bother anyone but Donkey Kong Junior purists. And is there such a thing?

Value: Just like Donkey Kong, there are no bonuses, extra modes or anything fancy added to this game. It's just purely DK, Jr, baby. Alternating two player action is included with four difficulty levels for your platforming needs.

Overall: Whether or not you enjoy "Junior" basically comes down to whether or not you can forgive the cart's sins in the areas of graphics, sound and gameplay. Wait a minute....what else is there? All joking aside, the gameplay is close enough to the original to keep casual fans of the game happy. I hate to sound like an old, cranky baby boomer, but towards Junior I must say, "You ain't your daddy, kiddo". The good thing about this cart and the original Donkey Kong is that they are both available on ebay frequently at a cheap price. That way, you can afford to pick them up and "MONKEY" around with them! Get it? Monkey around? (Do you still love me? WAIT DON'T GO!)


Other Reviews:
The Video Game Critic: B+
CV's Atari 7800 Panoramic Froo-Froo: 3.0 out of 5.0 (Fair)
The Atari Times: 5 out of 10

Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Atari Age and Mitch from Atari7800.org for allowing the use of the screenshots for this review.

For those of you not in the "know", the word Donkey in Japanese means "Stupid". I always thought DK was a scientifically rendered cross breed of an ape and a donkey, and that's why his genitals suffered so. We just need to get the guy some pants.