Donkey Kong: Jet Race

Donkey Kong: Jet Race

Donkey Kong: Jet Race

Have a blast! Or not.

This game is an anachronism. It simply should not be. Remember that Donkey Kong racing game that they showed as a first trailer with the unveiling of the GameCube? It's basically that, but it's all gone wrong, and the monkeys are flying about strapped to rocket barrels, and all those long-forgotten, ill-advised SNES Donkey Kong characters are suddenly back in 3D - horrible, disturbing 3D. And it's also inescapably clear that it's a GameCube game designed for use with the bongos, misguidedly resurrected as a Wii game.

Essentially, Barrel Blast - Jet Race in Europe - makes you feel deeply uncomfortable when you're playing it. Partly because early-'90s surfer Funky Kong and the disturbingly-breasted Candy Kong and - eurgh - Wrinkly Kong are whizzing about strapped to two barrels shaped exactly like the bongo controllers, partly because the Wiimote actually emits bongo noises as you're forced to wave it pointlessly about, but mostly because it's just so bad. Although there's nothing overtly weird or completely broken about it, something about the sum of its parts just doesn't work. It's like some horrible Korean knock-off from the future, made by a development team that only had access to Rare's 1992 character catalogue and hadn't actually played a game since Super Mario Kart.

The first is true, at least - the developer, Paon Corporation, has taken the DK catalogue off Rare's filthy traitorous hands, and is also responsible for DK Jungle Climber. It's lazy to call Barrel Blast a Mario Kart rip-off, mostly because it genuinely does attempt to throw in its own ideas in order to imbue the gameplay with its own rhythm and flow, but it's the easiest comparison to draw. You race flying monkeys, or Kremlings (whatever happened to them?), around wacky tracks, making use of items in a variety of game modes - Grand Prix, Time Trail and Challenge, primarily. You unlock new characters and difficulty levels as you go along, et cetera et cetera.

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Donkey Kong Revolution

Instant repeater.

The net was abuzz (or perhaps a-blinking, since it's all routers and people with hay fever) earlier this week as reports, I dunno, beamed around that Nintendo had mentioned a new Donkey Kong game for Revolution in the latest edition of Japanese magazine Famitsu.