Super Smash Bros. for 3DS has recently been released and it is an excellent addition to the Smash Bros. series. I got it very shortly after its release date and have been playing a lot of it in my free time because it’s just so darned fun. New additions like Pac-Man and the Wii Fit Trainer are great choices for playable characters and the new ‘Smash Run’ mode is a nice way to bring in even more elements from lots of Nintendo series.
But (and at the risk of feeling needlessly negative) I can’t help but feel slightly unfulfilled in one respect, and that is as a Donkey Kong fan.
You can play as Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong and they’re both quite nice to be, with moves that references games from their past and you also have the Jungle Japes stage (returning from Super Smash Bros. Melee again) which is your standard tree house in the middle of a jungle affair and that’s about it. Since Super Smash Bros. Melee I’ve wanted series antagonist King K. Rool to become playable and while he would doubtlessly be an excellent choice, I am more disappointed by the levels used to represent the Donkey Kong series.
In Super Smash Bros. there was a Donkey Kong level in the middle of a jungle. In Super Smash Bros. Melee there was one that was in the middle of a jungle (the one that returns in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS) and one on some platforms on a waterfall which, also, was in a jungle. Super Smash Bros. Brawl added another jungle-based waterfall level as well as 75m from the original Donkey Kong game (which was a very good stage!) But, you see, pretty much all of these levels are jungle levels with very little else.
One of the biggest things I like about the Donkey Kong series is it’s huge diversity of interesting levels. There are jungle levels, but they’re never the ones that have me the most excited. They’re the vanilla of Donkey Kong levels. Let’s go through some of the locales from the series that could have been excellent Smash Bros. levels. In Donkey Kong Country you have huge abandoned factories, empty mine shafts, beautiful ice caves and snowy wilderness. Donkey Kong Land has the mysteriously desolate ‘Big Ape City’ which is actually just a very realistic looking modern city. In Donkey Kong Country 2 you have pirate ships, volcanoes, spooky forests, big creepy castles and even a haunted house with a rollercoster in it (what a fun level that would make!). Donkey Kong Country 3 had huge underground pipelines and beautiful boardwalks and, if they really wanted it to be a jungle (what with them being so iconic) why not have a frozen jungle from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Need I go on?
But I don’t want to complain. There are some fantastic new stages in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS like Magicant (from EarthBound) or Tortimer Island (from Animal Crossing: New Leaf) and they just might be my favourite ones yet. It’s just that I felt that it was in this area that the game was lacking the most. There are two rather generic Mushroom Kingdom levels based on New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D Land and, for me, they’re just a bit boring. Let’s hope that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will have a nicer stage selection and, more specifically, that it will contain some more Donkey Kong themed ones.
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