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DK: King of Swing Review

Developer: Paon Corporation Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: September 19, 2005 Also On: None

So the other day, I walk into my local GameStop just browsing, looking for some sort of GBA game I could play, since I’ve had a real lack of new GBA titles lately, when I come across DK: King of Swing. Naturally, I skipped over it, falling under the impression that it was a crap game, without actually having fully played it, let alone tested it, and browsed what little selection the store actually had (that’s GameStop for you). I ended up coming back to it, and I don’t know what actually prompted me to walk to the cash register with it, but 5 minutes later, I was in my car reading through the booklet. A few minutes later, I was home, plugging it into my SP, and I can honestly say, “wow.”

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I’ve never been more pleasantly surprised with the quality of gameplay as I am with this game. The core of the game really only requires the L and R buttons, and the A and B button only on slight occasions when you need health or an occasional power-up to your moment. What you can actually accomplish with so little, though, is really quite impressive. You basically control DK as he jumps from the ground to the pegs (that mysteriously just seem to float in mid-air), and use the L and R buttons to grab onto the next peg and to let go, giving you momentum to move further into the level. Pretty addicting, to say the least. Especially with later level designs.

Boss fights require the same tactics, except with twists. In one fight, you’ll grab onto two pegs at once in order to charge your attack and launch yourself into the boss. In another, you’ll do the same, but also have to move yourself quickly to its tail before the creature falls to the ground stunned, so that you can slam it against walls. Another simply requires you to grab a peg, and then a floating rock to use the momentum of the rock to hit the boss. All in all, the bosses tend to pose a fair challenge, and most are fun enough to come back to again and again.

Plus, the game has bonus stages and hidden treasures, as most DKC-themed games do. Throughout the stages, you move around looking for medallions as you swing your way through to the end. Getting all of them in a world (gold, silver, bronze, and platinum) result in unlocking something for racing mode. On top of that, you’ll find Bonus Stage barrels, where you must collect all the bananas to earn you the Crystal Coconut, which hasn’t been seen since that stupid DK CG animation way back in the day. A lot pose a real challenge, as they require you to really know the physics of the game and/or require you to pay bananas for an attack boost upgrade. Unless you’re the kind who goes back to levels to get bananas for the next stage, you may find yourself broke real quick.

All in all, this has turned out to be quite a surprising title. I can definitely see this game becoming a sleeper hit, should anyone actually be willing to give the game a chance. All I can say is that anyone who’s not sure, I hope this review pushes you to at least rent it and go bananas.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 7.8
Written by RockNRoll Review Guide