Pre-E3 2007 DKU Speculation
The Storm Before The Calm

E3. The famous expo once known for sporting voluptuous booth babes and supplying Conker condoms will be a hollow shell of its former self come July. Since 2003, we?ve seen many visions of the DKU's future: We've seen DK go through his drug-trip infested hell, a shoddy port of Conker's Bad Fur Day, and more cameo games than we really needed, let alone wanted. Despite all odds, everything seemed to look good for the DKU in 2006. DK was seen Bongo Blast-ing and swinging like a king, Diddy Kong once again got on the racetrack with old friends, and somewhat good cameo games appeared. Arguably one of the best E3s in years. Can 2007 continue that streak for the second year in a row? Let's take a look at what you'll be cursing or wildly cheering at this E3.

1: DK Jet (Nintendo Wii)
The Gamecube title formally known as Bongo Blast has been unsurprisingly retooled for Nintendo's new innuendo of a console. Up until recently, all the information we've gotten from the title was confirmation that it wasn't cancelled. PAON then decided to surprise us by making up for lost time in including Lanky Kong, new Kremlings, and classic DK locales. While the control scheme for the Wii sounds iffy at best, here's hoping that PAON can tool it to be fun when it releases. Despite not being playable last year, considering the amount of fanservicing screenshots it's safe to say that it will be this E3.

2: DK King of Swing DS (Nintendo DS)
The sequel to the only DK game worth getting in 2005 (Editor's Note - Besides Donkey Kong Country 3 GBA) , King of Swing DS looks to take everything good that King of Swing did and dramatically improve it in every way possible. From the tag-team system we know and love, new locales, and ACM-esque graphics, King of Swing DS looks to do just that. Whether a playable version of the game will be at E3 is still up in the air, yet considering that Jet is nearly complete if not entirely, it wouldn't take a lot to think that it'll be playable for swingers in attendance.

3: Banjo-Kazooie 3 (Xbox 360)
The biggest surprise at X06, Banjo 3 adds one more installment in the epic battle between Banjo and Gruntilda. While we haven't gotten any information aside from interviews and the glorious return of Jolly Roger, the Banjo Team aims to make 3 with some changes to the platforming genre while catering to the fans of Kazooie and Tooie. While not set to release until the tentative year of 2008 (just in time for the tenth anniversary), chances are we'll see a video of the next Banjo game at the show. Hopefully with Jolly Roger. And Klungo. And more Jolly Roger. (Editor's Note - Mark loves GLBT characters)

4: Mario Strikers Charged (Nintendo Wii)
The sequel to the lackluster 2005 Super Mario Strikers, Next Level Games is hoping to win over more players with "innovative" Wii controls and even more "innovative" Friend Codes! While it has Diddy Kong in it, will he really be enough to convince DKUers to buy the game? b Only time, and Ernest Borgnine, can tell. With the game nearing a European release, E3 should house a playable version of the game.

With those games in mind, let's take a look at what we'll most likely (and unlikely) see this year.

*Unknown Rare Title (Nintendo DS)
In 2004, Ken Lobb announced two DS titles in development. As we all know, Diddy Kong Racing DS filled the void of one DS title, which as math shows, leaves one title left. Rumors for a while have circulated on a Viva Pinata title, a Kameo title, and a Banjo title. In terms of DKU games, perhaps we'll see the long fabled Banjo-Tesseract, or perhaps a title released in conjuction with Banjo 3. As long as we get our Humba Wumba touch screen minigame, we're all for it. (Editor's Note: By "we," Mark means himself. That's his manner of speaking, as he fancies himself as Queen Elizabeth. I refuse to pay the bills for his therapy... or his requested operation)

*Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo Wii)
With all the talk about replacing old characters in favor of new ones, it's still unknown at this point if Donkey Kong is in the game. Say he is, however. The Smash Bros. franchise is one of the only cameo games that we haven't tired of. If the streak continues, Brawl will entice us with new characters, new levels, the ability to use a Gamecube controller, and online play. With Friend Codes. Which isn't enticing to begin with. Still scheduled to be released this year, hopefully we'll at least get one video and confirmation that Donkey Kong is even in it.

*Mario Party 9 (Nintendo Wii)
We all know it's coming. Mario Party 8 is complete, so what better way for Hudson to celebrate than with another masochistic Mario Party game? Since it doesn't exist (yet), we don't know what it?s going to consist of, yet you can count on DK getting another useless role, 5 differently colored Petey Piranhas as playable characters, and online play with Friend Codes!

*Whatever The Hell Donkey Kong Racing Is Now (Xbox 360)
Ah, Donkey Kong Racing. Rare's game revealed in 2001 which never came out thanks to the buyout, is still in the hearts of many fans. At this point, we're not even sure it still exists after six years. The most recent news has been the Kameo team thanking the "Stampede Team" and the rumor of it being retooled into a racing game starring the cast of the critically yet not financially acclaimed Viva Pinata. If it does show up this year, expect a sliver of what DKoR was originally meant to be, with the addition of Xbox Live online play. Without Friend Codes. I hate those things. They?re like bloody cats.

*Obligatory New Mario Cameo Sports Game (Nintendo Wii/Nintendo DS)
Yet another game that we all know is coming. It seems every E3 thus far likes to introduce us to a new Mario sports title. Last year, it was Mario Hoops 3-on-3. The year before that we were introduced to Mario Superstar Baseball and Super Mario Strikers. What else is there for Mario and friends to tackle with DK begrudgingly tagging along? Football? Curling? Toast Tossing? Who knows?

So with that and E3 2007 being right around the corner, that?s the speculation list for this year. Whether they come true or not, making us either happy in the process or miserable for months to come, one must remember the important thing in all of this:

Friend Codes blow.

A look into a double-edged future by Mark.