Things have really changed within the past two years, ain't they? And I'm not talking just about Nintendo and Rare.
Back in the SNES/Genesis days, platformers were all the rage. Mario, Sonic, and for a time DK were at the top of the 'cool game' list, their games sold millions, and all was good for them. Flash forward a decade. No one gave a crap about Super Mario Sunshine, people hate the Sonic Adventure series, and there hasn't been a new DK game in 4 years. So what the hell happened?
Tastes have changed, that's what. Read that recent study? Around 70% of college students play games regularly. Mainstream society is starting to get the fact that video games are pretty normal now, not stuff that your kids were obsessed with concerning hedgehogs, plumbers and primates. This means a huge percentage of older people are playing as opposed to the small number from the old days, and they've got different tastes. For some reason, a game is only good to them if it's got guns and gratuitous bloodshed. Nintendo started struggling bad with the N64 when the PSOne released wave after wave of crappy action-packed games, only a few of which were worthwhile. Now it's even worse. People didn't care when the new Mario came out. People didn't care when the new Zelda came out. Hell, even when Metroid Prime-a game that had been made because of countless fans requests-was released, it was still outsold by stupid Splinter Cell. Whenever I try to talk about games to friends, they're only interested in Halo, Grand Theft Auto or Dead or Alive. None of them care about one GCN or GBA game.
Some companies seem to have noticed this and are changing their style to reflect this. A good example is Jak II. The original was a great game-fun play and graphics, along with one of the best and well-acted cast of characters in any game I've ever seen-but it sold nowhere near expectations because people thought it "too cutesy". Meanwhile, Ratchet and Clank, a run-of-the-mill platformer with heavy shooting elements(And a horribly blatant Pikmin-esque minigame)gets all the purchases. Jak II is noticeably different because of this. Instead of a tropical island, you're in a huge city doing missions GTA-style, using assorted weapons and jacking cars. Jak himself has had a huge makeover, getting buffer and sporting more hair, a goatee, and a voice(he said nothing before). Clearly a drastic change, but there's no denying that the game is going to sell.
Xbox doesn't need anything changed; stuff like Halo and Dead or Alive attracted older guys from the start. But Nintendo? Everyone was hoping and thinking that they had a new, revamped image coming that would blow us away. Why else would they keep Gamecube's launch games till E3? Well, oops. We were wrong. The Mario series has been revamped, all right-backpacks are so IN!
Let's take a look at a cult series that got a major revamp in setting and style: Sonic. For the Adventure games, the characters went from the checkerboard Green Hill Zones to modern cities and highways. They got redesigns, some minor(Knuckles and Tails)and some major(Sonic, Amy, Robotnik/Eggman). And instead of the simplistic music of before, a bunch of 80's rock-styled music was thrown in. The storylines also got much more expansive, interweaving and even bold enough to kill off a main character(But he's being ressurected for the next game. Natch.). The music and settings got mixed reactions, and it looks like the next one's going back to the series' roots setting-wise(checkerboard hills and all).
Now, suppose that Nintendo was to do a bit of changing to the Donkey Kong series for the GCN installment we know is coming sooner or later. Knowing Nintendo, I personally bet that they're going to muck it up, but you never know. How would I want it? Let's see....
-A long storyline that can have twists and turns throughout the game. It doesn't necessarily have to be 'dark' knowing the DKU, but it needs to at least be present.(Mario Sunshine's plot seemed to vanish after Bowser Jr. first appeared.)
-Full, PROFESSIONAL voice-acting with lip-synching. Not only was Sunshine's acting abysmal, but the characters either barely had their lips move, or didn't have lips at all. Have this game's cinema scenes be BFD-quality. Please.
-Instead of the generic levels DK64 had, this could have a lot more original stuff. Maybe even a sort of theme throughout the game, like DKC2's pirate style.
Now let's try something different. What would YOU do to change the DK series' presentation in future installments? Email me and I'll post your ideas up on this page.
-Bring back Dixie and Kiddy.
-Definitely have the game be DKC-styled traditional platforming with 3D graphics.
-Have K. Rool upgrade Crocodile Isle into some HUGE new continent.
-Use level themes like City and Beach themes along with the traditional
Underwater, Jungle, Volcano, Snow Mountain, and Factory stages. And a couple of
Treetop Town, Beehive, Temple and maybe Swamp stages.
-Bring back the following animal buddies: Rambi, Squitter, Squawks, Winky,
and Enguard. Maybe Ellie too, along with some new ones. (A Zinger that works
with DK, perhaps?)
-High-speed Stampede style stages like in DKC3's Stampede Sprint.
-A dark storyline that shrouds K. Rool's plan to get rid of the Kongs this
time in mystery. Or something with a plot twist would go good too.
-Bring back some classic drones. Like...possibly...The ROCKCROCS.
-Lastly, make it a challenge.
Dustin Demon's Suggestions
-Two Kongs out at a time, like the DKC series. Whenever one dies ala 1-hit like
DKC, the other one can take over.
-Time Trial mode, to make it more challenging and replayable once you've beaten the game.
-Minigames similar to Swanky's games in DKC3.
-Co-op mode, which would relate to my first suggestion.
-K. Rool invents a time machine to travel into the future, when he rules the world(?).
-Make Kremlings with cyborg-type bodies.
-A new look for DK.
-A new Kong.
Carter's Suggestions(in paragraph form)
-Here's my suggestion for the next DK game, Eggers.
It was a cold, winter day. Donkey Kong, Diddy, and K. Rool, onboard the Gangplank
Galleon, sail toward a new adventure against a mutual foe. They had decided to join
forces when both of their homes were destroyed...by a cardboard box.
Now DK, Diddy, K. Rool, Jesus and Charleton Heston join forces to end this
corrogated terror. They have traced him back to his hideout, a condo in LA.
Together....THEY WILL WIN.
And the object of the game is to find parking.
Jarrod E. G.'s Biiiiig List O' Suggestions
- Co-op mode that works the same way as the DKCs. Up to 4 players can play in the Co-Op mode as the original DKC cast. DK,
Diddy, Dixie, and Kiddy. This will allow up to four players to play the
main game together taking turns.
- The return of the smashable DK barrels, along with the "screaming monkey inside
noise". No more jumping into barrels to change, as in DK64.
- Bananas are used for life purposes only ala DKC. Collect 100 and get a life. No more different color collecting as in DK64, also. All bananas will be yellow.
- Classic DKC drones make a return, such as the Rock Krocs.
- More enemies on the screen at once. Enemies were too spread out in DK64 when compared to the DKC games. Also, when fighting, a Z-Targeting-esque system is used to help you accurately jump on the enemy(Jumping is the primary way to knock out drones this time).
- Bonus levels are found by breaking barrels into walls as in the DKC games. Also, ones are either above your field of vision or hidden away.
- The bonus levels use the same game play mechanics as the DKC ones, but are in 3D. Also, they are not used for the main quest(i.e. golden bananas), but for lives, bananas, and bonus coins.(The coins are used for saving your game, Funky's Flights, and buying items.)
- Funky's Flights and Candy's Save Shack return.
- Animal buddies new and old(Along with their own bonus stages). You can also ride them instead of changing into them.
- A difficulty option is available right when you start. Easy for the younger players, and Hard for the veterans(more drones and less DK barrels).
- If the villain is a new character, have K. Rool at least be his second-in-command. Also give him a new persona, like a gangster or a lumberjack.
- Swanky will have minigames as either a sideshow or a DKC3 style game. As a bonus, Candy will have a GCN version of her dance minigame at her save station.
- Give the DK license for this game to Silicon Knights, Retro Studios or Zoonami. Or perhaps Sega or Namco, as they're doing F-Zero and Star Fox.(It's not that I doubt Nintendo, but maybe they should keep having DK games done by second-party companies.)
- GBA connectivity of some sort with any DK GBA games.
- The main goal would be to collect some sort of item(i.e. the Golden Bananas), but nothing else would be required, so the game wouldn't turn into a collecting fest. The goals to get the bananas would also be very straightforward, so it would feel like you're just going forward in your quest. The bonus areas would be optional again.
- A percentage rating would be given at the end again, based on your time and stuff collected.
- Cleverly hidden Easter Eggs and other various secrets are in the game, in places such as DK's Treehouse and Cranky's Cabin. Items may include a board game in the background (Mario Party), Golf and Tennis rackets, a go-kart, and even a DK trophy (Melee).
- A cameo by Mario, either in the virtual flesh or a photo ala OoT.
- A fully orchestrated soundrack that sounds more organic and natural, unlike DKC3 and DK64's instrument-based music.
- An unlockable Lost World.
- Team-up moves for different Kongs, as in DKC2 and 3.
- The DK Arcade game is an unlockable, and can be downloaded to your GBA ala Animal Crossing and e-Reader.
- A flat-out acknowledgment that DK Jr. is DK and Cranky was the original DK in the
arcade game. This was done in DKC, but it needs to be stated again in a
Nintendo developed title, to put to rest the Retro Pussies/Hippies
complaints. They #1 despise Rare and everything they created, and #2,
hated the Donkey Kong Country series and only love the arcade stuff. This
will shut them up for good and be the death of DK Jr. in any future Cameo
- Feature a racing segment in the game, the goal to win a prize as in many
platform games, that is like that of Diddy/Donkey Kong Racing. The racing
engine will later be used to create Nintendo's own version of Donkey Kong Racing.
- Character development. Let's see some of the romance of DK and Candy, and
Dixie and Diddy. Maybe even a love triangle between DK, Candy, and Funky.
Have Cranky become ill and near death, which will make the game a lot more
"mature" and actually have some story to it.
- Have a storyline that flows steadily throughout the game, as in Nintendo's Zelda
series or any typical RPG. Have a cinema every so often that will elude
to the player that something is at stake. Have more non playable
characters, as in the Zelda series, to talk to that will help add to the
games story but while retaining pure 3D platforming action.
- Have a DKC2-esque dark tone, but keep some jungle levels in.
- Cranky will die heroically in battle or trying to rescue his good for
nothing grandson. Tear Jerking Cinema scene will follow.
- Open the game with the DKC2 fanfare.
- Do not release on GCN. Instead, save as a launch title for the GCN2. Along
with the GCN2 releasing before the PS3 and Xbox2, Nintendo will once
again be saved by DK. People everywhere will want to be the first to
experience the next generation of gaming with never-before-seen graphics,
unparallel to anything ever seen before. Nintendo will gain ground on
Sony's lead and Microsoft will be put way back down into 3rd place.
- Fur effects a la SFA.
- Up to 50 hours of gameplay.
- A massive ad campaign for DKGCN2, the GCN2 itself, and DKC3GBA(Which should be released simultaneously). Nintendo
should spend millions of dollars advertising them. Partner with a
fast food chain who will advertise on TV and on bill boards. Have adds in
Newspapers. Commercials every commercial break during primetime on
Network TV (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX) for a period of 2 weeks, one week before
release and one week after. Also advertise on cable TV all day. On-line
adds. Adds on soft drinks, snacks, and chips. Busses with advertisements
in the major cities of the world. No one will be able to go to a public
place or turn on their TV without seeing DK or hearing about the GCN2.
Have the commercial go something like a movie trailer: A black screen
followed by a majestic sounding tribal, drum rhythm. Have it capture the
viewers attention. Roll footage of DKC with the world famous movie
trailer voice saying "In November of 1994 Donkey Kong revolutionized
gaming." Have the music suddenly swell. "In (insert date, I.E. November
of 2005) he's doing it again." Music breaks into majestic choir singing
an epic piece of music accompanied by an orchestra (somewhat like the T3
trailer). As this music starts Game footage from DKGCN2 is shown with the
action synchronized with the music. Video will continue as voice over
tells the viewer features of the game and that it is only for the newest
and most powerful console around. The Gamecube2. The viewer will be
assaulted with the most realistic, pretty, beautiful graphics ever. The
games graphics will be as revolutionary as DKCs first were when it was
first released. Older gamers who have moved on to Sony and Microsoft will
see the amazing graphics and gameplay and rush out to buy the new
Nintendo System for Donkey Kong. The games commercial will in no way look
kiddy and will appeal to all those watching Network TV. Nintendo's sales
will skyrocket and many of the old SNES fan base who moved on will return
to Nintendo systems. The commercial should last about a minute, and
during primetime on Network TV, that is a long time.
- DK will become so popular because of this game's success, he'll become Nintendo's new mascot. People will find him less mature than Link and Samus, but certainly more than Mario, along the lines of Fox. His popularity will help Nintendo's kiddy image.
- All GCN2s will come bundled with a DK demo. Those who buy a GCN2 for the
other launch titles, including the "mature mainstream" gamers, will play
the demo and immediately go out and buy DKGCN2 if not already.
- The game will use the GCN2's internal clock feature. Play at night, the game
will be night. Play during the day, the game will be during the day. Play
at sunset, the game will be a sunset. Certain areas and items will only
be accessible during certain times off day. However, the game can be completed
without this feature. Used as an innovative bonus.
- DKGCN2 will be the first First-Party Nintendo game to use Nintendo's On-line plan. New
areas will be able to be downloaded, as well as items and mini games.
A compilation of observations, anger-causing articles and stuff that'll never happen whipped up by by Behonkiss.