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Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kongs Double Trouble (SNES) Review

Donkey Kong Country 3 SNES Review

I was so hyped for the third Donkey Kong Country game. Even though Nintendo was clearly focused on their new tech hardware in the Nintendo 64. I’ll always have a soft spot for the Super Nintendo especially the later released games like Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble.

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If you’re seeing Donkey Kong Country 3 for the first time, you’re probably thinking WOW these graphics are just as good, look at all the variety in the levels and whatnot. But then you look under the hood and see how the Elephant stages really take away from what makes Donkey Kong Country great, it’s a great platformer. I didn’t want to shoot water at bad guys.

Let’s take the main character Kiddy Kong. Diddy and Dixie worked so well in Donkey Kong Country 2, it should have been a no-brainer to take that formula and just, well give it more of the same. Instead we got the slower Kiddy Kong who has that annoying cry every time he dies.

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Yeah, Yeah I might be a little harsh on Donkey Kong Country 3 since it does offer some great levels that I haven’t seen before. Take this level where you’re climbing a hollow tree where the monkeys are throwing stuff at you. A stage where there’s reduced gravity, that’s really neat. Then there are these stages where you have to avoid these exploding barrels that chase after you. If you’re up for a challenge, check out lightning lookout. It’s got these somewhat random lightning shots that come down at you as you’re making your way through the level. I mean come on, this has to be one of the hardest Super Nintendo stages of all time. Then there’s Poisonous Pipeline which flips your left and right buttons around on the controller. It doesn’t get more experimental than that!

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The common theme with Donkey Kong Country 3 is that everything is not as memorable as the first two games. For starters, Rare didn’t use composer David Wise nearly as much in the soundtrack. When the bar was set so high with Donkey Kong Country 2, it’s clear to me that this is a step down.

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It’s got all kinds of bonus levels and item pickups. The hidden areas are in clever spots that you can explore and find. There’s also the DKC coin you can get by picking up a barrel and figuring out a way to hit this enemy from behind. This can give you a reason to go back and find stuff you missed and that worked well.

The Boss battles definitely check all the boxes. Look at this boss where you have to throw barrels into a barrel to have it burp it’s way backwards. That’s like a coffee table book about coffee tables.

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Maybe Donkey Kong Country 3 just lost its charm since Nintendo was clearly pushing it’s true 3D hardware. Let’s remember this game was released in 1996 when we had something blowing every 90’s kid’s mind in Super Mario 64.

I do appreciate the variety of different vehicles you can unlock that let you find the next area of the game, whether that be a Turbo Ski, HoverCraft, yeah you can tell that Rare really tried to experiment with Donkey Kong Country 3. It’s almost like when your favorite wrestler gets rebranded in order to be pushed or go in a different direction. I’m looking at you DDP.

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Donkey Kong Country 3 had so much to offer, I just think it’s a step down compared to the first two games. Rare had a winning formula in Donkey Kong Country 2, it should have been really hard to screw it up on the next release and here we are talking about how Rare screwed up Donkey Kong Country 3. You can certainly do much worse with your choice of platformers on the Super Nintendo 3 and Donkey Kong Country 3 is still a solid choice overall.



Passionate gamer and nostalgia enthusiast. Journeying through the pixelated realms of retro video games, unearthing forgotten gems and sharing the joy. Join me on a nostalgic adventure! 🎮✨