Slow and steady wins the race, Let’s go Stage 4!

I had a little time to get some more DKC2 playing in this morning, and cleared Stage 3 and moved on to 4, which is the pretty cool Amusement Park themed Kremland stage.  The level before you enter Kremland proper though, is equally cool by introducing a new mechanic to the series with Honey that coats various surfaces, rendering you immobile outside of the ability to jump. 

This leads to some pretty ingenious situations where you can’t move and easily dodge enemies, making you stuck with just jumping and timing your jumps to clear the various hornets and what not that pepper the level.  Along with that, the honey is stuck to walls, meaning you get stuck to walls, giving the stage some verticality that’s a bit like wall-jumping in Metroid.  It’s the first time I’ve ran into this in DKC2, and I kind of hope to see it again before the game ends.  I can’t imagine it’s just a single throwaway concept level, so I’m sure it’ll pop up again.

Once you get into Kremland though, I was reintroduced to one of my favorite level types from DKC1, which is the whole riding on things that are on rails.  This time out rollercoasters replace mine carts, but the idea stays the same.  Lots of quick jumps, timed jumps off of enemies that are stacked in different arrangements, and then there’s the mechanic of triggering on the on or off switch for doors that block your path and mean instant death.  This part is pretty tricky, as the game will throw the occasional already opened door at you, which I’ll be so gung-ho about hitting switches that I’ll end up closing by accident.  I’m pretty sure this will provide me with a bit of frustrating fun.

On a side note, and since I just did the Bramble Blast level that features Bramblebrush Symphony that I mentioned in a previous post, I think we should wax poetic a bit about series composer David Wise.  He’s been a long time composer for Rare, and just recently left the company a year or so ago.  He was with them from 1985 on, and served as their only composer until the 90’s.

A short list of some of the man’s highlights on various games:

Marble Madness

California Games

Snake Rattle N Roll

Solar Jetman

Diddy Kong Racing

Viva Pinata DS

There’s numerous other entries for the guy here, but obviously I concur with the idea that his best work stemmed from the entire DKC series.  Recently OCRemix did an album dedicated to remixes based on Donkey Kong Country 2, and David Wise actually contributed a track to the project, called Re-Skewed.  Chances are if you’ve ever played a Rare game (and if you owned an NES as a kid you totally did), then you’ve heard a David Wise soundtrack a time or two. 

Also, if you’re interested in checking out the DKC2 remix album “Serious Monkey Business”, here’s the link:  http://dkc2.ocremix.org/

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