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LONG BLOG

DK King of Swing (Virtual Console)

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I decided to pick up this game on Wii U two nights ago, and I seriously cannot stop playing it.  DK King of Swing was originally released on GBA in 2005, but now it's available on the virtual console for $6.99 in NA (released 11/20/14).

At first glance, the game is pretty ugly looking, but everything that makes this a special experience is part of the gameplay anyway.  You can play the entire game with just the L and R buttons, and the d-pad.  L controls your left hand, and R controls your right hand.  If you hit both buttons together, you jump.  You progress through the game by grabbing the colored pegs and swinging around each level in a truly unique combination of platforming and puzzling.  Holding with your left hand makes you spin counter-clockwise, and holding with your right hand makes you spin clockwise.  

That's really all you need to know to jump into this game.  It's almost like Nintendo's "Angry Birds," in that it takes an extremely simple and accessible concept and makes a game around it.  But they take it so, so much farther.  The platforming feels fantastic as you really get a unique feel when traversing through the levels only with your hands.  The grabbing feels extremely precise.  You have to grab each peg at the correct time.

What continued to impress me is how they take such a simple concept and then manage to build on it with creative puzzles.  There are valves that only open when you swing the correct direction, so you need to grab it with the correct hand.  You can grab rocks and throw them mid-swing.  There are jack pegs that have to be cranked repeatedly to open various aspects of the levels (see this video below).  There are boss fights, and various enemies, secret collectibles in the levels, and more.

I haven't gotten past the second main world yet (around level 10 at the moment) but the instructions say that you can also play as Diddy, Dixie and Funky Kong at some point, so I'm looking forward to that.  It's possible they're limited to just the mult-player levels, so I guess I'll find out as I progress.

I had never even heard of this game on GBA, and I had a ton of GBA games.  It doesn't have the best art style or graphics, so I imagine a lot of people probably skipped it even if they did hear about it.  That's why I felt so compelled to recommend it, because it truly is a fun, and extremely original game.  

Don't miss it.  This is the most fun I've had climbing in a video game since American Gladiators (NES).

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About Shintaone of us since 1:53 AM on 02.15.2010