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Tribute bands?  Ok.  Tribute videogames?  I dunno.  There might be some copyright issues with tribute bands, but when it comes to videogames, there are so many clones out there it's hard to say.  It's sort of like the Wild West, I guess, what with emulation and different games doing the same thing, if not technically the same game (King Kong, Donkey Kong, Donkey King, Crazy Kong.)

Donkey Kong Craze is out there somewhere for the PC, and admittedly inspired by Donkey Kong, but with more polished graphics and similar sound effects.  I always sucked at Donkey Kong in arcades, I wouldn't assume to attempt emulating Billy Mitchell's worst day at the game.  I was lucky to see Level 3, that is until I checked out the emulations on MAME, where I could go into the dip switches or options and up the number of lives I got.  Then I was able to see levels I'd never seen before, or at least never played before.

This small compilation has two games, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong 2Donkey Kong is, well, it's what you'd expect, but the barrels feel to me as if they choose the ladders they drop down randomly.  I kept unexpectedly dying by barrels falling onto my head.  It's not like I needed help dying, my Mario/JumpMan guys get enough punishment by my bad skills. 

Donkey Kong 2 has re-designed levels and different obstacles.  My favorite yet least enjoyable is the platforms on cables.  I thought the mudpies in DK1 were a pain in the ass.  The platforms look difficult at first, but sometimes all you have to do is drop down onto the platform beneath you to get going.  No high jumping down to the lower set of platforms, JumpMan still can't take a fall of greater than, hmm, what looks to be about 2 1/2 to 3 feet.  No, he's not Mario, not yet, my fellow internet nerds.  He's JumpMan.  Because he's a man... that jumps.

One thing that does feel odd is being unable to use a joystick or a joypad, the controls are mapped to the arrows for movement and the CTRL button to jump/start/choose.  It's a pretty cool distraction for somebody that likes Donkey Kong, so if you see it out there, check it out.  But, why does Kong make a sad face when I die, almost looks like the silly ape is going to cry or something.



Aside from that, it's Donkey Kong.  There's not that much to say.  I realize a good salesman can sell anybody on something as simple as a ballpoint pen.  But this isn't a pen.  It's something much simpler than a pen.

It's Donkey Kong.

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