Game A: Donkey Kong
In this game Jump Man, or Mario as he is commonly called, sets out to save 'princess' Pauline who is being held captive by the vicious Donkey Kong. This game only has three timed levels but each drastically increases in difficulty. And Jump Man is only given three lives to last him for the entire game. However, he can obtain one extra life if the player collects a minimum of 20,000 points. There may only be a few levels in this game but any gamer who can make it to the end will be overjoyed with a sense of accomplishment. However, making your way to the top of the screen only to find you've been killed by one of Donkey Kong's barrels might cause you to go loco on your NES. So if you are a sore loser I strongly recommend you stay away from this game lol.
The first level of Donkey Kong is the most widely known level of the game. Perhaps it is because most players do not make it pass this first level but whatever case may be is not important. For in this level Jump Man makes his debut. Jump Man has to climb up ladders, jump over rolling barrels, and avoid pacing flaming barrels all while trying to reach Pauline at the top of the level. Jump Man also has the option of using a hammer, there are two placed within the level, to smash barrels. This action gives Jump Man extra points and helps provide him with a clear path. Although the hammer can only be utilized momentarily within this level. Once Jump Man reaches Pauline the game goes on to level two.
Level two is fast paced! Everything in this level seems to be on overdrive. Jump Man must once again get to Pauline and this time he has to climb up and down ladders, jump across moving beam, and avoid the moving fire ball characters and bouncing "trampolines." Or at least they appear to be trampolines that Donkey Kong is letting lose in the level. When you complete this level, you know you are on the home stretch.
The final third level of the game requires total concentration. If you die here with not extra lives to spare, it is game over. In this level Jump Man must climb up ladders and walk across beams detonating the little blocks connecting the beams while also avoiding the roaming ghosts. Once all the little blocks have been detonated and Jump Man reaches the very top of the level then Donkey Kong is defeated and falls to the bottom of the screen. And Jump Man and Pauline are finally reunited. However, the game does not end there, now the player is taken back to level one to play through the three levels all over again. Except this time the difficulty level is turned up a notch. The game continues looping through levels one to three each time increasing in difficulty until the player runs out of lives thus ending the game.
Game B: Donkey Kong Jr.
The tables are turned in Donkey Kong Jr. This time baby Kong sets out to save his captive papa from Jump Man. Unlike the first game which had three levels, Donkey Kong Jr. consists of four levels. And Kong Jr. is also allotted just three lives.
In the first level of Donkey Kong Jr., the little ape climbs up and swings across dangling ropes while trying to avoid the dangerous crocs Jump Man is releasing at the top of the screen. There are also several pieces of fruit hanging on the ropes in this level. If Kong Jr. knocks them down he is awarded extra points and once he gets 20,000 points he is given an extra life. When Jr. reaches daddy Kong at the top of the level the game then proceeds onto level two.
The second level basically has the same elements as the first level. There are hanging ropes and Kong Jr. has to get to his papa before time runs out. Instead of crocs there are flying 'pooping' birds in this level.
Level three is looks like Kong Jr. is running in some weird funky disco and the techno MIDI music helps reinforce that impression. Jr. has to jump across platforms and climb up chains to reach his pappy in this level. He also has to watch out for the fast moving sparklers on each platform.
The last level is a hoot. You really have to be on your game once you reach this point. Kong Jr. has to move several keys, hanging on the dangling chains, up into their respective locks. This must be done skillfully and very quickly because the flying birds and ever approaching in this level. Once each key is placed into its lock the top platform collapses Jump Man falls to his death and Jr. saves daddy Kong. As with Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. does not end once you save papa. This game continues looping through its levels as well. With each gaming loop increasing in difficulty until the player runs out of lives ending the game.
Both Donkey Kong games are designed in a great arcade style. The graphics are super simplistic but do not at all take away from the superb game play. I especially like how when Jump Man loses his life he tumbles over and a small halo is seen floating over his head. The audio in both games are equally awesome as well. I'm quite sure that the game would not have become such a renowned classic without its soundtrack. The level's music, the kooky sound effect when Jump Man or Kong Jr. walks across the screen, the door bell chime that sounds when you press the pause bottom all adds to this games nostalgia.
Donkey Kong Classics is a great old school arcade style video game. Whether you are playing as Jump Man in Donkey Kong or Kong Jr. in Donkey Kong Jr. the challenging level of both will keep any player scrambling throughout each game. And the soundtracks add a bit of a comical element to the game play every now and then. Overall, I give Donkey Kong Classics for the NES:
Score: 9.0 out of 10.