Quick retro mini review.
This is the NES version of Donkey Kong Jr. played on the Wii Virtual Console, it has a few differences between the arcade version.
Donkey Kong Jr. is of course the sequel to the hugely popular (in the 80s) Donkey Kong arcade game. The roles are reversed this time though. You don’t play as Mario trying to rescue the Princess from Donkey Kong. Instead, you play as Donkey Kong Jr. trying to rescue pops from Mario.
Whereas the original Donkey Kong had three stages (the VC NES release, not the arcade one), this one sports four. Beat the fourth stage and you rescue Donkey Kong… it takes about five minutes. Of course this is an old arcade game, so you don’t really beat the game. The whole purpose is to see how high of a score you get before losing all of our men (in this case three plus one bonus earned early on).
Each level is comprised of the same four stages, only they get a lot harder as you progress… more enemies on the screen and faster movement. The higher levels will definitely keep you on your toes and constantly scanning the screen, as you will need to watch multiple things at once.
If you play it enough, you’ll recognize certain patterns and the first two stages of any level will rarely cause trouble (although you will run into situations where you can’t help but get got, especially if you wait around trying to get 800 points for killing a creature with a piece of fruit). The third stage, especially on the upper levels, can get a little crazy with all the little electrical orbs (or whatever they’re called) moving around, and a couple of them extremely fast at that. Very easy to die there if you aren’t very careful and mindful of where the enemies above you are before jumping. But it’s the fourth stage that is frustrating and will most likely take all of our men. In this one, there are six keys hanging at the bottom of chains.
The higher level you reach, the more birds and alligator things are trying to get you, and you will need to constantly watch everything and quick yet cautious, as it is very easy to quickly get caught in a situation where there’s either no way out of or one where you’ll have to be very quick and quite lucky to survive.
The highest I have made it was the forth stage of level C. The game counts levels using numbers until you complete level 9, and then it starts using letters. So C would technically be level 12. That’s where I got my highest score to date, 467,700… which had I been recording it would have been enough to be crowned the Wii Virtual Console Donkey Kong Jr. world record on Twin Galaxies (the record there stands at about 404,000, so I bested it by over 60,000).
RECOMMENDATION: If you like old arcade games that loop and have no real end, just see how high you can go kind of play, then Donkey Kong Jr. is very easily worth the 500 Wii Points ($5) that Nintendo ask for it. I’ve sunk many hours into since purchasing it a few months back. Highly recommend this classic arcade experience.