DK: King of Swing has received mixed reception, garnering an aggregate score of 71.85% on GameRankings based on 39 reviews. IGN gave the game a score of 7.8 out of 10, criticizing the cartoon-style graphics as being a big step back from the pre-rendered 3D rendered graphics featured in the Donkey Kong Country series. However, they considered DK: King of Swing as an example of a Nintendo game attempting something that's both unique and familiar at the same time.
This event consists of five courses of climbing pegs to reach the top of the stage the fastest. The first course is a straight vertical stage, full of pegs to which to climb through. The second one has an emphasis on jumps, by having panels of pegs separated by a big gap. The third course features small panels, making it easier to miss successful swings. The last course is an underwater level, which has singular pegs all over the way, obligating the player to make precise jumps and swings.
The game takes place during the Jungle Jam, where a huge festival held occurs. During the tournament, medals are given out as prizes to participants in contests like breaking barrels and jumping pegs, with the winner being crowned the hero of the jungle. King K. Rool appears and steals all the medals before the tournament commences, proclaiming himself the jungle hero. Donkey Kong goes on an adventure after King K. Rool to recover the medals. After traveling through four different world, gaining the stolen medals dropped by K. Rool, Donkey Kong enters the final world, K. Kruizer III. At the end of the last world, Donkey Kong is confronted by K. Rool, who challenges him to both a climbing race and battle for the last medal. After defeating K. Rool, Donkey Kong leaves the location using a small, green aircraft while the King Kruizer III explodes and falls from of the sky.
Like Clu Clu Land, the gameplay consists of Donkey Kong swinging and climbing across many pegs. Donkey Kong's goal is to climb, swing, and even blast his way to the top of the level. Donkey Kong cannot battle the world boss without completing every level prior. When Donkey Kong defeats the boss, he can continue to the next world.
After completing the game and obtaining every medal, the player unlocks the Diddy Mode, where they play as Diddy Kong during the adventure mode instead of Donkey Kong. A few things were removed from Diddy Mode, including the tutorial level, the Crystal Coconuts and thus the Bonus Barrels, and most bananas were removed except for those that can be obtained from defeating enemies or breaking crates. Diddy is able to jump higher than Donkey Kong.
Grab, climb, and swing on pegs as you charge and bash through enemies that block your way. Collect bananas and Crystal Coconuts in the five worlds of Adventure mode, or play some puzzling levels in Single-player Jungle Jam mode.
Don't let the title fool you, DK: King of Swing isn't Nintendo's take on Dancing with the Stars. In fact, Donkey Kong doesn't swing-dance at all in the game, but he sure does dangle, twirl, and swing from a vast variety of pegs and peglike objects. Nintendo, best known for platform games like Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong Country, has set aside the traditional run-and-jump formula for the big ape's latest adventure, an action-filled puzzle game that challenges players to grab onto pegs and spin their ways through the jungles, monsters, and bad bosses of DK's lush world.
Instead of spanning left to right, as the levels in a traditional platform game would, the majority of levels in DK: King of Swing start on the ground and move upward. DK can jump, sure, but the key to reaching the exit at the top of each level rests with your ability to grab onto, spin around on, and hurl DK off the many pegs, peg boards, and peglike switches that are situated between the floor and the ceiling. Nifty objects, such as rubber tires, barrel cannons, and bonus barrels, also come into play from time to time. The journey isn't a cakewalk, though. Situated on some of those pegs are alligator-like Kremlings, which swing around and try to knock DK off his handhold, and there are flying enemies, such as Zingers, Neckys, and ghosts, which fly back and forth hoping to chomp down on DK. To survive the trek to the top of the level, you'll have to swing over and past these nuisances without losing all three of DK's life points.
The most unique thing about DK: King of Swing is that the game is controlled almost entirely using the L and R shoulder buttons. Pressing the L button moves DK to the left and causes his left hand to grab onto things. Letting go of the L button causes DK to release his grip or to throw an object he's holding in his left hand. By the same token, pressing the R button will make DK move to the right or grab onto something with his right hand, while releasing the R button will make him release his grip or throw the object in his right hand. This control setup also makes it possible to swing hand over hand, monkey style, along a sequence of pegs by alternating the L and R buttons. Most of the time, you'll only find pegs and peg boards to grab onto, although there are levers and switches to pull every so often, not to mention the erstwhile rock that can get rid of an annoying mini-Necky with a well-timed throw. Pressing and releasing both buttons simultaneously will make DK leap in whatever direction he's facing, which comes in handy for jumping up to pegs or for jumping sideways onto a midair peg board. DK's leap also functions as a short-range head-pound attack for taking out certain enemies.
Despite its innovative aspects, DK: King of Swing doesn't totally eschew the tried-and-true DK formula. At the end of each level, you'll face off against one of King K. Rool's henchmen in a typical boss battle. Vanquishing these powerful foes usually entails pouncing on their heads a few times or pulling them into spikes. These fights are certainly more interesting thanks to the peg-oriented gameplay and unique control setup, but in the end it still comes down to bonking the bad guy on the head until he's knocked out. And then there are the collect-a-thon aspects. Fans of Donkey Kong Country will remember collecting K-O-N-G letters and DK symbols on their ways toward a 200 percent completion score. In DK: King of Swing, it's the same concept, except with bronze, silver, and gold medals--and coconut crystals. Bananas are also a good thing to gather, as you can exchange 10 of them to refill one of DK's life points, or you can use 20 to activate a temporary "going bananas" state that renders DK invincible to enemies.
Backing up the visuals is a soundtrack that, while not spectacular, suits the game perfectly. All the music is either remixed or taken directly from Donkey Kong Country, and so are most of the sound effects. Swiping another game's audio may seem like a cop-out, but the DKC soundtrack has always been highly regarded as one of the better ones. As a result, using it as the basis for DK: King of Swing was probably a wise choice. Also, the digitized vocalizations that form DK's groans, the Kremlings' cries, and other such sound effects wonderfully support the standard clacks and boings that accompany latching onto pegs and being blown out of barrel cannons.
Although it probably borrows a few lines of inspiration from Clu Clu Land, DK: King of Swing maintains a refreshingly unique feel even today. Its areas of repetition and difficult spikes might not keep everyone's attention to the end, but it's worth checking out for those looking for something new who missed it the first time around. Just keep your fingers on the shoulders and don't go in expecting your everyday Donkey Kong.
Donkey Kong has been in a mid-life crisis these last few years. With DK's forced association with music games and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat's new image, some consider Nintendo to be sullying Rare's huge contributions to the series. Donkey Kong Country fans, worry no more! While DK King of Swing may not be Donkey Kong Country 4, Paon's platform/puzzler keeps the magic alive with a swinging good time!
At its core, King of Swing is a platformer, but it handles more like a puzzler. The game is primarily controlled via the shoulder buttons: on the ground they allow Donkey Kong to walk and jump; while in the air, they control grasping with his left and right hands. DK swings clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on the hand used, and will anchor himself when using both hands. In addition to swinging and jumping, DK may charge a jump (hold L+R) for a ramming attack and may spend ten or twenty bananas to heal (B) or Go Bananas (A). Going Bananas temporarily makes DK invincible and enhances his abilities.
The game's graphics have a nice charm to them. Although nearly all the characters in the game have previously appeared in other Donkey Kong Country games, here they are given a different, sprite-based look which works really well. There are also nice little touches, like seeing DK's tie fly up in the air as he falls back down, having DK beat his chest and slap the ground when he's idling, and seeing his legs react as you swing in a direction. The levels have a pretty, pastel look to them, with a nice selection of muted colours being used in the backgrounds. The game also uses the GBA's rotation effects heavily throughout the game (most characters and enemies rotate to turn around), while there is also some use of scaling effects on the map screen.
Music and sound for the game varies. Sound is pretty good, with some clear voice samples from DK, Diddy, Dixie and Funky (they are all playable in Jungle Jam), and there are some nice jingles for collecting items like medals and Crystal Coconuts. King of Swing also has one of the most hilarious 'cancel' noises for a game ever. It sounds kind of like a duck making a loud "MMMWAA" sound, and you hear it every time you back out of a menu. It's priceless. There are some nice renditions of a couple of Donkey Kong Country songs, but the game features mostly new songs. While some are merely okay, there are some great songs too, like K. Rool's theme and the slow, steady aquatic theme. 2b1af7f3a8