Donkey Kong 3 (NES)

Donkey Kong 3 Box Art

Donkey Kong 3

System: NES

Release Date: June 1986

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Shooter

The summer of Donkey Kong continues with Donkey Kong 3. I had this one back when I was a kid and didn’t like it then. We’ll see if my feelings have changed any in the ensuing 30 or so years. Here’s ANOTHER arcade port being brought to the NES in the year since launch. This really does make me curious. Did third party developers not exist, yet? Did Nintendo shut down every third party game that came its way? Were they just not open to working with anyone else until they realized that they were scraping the bottom of the barrel already? Someone must know the answers.

Shooting some bug spray up DK’s butt. He looks uncomfortable about it.

Donkey Kong 3 stars the titular villain as he hangs on some vines in a garden and pisses off a couple beehives. The bees then look to take the garden’s flowers for themselves. The bees don’t seem to be thinking ahead. If they take the flowers, the flowers will slowly die and no longer produce the pollen that they need to make honey. Then the bees will die out. Fools…

The green queen bee is about to explode.

In order to stop the mass species extinction brought by the stupidity of the species, exterminator extraordinaire, Stanley makes his debut. Stanley is equipped with a bug spray gun that he uses not only to spray the insects descending on the garden, but also Donkey Kong. If he can shoot DK in the butt enough times, the goofy ape hits the top of the stage and you win the round. You can also win the round by focusing your attention on the bugs. If you kill each wave, you win the round, as well.

What’s up with Stanley’s crazy eye?

There are several different types of bugs that are on the attack. The manual does a less than adequate job compared to others showing you what they are. The Beespys and Buzzbees just fly down to take a flower and can throw a stinger at you. The Queen Bees bring guards with them, take two hits and then explode projectiles. Creepy the snake crawls along the branches and platforms and often act as a shield to DK. As you go further, there are other insects that appear, like the attackers, who dart at you once they reach the platforms. Donkey Kong also gets in the action by throwing coconuts at your head if he gets high enough on the vine.

DK about to chuck a coconut at Stanley’s head.

There is no in game plot or story, just shoot DK and the bugs forever until you die. If you’re able to save every flower when you finish the round, you receive a bonus of 3000 points. The goal of the game is to reach set the high score, so you better not let those bugs win. To further aid you in your task, each life spawns a can of super spray which you need to shoot at DK enough to gain access to. This spray shoots farther and is more powerful, making it easy to shoot Donkey Kong to the top of the screen. There are only a few stages that loop continually, like the other DK games.

Graphics: 1.5

The graphics are on par with the other Donkey Kong titles, that is to say, below average. And what’s up with Stanley’s crazy eye at the end of each round?

Sound: 2.5

I like the use of music cues. When an insect grabs a flower, the music changes to something that invokes a feeling of tension. Same for when DK gets too close to the bottom of the vines.

Gameplay: 2.0

Donkey Kong 3 gameplay is boring and repetitive. Shoot the bugs. Shoot DK. Don’t get hit by the bugs or coconuts. Rinse. Repeat.

Difficulty: 2.0

The game ramps up the difficulty by throwing more, cheap enemies at you. It’s an arcade game.

Fun Factor: 1.5

Still not that fun of a game. I hope my mom got it on sale when I was a kid…

Overall Grade: 1.9

Well, at a 1.9, Donkey Kong 3 earns a C and scores better than all the other Donkey Kong games we’ve seen. That’s a surprise to me. I don’t like the DK games very much, but each one for different reasons.

Donkey Kong 3 Video Review on YouTube

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