So ... who honestly saw this series coming down the pipeline of possible franchises for the "My Week Of..." monthly feature? I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say that probably no one had this on their radar, and that's a shame, really. Sure, I did just do a Nintendo franchise last month, and while Donkey Kong is a well-known, highly established character in the video game universe, his franchise isn't exactly at the forefront of people's collective memory.
It should be, though. The cultural significance of this series is remarkable, and one that goes overlooked far too often, despite the spotlight shown on it every now and again. In geek and nerd culture, Donkey Kong reigns supreme when mentioned or remembered, but his legacy reaches far beyond the confines of the gaming universe.
Take the phrase, "It's on like D***** ****," for example. Whoops! Actually, let's not use that specific phrase at all, since Nintendo actually went ahead and filed for a trademark on that very popular and sometimes overused phrase. So for the sake of me NOT getting sued over something so ridiculous, I'll just allow you the reader to say it out loud to yourself. Just don't say it three times, like Beetlejuice. The results could be ugly (or expensive, if you want to look at it that way).
Donkey Kong introduced the world to a little guy that was really good at jumping and saving the damsel in distress. Back then, we knew him as "Jump Man," but now, he goes by a far more common name. You might know him as Mario. And the lady he was trying to save back then, whom was named Pauline, would eventually become the lovely and always captured Princess Peach. You could say that without Donkey Kong, there might not be a Mario. That's a scary thought, and quite frankly, that doesn't sound like a world that I want to live in. Could you imagine where we would be as gamers without Mario in our lives? I shudder to think.
Aside from spawning arguably the most popular and recognizable video game characters in history, Donkey Kong has also been the feature game of an incredible documentary film called "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters." If you have never seen this film, stop reading now and go Netflix it. Seriously. I have no qualms with you ditching this measly blog project for an awesome movie like that. If you have seen it, however, then you know what I am talking about it. It documents the roller coaster ride that is competitive arcade gaming, where a prodigy of classic games (Billy Mitchell) and his Donkey Kong high score is challenged directly by an up and comer rookie in Steve Weibe. The film is simply fascinating as it depicts the seedy underbelly of gaming, yet somehow manages to paint Donkey Kong in beautiful watercolors for the world to see. Honestly, after watching the film for the first time, the very first thing I wanted to do, and ended up doing, was playing Donkey Kong, just to see where I was at skill wise compared to the best.
Let's just say that I was no where near being considered "good" at it.
And tonight, that point rang true once again. Basically, I suck. Well, I guess I wouldn't say I completely suck, as I can manage to get through the first few levels without much problem, but after that, I have to forfeit to the gaming gods and concede defeat. Man, it's fun to try though. Over and over again. One day I hope to get to that magical Kill Screen that I've heard so much about, but I doubt it will ever happen. Consider it on my gaming bucket list, with an asterisk by it to indicate that I don't foresee it happening no matter how hard I try. Ever.
The game, as it gets harder, just requires absolute precise jumps and timing, which for some reason, I have a hard time with in this game. I doubt I am the only one though.
Oh, and one more cool thing Donkey Kong has been known for happened just recently, about two months ago I want to say. A father actually re-coded the game for his three year old daughter because she wanted to play as Pauline instead of Mario. He also turned the platforms pink instead of red and basically customized it to make it appealing to a little girl. How awesome is that?
So yeah, that's what I got to start out My Week Of Donkey Kong. I look forward to a week of Kong, as he transitions from the antagonist to the protagonist. Oh, and I will be finishing up my week with the new Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D for the Nintendo 3DS, which is receiving perfect scores from game reviewers on the internet. I simply cannot wait for that.
And I hope you can't either.
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Games played for project : 365