It's the time of the year when the days get shorter, retailers stay open longer, big games are released and there seems to be a holiday every other week. Defunct Games wants to ring in this festive season with a look at the most memorable video game themes of all time. For five weeks straight, Cyril Lachel and Kevin Bailey will share their thoughts on themes from the last thirty years. Join us every day between November 22 and December 25 for The 34 Game Themes of Christmas!
Donkey Kong 64
[ Company: Nintendo | Year: 1999 | Console: Nintendo 64 ]
It's the return of Donkey Kong. And by return, I mean that this is an overpriced Nintendo 64 game that sucked all of the fun out of the long-running franchise. Editorializing aside, this is a collect-a-thon platformer in which players are forced to overcome annoying puzzles and nab every item, treasure and bonus in the level. Donkey Kong 64 also has one of the most memorable theme songs of all time. Too bad it's memorable for all the wrong reasons.
This Donkey Kong 64 theme is as close to a "Jump the Shark" moment as a video game can get. Even more annoying than the insipid beat is the mountain of factual inaccuracies. Let's start from the beginning. Early on we're told this is a "monkey rap." But Donkey Kong is a gorilla, not a monkey. There's a difference. This also suggests that Diddy, the lone Kong with a tail, must be adopted. As we all know, monkeys have tails, while the more evolved gorilla is smarter and has a bare butt. Suddenly I'm very interested in lurid tales of Donkey Kong's past. What ever happened to Donkey Kong Jr.? Who is Chunky Kong's mother? Why am I so interested in the mating habits of gorillas? Maybe it's because this song blows.
This theme song is giving me flashbacks. Unfortunately, I wish it wasn't. Despite the fact that I primarily use a DK64 banana controller to play N64, I had wiped this game completely from my memory until this was dug up. Even as a kid, I was embarrassed by the DK rap. Even now, relistening to it so many years later, I find myself putting my hand over my face and groaning. Some may find the song endearingly bad, but I can hardly stand it. I guess I can't fault the music itself; the music changes on occasion with only a few really atrocious record scratches to count against it. The music is pretty average. The actual rap though is just god awful. It's written at a first or second grade level with no subtlety at all. Many of the lines are just filler. It hurts to think about it.
This game takes place in seven years. Less than that, as we're only weeks away from 2013. A lot of things will need to change if this game is to become reality. Could this game be paving the way to wipEout 2048?