An analysis of the characters of Smash Bros Brawl

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Donkey Kong

First Appearance: Donkey Kong (1981) or Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)

There is a bit of controversy here.  Donkey Kong first appeared at the same time as Mario, in 1981, however, during Rare's reinvention of the franchise in the 90's with Donkey Kong Country, it is explained that the original Donkey Kong is now known as Cranky Kong and the Donkey Kong of this generation was originally Donkey Kong Jr. 

"He's the leader of the pack, you know him well. He's finally back to kick some tail. He's bigger, faster, and stronger too. He's the first member of the DK crew!" So speak the words of the DK rap, one of the background songs to the Donkey Kong levels.  Donkey Kong is another returning veteran to the Smash Bros scene.  He is one of the most satisfying characters to play, tapping into the primal joy one experiences when punching someone in the face.

Special Moves: 
B: Giant Punch- This move is great fun.  Always have one ready to go.  When you are punching, anything that hits you during your punch will not knock you back (but the same can not be said for the poor suckers on the receiving end).  You can charge this the same way Samus charges her beam cannon, and a shield or a roll can save your progress for later if someone tries to interrupt you.  Punch everything.  That is Donkey Kong's answer to all life's problems, and its worked pretty well so far. 

Side B: Head Butt- Also great fun, but this move is very slow.  Basically you head butt someone into the ground.  They're stuck there, for how long depends on how much damage they've already taken.  Immediately follow up with your charged Giant Punch (remember how I told you to always have one ready to go?) or a forward smash attack and watch them go flying.  

Up B: Spinning Kong- Okay...not a great move for recovery, as it goes more horizontally than vertically, but in a pinch you can use it to clear people out when you're being swarmed (that happens a lot when you're Donkey Kong). There is a bit of lag when you finish, so be careful.

Down B: 

Hand Slap- Donkey Kong freaks out and throws a fit, slamming the floor in anger. It can be quite a defensive move, blocking some projectiles, and punishing those rolling little twerps that are running circles around you.  Use it sparingly, and you'll take people by surprise.  Just be careful, as it also tends to lag when you try to end it.

Move Set Score: 3/5  A great B, a situational forward B, a very poor up b, and an average down B puts Donkey Kong in the 'good, but not great' category of special moves.

Weight: 5/5 One of the heavyweights, Donkey Kong does not dodge hits, he absorbs them.  And then he hits back, only harder.

Speed: 2/5 I almost gave him a 1/5, but he IS slightly faster than Bowser, sooo....he's still really slow.  You won't hit very often, you won't dodge very often, but it takes a lot to knock the big monkey man out and very little for him to do it to his smaller adversaries.

Strength: 5/5 Yeah if he hits you, you're gonna feel it.  Even if its not his Giant Punch, his smash attacks are all very lethal, and his a moves are great for juggling or just sweeping people out of the way.

Final Smash: Konga Beat-  2/5 Again, I hesitate to give this a 2, but if you have a good sense of rhythm (or play a lot of Guitar Hero), and you are on a small stage this move can be effective.  On large stages or if you do not have the volume up high enough, its fairly useless.

Closing Thoughts:
Overall, Donkey Kong is very fun to play.  However, he can be very frustrating as well.  He tends to be the biggest target on the level, so, intentionally or no, you are going to feel like you're being ganged up on a lot.  Attacks will hit you whether they were aimed at you or not.  In a one on one match, Donkey Kong does very well, because he can focus on one wily little opponent at a time.  In a free for all...just watch your back and be prepared to fly into a rage.  Luckily, that is Donkey Kong's mentality anyway so you'll channel the character better.  Don't think.  Punch people. Punch items. Punch bombs. Slam the ground when you're upset.  Beat your chest in defiance.  Watch King Kong to get into character. Have fun and just enjoy the simple pleasure of physically dominating all comers.

Overall Score: 3.4/5
A bit above average, and a lot of fun.  Donkey Kong does require a bit more skill than some characters, but at the same time  you can play a lot stupider without paying for it.  If you want to just freak out, punch things, not focus too much on defense, and occasionally walk off the edge of a screen with a screaming Princess clutched in your massive hands, DK is your man.


1 comment:

christa elyce said...

very cool! thanks for your happiness list.


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I'm a French teacher with a penchant for over-thinking things in pop culture, likely stemming from grad school. I over-analyze movies and video games because I no longer have to explicate French novels.