Donkey Kong 64

Donkey Kong is back, in an incredible 3D adventure featuring massive mind-boggling worlds and a huge cast of charismatic characters. Donkey Kong more than lives up to his huge reputation in this hilarious game, developed exclusively for Nintendo 64. Donkey Kong 64 is a 3D adventure game created by the same code masters who gave the world Diddy Kong Racing and Banjo-Kazooie. Accompanied by a pack of his primate pals, Donkey Kong is charged with the task of overthrowing King K. Rool and his army of piratical Kremlings.Just as the Donkey Kong Country series made a radical leap forward on the Super NES, Rare raised the bar for Nintendo 64 games with the size and depth of Donkey Kong 64. As a result, Donkey Kong 64 was the very first game to actually require the use of the N64 Expansion Pak.

The extra four megs of memory in that red-and-black box have allowed the artists at Rare to create spectacular multi-coloured lighting effects and rich textures, without cutting any corners in the size or design of the sprawling worlds. Spinning lights and explosive special effects deliver delicious morsels of eye candy, rounding out a tasty visual package. You'll recognise the artistic style of Banjo-Kazooie in places, but the level designs are purely DK. It wouldn't be monkey business without Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, but this time three new playable characters are thrown into the mix - Tiny, Chunky and Lanky Kong complete the five-monkey team.By far the most impressive aspect of Donkey Kong 64 is its overwhelming size.

There are so many items to collect and objectives to complete that it's easy to get side-tracked during exploration. The challenges multiply as new Kongs are unlocked, because each primate has unique items to gather in every area of the game. Master of tantalisation, Rare frequently teases players with items or switches that are just out of reach. The secret to success in Donkey Kong 64 is to remember where all of these items are located when you gain control of the correct Kong for the job.Donkey Kong 64 is crawling with fresh ideas and innovation, but Rare hasn't strayed too far from Donkey Kong's roots. Even though Donkey Kong 64 is a 3D adventure game that focuses heavily on exploration and puzzle-solving, there are obvious elements of old-fashioned platform action. Each stage presents a primary task to be accomplished, and it's up to the player to jump, swing, shoot or roll to the goal.

Rare pays tribute to classic Donkey Kong Country elements with fast-paced mine cart stages and first-person barrel-cannon blasts, but new power-ups like peanut pistols, pineapple launchers and fruit grenades add a frantic shoot 'em up quality to Donkey Kong 64. Also, Candy Kong returns to give each Kong a musical instrument, which is used to activate switches and take out enemies.Dozens of mini-games scattered throughout the adventure add a great deal of variety to play. Boat races, slot car competitions and Kremling target shoots are just a few examples of the games available. And these mini-games are also featured in Donkey Kong's mammoth multiplayer modes, along with a one- to four-player Donkey Kong deathmatch.