DKL: Why weren't its sequels as inventive?

Talk about the Donkey Kong Land trilogy for Game Boy.

DKL: Why weren't its sequels as inventive?

Postby Qyzbud » February 15th, 2008, 1:46 am

I loved Donkey Kong Land. It was great fun to play, and added a lot of unique and memorable characters and concepts to DK's world. The level types were a mix of familiar terrain and new locales, and all-in-all i felt it made an excellent bridge between DKC and DKC2.

The second and third DKL installments left me with the impression that they were nothing more than watered-down, portable counterparts, and that there was nothing unique or worthwhile about them. Why would you even play the Game Boy DK games if you could be playing the same adventure on SNES? I got the impression that their only point of merit was the portability they allowed for.

I really liked the fact that DKL was a worthy game in its own right. Why did Rare opt to follow it up with two relatively uninspired sequels? A trilogy of unique Game Boy games would have been an awesome compliment to the DKC's. I wonder why Rare didn't see it that way.
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Re: DKL: Why weren't its sequels as inventive?

Postby Sean » February 15th, 2008, 4:28 am

To be fair, Donkey Kong Land III had unique concepts to itself, like the time trials at the end and the concentration puzzles throughout.

Another thing worth considering is that DKL 2 and III are much bigger than the first game, which is only four worlds. The sequels emulate their SNES counterparts more, sure, but that also means they get more levels in, including the Lost World mechanic. (And of course, every level in all three games is unique, to boot.) So I suppose it's a tradeoff: have unique level types (that still need to be shoehorned into a plot/area concept that's still similar to its SNES counterpart) with less levels, or use the same level types as the SNES version with more levels. (Oh, and with easier-to-see sprites and no more bottomless pit glitch.)
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Re: DKL: Why weren't its sequels as inventive?

Postby cfh » February 15th, 2008, 8:00 am

Still... Donkey Kong Land felt like a completely new game, while 2 and III didn't. It introduced a lot of cool ideas, some of which differ extremely from the feel of the DKC trilogy. Also, weren't there a lot of things planned for DKL that were never made? Why couldn't they introduce these ideas in other DKL titles?
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Re: DKL: Why weren't its sequels as inventive?

Postby Jomingo » February 15th, 2008, 8:48 am

Qyzbud wrote:The second and third DKL installments left me with the impression that they were nothing more than watered-down, portable counterparts, and that there was nothing unique or worthwhile about them. Why would you even play the Game Boy DK games if you could be playing the same adventure on SNES?

Let alone on GBA and Virtual Console.

Anyway, I also wish the sequels would have followed in the firsts footsteps. And the first was supposed to be even more unique, remember the new Kong they were to add and the animal buddy, City Kong and Rambunkshus, respectively. I wonder what they would've added to the others if they had become a unique series instead of ports.
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Re: DKL: Why weren't its sequels as inventive?

Postby Kobble » February 15th, 2008, 9:43 am

Yeah, Donkey Kong Land 2 and Donkey Kong Land III weren't unique. They had the same level types as their DKC counterpart, and just different layouts. Donkey Kong Land 1 though, that game was GREAT. I loved it so much, because it was unique. It introduced new enemies, new bosses, and new level archetypes, all of which the sequels failed to deliever. I mean, what's so hard about making a new type of enemy or boss? DKL1 was short, but sweet. And the unique level types for that game are, in my opinion, probably more fun than some of the DKC ones.

DKL2 just gave us the original, but with different layouts and a couple of different level names. The merge of Krem Quay and Crocodile Cauldron was atleast a cool feature, because the Crocodile Isle was a little messed up from it being submerged. But this is my least favorite Donkey Kong Land, due to lack of you know, uniqueness. It doesn't stand out as much.

DKL3, atleast, was a tad more unique in its own right. The reason being, that they added more areas to the Southern Kremisphere, such as Cape Codswallop, Great Ape Lakes, etc. It's my second favorite DKL, but DKL2 and DKL3 are pretty much equal. No new enemies, and just different level layouts.
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Re: DKL: Why weren't its sequels as inventive?

Postby Jomingo » February 16th, 2008, 8:27 am

I really wish we could've seen more of Rambunkshus and City Kong. They were awesome. They could've just been in the DKL sequels, and not appeared in the country games. That would've really differentiated the series from their console counterparts.
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Re: DKL: Why weren't its sequels as inventive?

Postby Graf Saecula » March 24th, 2008, 11:54 pm

Rare's handheld team should've spent more time with the first DKL instead of rushing it out and starting the development of DKL2 so soon after. It's a pity that they didn't want to take care of the bottomless pit glitch, the hard-to-see sprites and the ugly scene change that makes you believe your Game Boy crashed, since the game is otherwise pretty neat.

Perhaps it wouldn't have been good for them in the economic sense to wait with DKL2 and polish the original DKL first, but damn it, I would take a fine-tuned DKL with "City" Kong, Ram Bunkshus, Pucka and possibly even more levels over a simple black-and-white DKC2 Game Boy remake any day of the week.
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Re: DKL: Why weren't its sequels as inventive?

Postby Jomingo » March 25th, 2008, 9:51 am

Yeah, even if it was shorter than DKC2, I would've rather played a shorter game that's better than a longer one that is just a watered down port.
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Re: DKL: Why weren't its sequels as inventive?

Postby CM August » March 25th, 2008, 9:45 pm

I recall a Rare article stating that the developer for DKL was adamant (at the time) that it would be absurd for a company to make a watered-down version of the same game. He made sure that DKL had its own unique levels, archetypes, baddies, etc. to diverge it from DKC and let it stand on its own. Obviously he softened up when DKL2 started development the following year.

As for where this article is, I'm having a terrible time finding it. I'm almost certain it's on the defunct Rarewhere website, but many of the staff featured articles are missing from the archive. Hmm.
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