Donkey Kong Country
Hated By: Senior Editor Christian Nutt
Mario's popular, and beloved. Why not - literally - ape his adventures, throw on a slick but shallow graphical sheen, and sell millions of copies to audiences hungry for Nintendo's signature style of gameplay? Donkey Kong Country was a shiny but soulless revival of the first character that ever made Nintendo's dreams come true. The truth is, years after the novelty has worn off, that the game is revealed for what it is: a completely basic and uninspired take on the Mario formula.
Above: Don't look at us, Diddy. We can't explain away the boredom
Yes, you could run and jump and hit and collect. The game managed that just fine. But something beyond? Not in the least. In short, DKC is missing the soul, the style and the humor of Super Mario World, which came before it and the then-overlooked Yoshi's Island, which followed it. Levels ratchet between so-straightforward they barely require attention to painfully irritating memorization-fests. As the years pass, the gulf in quality between DKC and its better-made cousins becomes more and more obvious.
"I was barely amused then and can't even imagine playing it now. But I just spent 800 points to buy Super Mario World from the Japanese Wii Virtual Console. What does that tell you?" - Christian