A follow up to 1994s Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, released on November 20, 1995 and developed by Rare, is a platforming game staring Diddy Kong, the side-kick of Donkey Kong, and his girlfriend Dixie Kong. In this sequel, Donkey Kong is kidnapped and it's up to Diddy and Dixie travel through seven distinct worlds up through Crocodile Isle to confront the now pirate captain K. Rool.
Diddy Kong returns with much of the same mechanics, such as the cartwheel attack, carried over from the previous game, which gives returning players a sense of familiarity. The newcomer, Dixie, uses her hair to strike the enemy and hover over danger. Together they also create a team-up attack where the Kongs can attack enemies safely from a distance or reach far off ledges that they can't normally reach. The new mechanics allows Rare to require that both Kongs be utilized to complete some optional challenges without affecting the ability to complete the level with only one character. New animal buddies such as Squitter the Spider and Rattly the Rattlesnake join returning buddies Rambi the Rhinoceros, Enguarde the Swordfish, and Squawks the Parrot to help the Kongs with their climb up and exploration of the island.
The world map shows each of the areas on Crocodile Isle that the Kongs travel through allowing the player to become interested continuing playing to see what new surprises Rare has developed.
The players start in the pirate ship themed Gangplank Galleon. In this level, players are introduced to the mechanics of the game through simpler arrangements of obstacles and enemies to allow the player to get use to how they should move through the levels and to recognize the basic patterns of when to jump, how enemies path and how to look for secrets such as bonus levels and DK Coins. Each level in the area also emphasizes different parts of the pirate ship theme, such as the ship's deck, the ship's mast and sails, and finally the ship's bowels. This allow the game to introduce the three main type of levels: general horizontal platforming, vertical platforming, and swimming levels.
The game continues to introduce new mechanics smoothly ramps difficultly as the Kongs travel through the volcanic Crocodile Cauldron, the marsh of Krem Quay, the karnival of Krazy Kremland, the ghostly Gloomy Gulch, and the penultimate climb of K. Rool's Keep. Reaching The Flying Krock, the Kongs confront K. Rool in a showdown to save Donkey Kong and return their island triumphant.
During the journey, the player can enter small bonus stages that challenge the player to find the Kremcoin at the end of the stage, or either defeat all enemies or collect all stars in the stage to spawn the coin. This allow the developers to add challenge in hiding the entrances to these stages and create small concentrated challenges that often emphasize a single theme such as using launch barrels to cover large distances, or opening a chest by throwing it at multiple enemies. You can then pay 15 of these coins to access a special Lost World level which contains the hardest levels in the game, particularly the Squawks section of Animal Antics. Finally, once you clear each of the five Lost World levels (one for each major area except for the first and last areas), you can access the true final boss rematch with K. Rool.
It also can't be stated how good the soundtrack to this game is. David Wise created a fantastic and ambient set of songs that fully immerse you into each level that makes The most famous track being Stickerbush Symphony which plays during the bramble levels. Other notable tracks include Lockjaw's Saga for many of the aquatic stages, which makes the level feel epic and helps the normally tedious swimming levels feel exciting, and Mining Melancholy, which perfectly captures the feeling of transversing a working mine. Many great people have created excellent remixes of these tracks and I would encourage you to head over to https://ocremix.org/ and see for yourself.
Overall, this is one of the best games on the Super Nintendo. It has a great mix of challenging platforming, great soundtrack, humor that makes it memorable. I would highly recommend playing and I hope that this trilogy of games is released on the new systems so that a new generation of gamers can enjoy these fantastic games.