Video game test. Mario vs Donkey Kong: successful makeover for this classic

see my news

Let’s Go Pokémon Eevee/Pikachu, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Another Code: Souvenir, Super Mario RPG…The Switch is undoubtedly the Nintendo console that has hosted the most remakes and remasterings of the brand’s classic games.

Mario vs Donkey Kong, platform/puzzle game released in 2004 on GameBoy Advance, there is 20 years, opens the ball of expected remakes on Switch in 2024. As a reminder, we have also known for a few days that Paper Mario: The Millennium Gate (remake of 2004 Gamecube game) to be released may 23AND Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD (2013 3DS game remaster) is coming on June 27.

Enemies, then friends, then enemies…

Between Mario and Donkey Kong, it’s a long story! The two characters invented by Shigeru Miyamoto were above all enemies in arcade machines in 1981, when Mario was not yet called Mario, but Jump-man, and he was trying to save a girl kidnapped by the gorilla.

Afterwards, they made up for a few games. Mario Kart (the first in 1992) or Super Smash Bros. (first episode in 1999)… Before fall again inside Mario vs Donkey Kong, in 2004 ! And it is this Gameboy Advance classic that Nintendo is now updating.

While in front of his television, Donkey Kong stumbles upon an advertisement for the latest hot toy: Mario Minis. But he has no luck: victim of his success, these mini automatons are out of stock. Then, Donkey Kong decides to go to the factory that produces them, to steal them.

Upon witnessing the scene, Mario begins the chase with the aim of recovering all the stolen Mini-Marios. Simple, clear and effective, the setting is a magnificent animated scene, replacing the still and pixelated images of 2004. Nintendo announces the color before you even start playing: you will take it. Full view !

Videos: currently on Actu

Of the platform and the gray matter

Mario vs Donkey Kong It is a platform and puzzle game. That is, to cross the different tables you will have to think about activating the mechanisms that will help you advance, avoiding traps such as spikes, flames, etc.

You must press the switches to make the boxes of the corresponding color appear. (©Nintendo)

Specifically, the game will take you through eight worlds themes (city, jungle, etc.). Each one consists of six levels where you will have to find the Minis. Then a level where you will have to guide these same Minis to their toy box. And finally, a boss fight to move on to the next world. That’s a total of more than 130 levels, when the original game only offered 96.

Each level is divided into Two parts. In the first you must find the key that opens the door that allows you to reach the second part, where you will have to catch Mini-Mario to recover it. But if you are looking for the perfect score to complete the game 100%, you will also have to find three gift packages on each table.

Done for the whole family (the game is rated PEGI 3), the game provides you with three save slots. It can be played in two versions, at your convenience: in classic fashion which resumes the original game, and in relaxed fashion, where you don’t lose life if an enemy hits you, but are instead transported to the last checkpoint. Finally, a cooperative mode allows you to play with two people, the second player plays Toad.

Another excellent game on Switch

Once again, Nintendo demonstrates its perfect mastery of its own console. When many third-party games suffer from the technical limitations of the Switch, Nintendo offers us a title here close to perfection. Not to mention a real lesson! Mario vs Donkey Kong is, like most Mario games, a must-see hit.

As in every Nintendo classic, you will travel through several themed worlds.
As in every Nintendo classic, you will travel through several themed worlds. (©Nintendo)

What catches your attention at first glance is the beauty of the game. It is colorful, fluid, luminous… A distinctive sign of most games developed by Nintendo, the textures and materials seem physically palpable. Vegetation, Donkey Kong skin, metal or plastic surfaces… The player constantly has the impression of being able to touch them.

Mario vs Donkey Kong It’s also a great example of intelligently designed level design. The architecture of the levels offers the player accessible puzzles. Sometimes with a little challenge, but nothing that blocks you or discourages you. The difficulty curve adapts to the player’s progress, regardless of their age. Likewise, the levels added in this remake are adapted to the capabilities of the Switch.

We liked it:

  • It’s really beautiful
  • The general atmosphere and humor.
  • Gameplay, a very accessible game
  • Lots of new content compared to the 2004 game.
  • The music: the original songs reorchestrated
  • Relaxed mode for smooth gaming
  • The screen: it is as fluid in TV mode as in tablet mode
  • A two player mode
  • An affordable price
  • A free demo is available

We like less:

  • Replayability: The game is easy, there is not much left to complete once completed the first time
  • Mini Marios and their gameplay: sometimes it is laborious to move them

In conclusion

If the beginning of the year has spoiled us especially in terms of AAA games (Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, like a dragon: infinite wealth or soon Rise of the Ronin), Mario vs Donkey Kong It is one of those more modest titles, but ones that feel good! A nice and pleasant break in the land of color and good humor that, by the way, will evoke sweet memories for those who knew the GameBoy Advance.

Each world ends with a boss fight.
Each world ends with a boss fight. (©Nintendo)

As usual, the Japanese giant has created a game with a mastered technique, a pleasant and easy-to-learn gameplay whatever our age, an adventure with a well-balanced difficulty… So many ingredients that make Mario vs Donkey Kong a new A must for your Switch game library.

With this remake that exudes respect for the original work, this classic has not aged one bit in 20 years. Better yet, today he returns even more beautiful than ever…

Mario vs Donkey Kong, on Nintendo Switch, for ages 3 and up. Price: €49.99. A free demo is available on the eShop.

Follow all the news from your favorite cities and media by subscribing to Mon Actu.

Leave a Comment