Retro Video Game Reviews: Diddy Kong, Mario, and Sonic the Hedgehog


Robby Jones, Staff Reporter

With the problems associated with modern day video games such as unoriginal gameplay, launch glitches, and inconsistent frame rates, it’s nice to look back on what once made gaming great: the two-dimensional platformer. Before first person shooters were all the rage, games often consisted of moving from point A to point B while dodging enemies, using power ups, and battling challenging bosses. These three games helped torevolutionize the industry of video gaming in the early nineties. They were some of the best games of the time and still hold up to this day.


#1 Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest


Widely regarded as one of the greatest video game sequels of all time, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest raised the bar set by its 1994 predecessor. The original was innovative for using pre-rendered 3-D graphics as opposed to the standard 16-bit designs that were normal for the Super Nintendo.

DKC2 did exactly what a good sequel should do: it took what was great about the original and built on it. DKC2 introduced new characters, new gameplay mechanics, and even more creativity with enemies and bosses than the first game. It took an amazing game and improved every aspect there was and was one of the driving forces that put Rare Ltd, its development studio, on the map.


#2 Super Mario World


Speaking of the Super Nintendo, this was one of the first games released for the console, and the one that Nintendo used most when advertising the console. Super Mario World included many features that would soon become staples of Mario games including Yoshi, Wigglers, and the Cape Feather.

Gameplay is smooth and simple, sticking to the relatively easy, yet entertaining platforming of the original Mario games. The 16-bit graphics are bright and colorful, making the game fun to look at, as well as great to play.

Super Mario World is regarded as one of the best games for the Super Nintendo, and for good reason. It boasts beautiful graphics, entertaining gameplay, and one of the best Bowser fights in Mario history. It’s available in a number of downloadable forms and I highly recommend that you use one of them to play this incredible game.


#3 Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)


With the incredible failure of 2014’s Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog, it’s strange to think that Sonic was once one of the biggest gaming franchises, rivaling the likes of Mario and Donkey Kong.

Back when Sonic was a 2-D game, it was simpler, and the emphasis was on going fast, with little attention to story or character. This would normally be a bad thing except Sonic’s first game makes up for this in one major regard: It is a serious amount of fun.

The platforming is a breeze and the vibrant colors of the backgrounds, combined with the constant speed make the game exhilarating and very easy to pick up and play. I’ve only ever played the game a few times, but every time I had an incredible amount of fun and always got a surge of energy from the feeling of going fast.

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Is there a retro video game that you love that you didn’t see here? What are some of your favorites? Leave your answers in the comments below.