Amiibo Story: Diddy Kong

Diddy Kong AmiiboFlash back to the summer of 1994. I’m only 10 years old at the time, so there’s almost no reason for me to receive mail. On this particular summer day, I open the mailbox with a VHS tape addressed to me from Nintendo. With no idea what this tape was or why Nintendo was sending it to me, I threw it in my VCR and watched it as soon as I could.

Watching it now, it’s hard not to cringe at its 90s cheese. But as a 10-year-old boy that was a diehard Nintendo fan, I felt like I got a glimpse into the future. Those graphics! Those secret levels! Look how cool Donkey Kong looks now! And that cool monkey sidekick kid of his with his sweet baseball cap! I watched that tape seemingly every day for months, hyping myself up for the release of that game.

I didn’t get it on launch day, but Santa hooked me up that Christmas. Maybe the gameplay doesn’t hold up as well as some of its contemporaries, but I still think Donkey Kong Country is a great game by any measure. That said, I actually think that Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest is even better. With the main monkey being held captive, Diddy and Dixie Kong go on an adventure that is the best in the series. It’s been a long time since I played it, but that was my feeling at the time and I haven’t wavered since.

Diddy Kong’s true shining moment has to be Diddy Kong Racing. Admittedly, I don’t actually like the game all that much, but I truly admire the ambition and scale of that game. Only now have kart racing games started to incorporate land and sea-based racing into the mix, which Diddy Kong Racing did more than a decade ago. On top of that, it had a ridiculously fleshed-out story mode that no one has even come close to trying to replicate. If the story mode wasn’t so cheaply hard, I think I would have gotten way more out of it.

Most recently, Diddy Kong has starred in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. I didn’t care much for the latter, but Returns is a fantastic return to form for Donkey Kong Country style of platformer. He’s also in the latest version of Super Smash Bros. as a playable fighter.

I’ve had my ups and downs with the young primate over the years, though the sight of his Amiibo serves as a reminder to that summer of 1994. The hype I felt for that game and the joy that came with ultimately getting Donkey Kong Country has rarely been surpassed. The Diddy Kong Amiibo is really hard to find here in Canada, though I was lucky enough to grab him during a brief window when had him available. Welcome to the family, Diddy!

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