Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
A platformer game released for SNES by Rareware and Nintendo in 1995.
The game is a follow-up to Donkey Kong Country. In this part, K.Rool, leader of the crocodile-like kremlings, assumed a more pirate-like imago and captured Donkey Kong. Diddy Kong, Donkey's guenon friend from DKC, goes to rescue Donkey with his girlfriend Dixie Kong. Once again, lots of kremling-bashing and crocodiley threats to eliminate...
Diddy can do all stuff he could in the previous part (including the cartwheel attack). Dixie, the bubblegum-chewing chimp, has long hair that helps her to fly short distances when she uses the "helicopter spin".
The gameplay was improved a bit in this part. Some of the nicest features included the ability to "team up" and then toss the other monkey to otherwise unaccessable places. Also, the levels had a couple of nice new features; There were hooks in some places (Diddy looks funny when he hangs from them with his tail...) and "bee nests" have sticky honey on the walls on which it's possible to climb on.
The "animal friends" are here again. Rambi the rhino is back, as is Enguarde the swordfish. Both have learned a super attack (more powerful than normal charging that needs some preparation time). Rattly the rattle snake helps with jumps, and Squitter the giant spider (obviously) spins web that kills enemies and forms platforms with which you can climb and move across chasms. Squawks the parrot is there, but now carries Kongs along and shoots coconuts. (how can a small parrot like that swallow that many coconuts? =)
There were multiple things to collect. Banana coins were accepted as payment in Swanky Kong's game show, Funky Kong's flights, the place to get flights to already completed levels (thankfully you only now need to pay once per map screen...), by Wrinkly Kong (important because this is the place to save the game) and by Cranky Kong, our venerable game hero; Kremcoins (found in bonus games) were accepted by Klubba, the big mean kremling, who holds the gateway to Lost World levels.
Also, part of the fun of the game was to find the DK coins that had been hidden to each level by Cranky (who obviously could finish the game with his left hand). The screen to check your DK coin collection completion status has a very interesting trashcan and your competitors are pretty unexpected, but I think I won't spoil them here...
The first map screen was in Gang-Plank Galleon, K.Rool's flagship from the first part, now partially sunk. You could explore the rigging and the flooded ship hold. The other map levels were less pirate-themed (though the ship in Krem Quay was pretty amazing combination of non-pirateness and pirateness), but still held an unbelieveable amount of That Old DKC Magic. Also, the graphics were unbelieveably good, even better than DKC1 and DKC3; I particularly liked the "wind" effects and sun light effects in the "enchanted woods" levels. Every area had a nice theme that worked pretty well, and the theme kept somewhat Kremlingly for the whole time.
Also, the music is unbelieveably amazing. When I first time I heard the humming of the choir in Mine levels, I almost fell from the chair and my very ears burned so they couldn't hear music worse than this divine piece no more. And, the Credits music is better than DKC1 and DKC3 credits musics combined.
This was the last game of DKC series in which I was officially better than my sister. =) I found many secrets much faster than my sister, but I didn't get to the last levels. (In DKC, I got to K.Rool, but never finished the game...) Yet, I liked this game a lot; probably the best 2D platformer I've ever tried.
There was one thing in the game that I found pretty funny: The game had "pirate" theme, and the end credits included names like "M. Stevenson" and "B. Gunn". Real names, no doubt (also found in other parts of the series), but strangely fitting...
(Yes, the game has Mario and Yoshi somewhere. And Sonic's stuff in a trashcan.)