Read the full review here.
“Although the rose-colored glasses of nostalgic sentimentality can make this look like a legendary title, the NES version of Donkey Kong, from an objective standpoint, can hardly be regarded as above-average.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.
Before I get mobbed by passionate Donkey Kong fans (in any iteration, I suppose), let me quote one more passage from the full review that may shed further light on my thoughts on a classic title:
“Donkey Kong on the NES represents an exercise in iconography; that is, it is certainly a highly regarded title, a famed entry in gaming lore, and due a particular prestige. But on the even scales of peer cartridge reviews, against the backdrop of the NES library, and on the basis of its gameplay merits alone, this is an average title. Jumpman snags two and a half stars for an appropriate right-in-the-middle rating, much like the place in gaming history for the NES version of Donkey Kong.”
And there it is. I do not mean to become too much of an apologist, always having to explain my ratings and reviews; eventually, I am sure that I will be fully comfortable just letting them stand on their own merits, as I believe they are well-founded. That being said, I know Donkey Kong has some awesome fans, even of the NES version; I’m just saying that when I pop in Mega Man or Final Fantasy, I don’t find myself pining for a round of Donkey Kong very often. Unless it’s one of those friggin’ disappearing-platform precision-jumping portions of the Mega Man games. I was never fantastic at those, I need more practice.
Seriously, though: Decent game, storied legacy, my defensive tone ends now, read the full review, etc. Game on!