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Mario Vs. Donkey Kong

by Nintendo
Game Boy Advance
Everyone
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews) 81 / 100

Price: $94.99
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  • Multiple dangers and obstacles to avoid - Over 100 levels of conveyor belts, switches, spikes, ladders, and more
  • Fun animation, graphics and gameplay take you back to the classic feel of early games
  • Use the recaptured toys as clues to solve puzzles and move to the next level
  • Mario has great new moves -- Double-jumps, backflips, handstands, even catching barrels with his feet
  • Supports the GC-GBA link cable - link your GBA to your GameCube and use the level editor on your TV screen

Frequently Bought Together

Mario Vs. Donkey Kong + Mario Kart: Super Circuit + Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3
Price for all three: $284.92

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Product Details

  • ASIN: B0001JXACA
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 5.2 x 1 inches ; 2.6 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: May 24, 2004
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,970 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description

Product Description

Donkey Kong has swiped all the Mini Mario toys from the Mario Toy Company and it's up to Mario to track him down and get back the goods. In Mario vs. Donkey Kong you'll leap, climb, and battle your way through increasingly challenging levels using switches, conveyor belts, hammers and other tools to save the day. Shy guys, piranha plants, bob-ombs, and other classic mushroom kingdom bad guys, stand between Mario and his goal. Master new moves and scale the mind-boggling heights of 6 action-packed worlds.

Review

Years from now, people's memories of this game will probably outshine its reality. Mario vs. Donkey Kong is a quick romp that has you using Mario's impressive action moveset to complete a series of puzzle rooms. That being said, the speed of the game seems to highlight its brevity – I was smoking through worlds in no time, but didn't get all of the collectibles. I guess I could go back later to be a completist, but I'm not really that kind of girl.

Instead, I enjoyed my time collecting the toys that Donkey Kong had stolen from Toad's little factory of joy. Each of the worlds follows a basic structure: six puzzle levels each composed of two sections (get the key to the door and grab a wayward toy), followed by one Mini-Mario level where Mario gets the little Lemmings-like versions of himself to a toy chest, and the boss battle. In these sections, DK will flip color switches and drop debris on you – players have to hit the ape a certain number of times before they die. It's pretty basic stuff, really.

Where Nintendo's quality truly comes into play, though, is the level design. Large-scale puzzles with a perfect ramp up of skill acquisition and difficulty carry players through the whole quest. There are few outside the Big N who could consistently deliver this caliber of action/puzzle gameplay, and I took great joy in using each new skill I received. They are easy to use, make sense, and the level design generally makes it really apparent what move players should use in which situations. Genius!

I guess that this game doesn't bowl me over just because I felt like I was always going to finish a level in two (at the most three) attempts. Doing the math, that means a few hours of gameplay for most players – some more if you're intent on unlocking everything. I wasn't, so its time in my GBA will be limited.

Despite my hesitance to proclaim this a miracle of modern handheld puzzle gaming, I don't want to understate how well executed this title is. Mario vs. Donkey Kong offers a really good time for everyone, while it lasts.

Concept:
Update the Mario/Donkey Kong puzzlers with new moves, graphics, sound, and situations

Graphics:
Nice 3D hero models and the now-standard Super Mario Advance series' graphics

Sound:
Mario is one chatty little bugger, and the sound effects are useful for gauging the play field

Playability:
Timing is crucial and some of the puzzles are deliciously mind-bending

Entertainment:
Short, but sweet

Replay:
Moderate

Rated: 7.5 out of 10
Editor: Lisa Mason
Issue: June 2004

2nd Opinion:
This is one of the rare Mario titles that seems like it was tailored for a specific audience, rather than the masses. The feeling is very reminiscent of the arcade classic Mario Bros., and the puzzle-oriented gameplay makes me flash back to the glory days of the original Game Boy. The graphics and sound are great, but the stages only offer one ideal path through them, so most won't feel compelled to revisit them often. Of course, Mario fanatics will love this title for its clever amalgamation of classic Mario and Donkey Kong elements, and puzzle gamers will enjoy the non-repetitive levels, but others won't be so impressed. The Mario titles are famous for pushing gaming forward, while this title looks squarely backwards.

Rated: 7.5 out of 10
Editor: Jeremy Zoss


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
First and foremost, Mario vs. Donkey Kong is the successor in gameplay to an old original Game Boy title simply called Donkey Kong, often referred to as Donkey Kong '94 to avoid confusion with the original arcade classic. In that excellent game, the object of each level was to acquire a key and make your way to a locked door to proceed to the next level. However, the puzzles were often very devious and required much thought. At the end of each world, you would have to battle Donkey Kong in order to move on to the next world.
Not much has changed since then, since Mario vs. Donkey follows the same basic format with a few twists. The new aspect of each level is that there are actually two parts with two different objectives to each level. In the first half of the level, you have to get the key in order to unlock the door in typical Donkey Kong '94 fashion. You have to manuever around enemies and spike pits to reach your objective, as well as climbing ropes similar to Donkey Kong Jr., using special-colored switches to make platforms appear, and working with conveyor belts. In the second half of each stage, you have to make your way to a Mini-Mario toy (an aspect of the simple and strange storyline). There are also three presents in each level that, if collected, will give you a chance to win extra lives at the end of each level.
The one major problem I have with the game is the controls. For the most part, they are very good, but they can be unresponsive sometimes, leading to unnecessary deaths and frustrated players. The ropes also tend to give me a fit, since you jump off in different ways depending on if you are grasping one or reaching out for another.
The challenge is very good.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Donkey Kong vs. Mario is more of a reminder of the Donkey Kong game released on the Gameboy in 1994. Interestingly enough, this combines the best of puzzles with action adventure and that means that the game will not only be fun, but addictive.
Donkey Kong vs. Mario begins with Donkey Kong watching TV and he sees an advertisement for the famous toy that everybody wants. A Mini-Mario. DK decides he wants one but when the toystore is sold out he goes into a rage and decides to steal some instead. Now as Mario you have to go and retrieve all the dolls that Donkey Kong has stolen.
The game presents puzzle mixed with Action/Adventure. It also has six worlds with eight levels each. Each level begins with Mario having to find a key in the first room, and the stolen Mario doll in the next. The first room is a straight out find the key. When you do its much like Super Mario Bros. 2 in which you have to pick up the key. In the next room you've got to dodge obstacles and enemies to get to the Mario doll.
DK vs. Mario has gameplay very similar to Super Mario Bros. 2. In fact, the enemies come from SMB2 and you can pick them up and throw them. That's not all, Mario has lots of moves he can pull off. Not the same old "jumpman" anymore. Now he can do backflips, hang and balance on telephone wires and do headstands. The headstands prevent damage from falling objects. Mario can also hang on vines like in Donkey Kong Jr.
Each world has seven levels. The first six are always straightforward puzzles. But the seventh level of every world Mario has to lead the rescued Mini dolls to a toy chest. This sounds easy but you must protect the dolls. They can be harmed by natural objects and enemies in the levels. In the eighth level you fight DK.
At first the game seems short.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent game! September 7, 2004
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 4.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Story: DK loves the new mini mario toys so much he went to the factory and stole all the mini mario toys. Help mario rescue the mini mario toys and kill DK.

In each level, you must find a key, unlock the door, and rescue the mini mario toy . But while doing this you must overcome puzzle challenges by pressing switches, using moving platforms, and ladders. Also while killing certain enemies and dodging other enemies using mario's different moves.

Once you do this in each level in a world, you must guide the mini mario toys past enemies and through obstacles into a toy box. The toys will follow Mario anywhere, but the only things they can do are move and jump. Using switches and springs, control Mario to lead the mini mario toys into a toy box. Then you must beat DK to complete the world.

Do this in 6 increasingly difficult levels to beat the game. But once you do that, you unlock 6 new worlds at a higher difficulty level, and by getting a lot of high scores you can unlock even more worlds at an even higher difficulty level.

This game is very fun, very addicting, very challenging, and will last a long time. Mario vs. Donkey Kong deserves 5 stars for sure!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fun for kids and adults July 17, 2004
By A Customer
Very interesting game. Good thing is that it is made of small and separate challenges. Continue feature allows you to start at the challenge you left off. Dont need to start all over again. Will save your game. Graphics and sound are excellent. Very addictive. Good for both kids and adults.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The rivalry repackaged and rekindled May 11, 2014
By A. Wu
Mario vs Donkey Kong came out on the GBA in 2005 under a lot of gamer's noses. I remember not much being covered about this game despite commercial and rambling about how unpleasant the sprites were. I'm not super into puzzles, but i shamefully bought this out of interest for only Mario and the big galoot DK, it turned out o be one of my favorite surprise purchases ever, well, in handheld gaming anyways.

Amazing Mini Mario toy! It walks! It talks! It says "mama mia". Each one comes in it's own crystal ball, collect one, collect them all! Buy them all, buy them all......thus beginning DK's quest for the amazing new mini mario toy as the player leads DK into a factory where he proceeds to rob it clean of the amazing new mini mario toy.... well, actually, Mario has to unsurprisingly chase him down.

The game is takes place in a platformer like setting where each level has 3 presents to collect, enemies to use and avoid, keys to open doors, and an amazing new mini mario toy inside its' own crystal ball.It's quite a challenge trying ti get a high score, but the challenge may come from just completing the level itself. Each stage is comprised of levels that fit a general them like jungle or volcano, and at the end of the section, there's a mini mario bonus stage where you must get all the mini mario inside a toy box while still collecting items, those mini mario become your lives as you battle the dangerous and crafty vet Donkey Kong.

I found the whole story to be adorable and hilarious , and what adds to it are the voices of Mario,the toys, and DK as they interact with one another during cutscenes and during gameplay. The sound effect and music while soudning muddy on the GBA, are harmonious with the game's overall package from stage to stage. Mario vs Donkey Kong was a rivalry of its' time, and it still is with this fun puzzle platformer.
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