Way Back When
Many franchises run out of steam by the time they reach their third game, but that wasn’t the case for 1996’s Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! Instead, this final game of Rare’s SNES trilogy was every bit as ambitious and polished as the two games that preceded it, once again changing up the lineup of characters and setting to provide players with a fresh experience within a familiar series. Using the same state-of-the-art Silicon Graphics technology, which allowed Rare to compress 3D models into sprites to give the games a unique visual style, Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! was a gorgeous, colorful platformer filled to the brim with inventive level design, exceptional music, and compelling gameplay mechanics.
Surprising no one, King K. Rool appeared as the game’s primary antagonist once again, this time having captured both Donkey and Diddy Kong. Dixie Kong and her baby cousin Kiddy Kong were forced to set out on a quest to find the father and son duo and once again take down the crocodilian authoritarian for a third time. Working their way across the fictionalized land known as the Northern Kremisphere, Dixie and Kiddy explored a far more open-ended world map than previous entries by using a variety of vehicles and solving some light puzzles as they sought out the game’s dense forests, oppressive factories, and surreal underwater reefs. All of the franchise staples returned, too, including challenging platforming, animal companions, and plenty of barrel blasting, proving that Rare was aiming to perfect what worked rather than taking huge risks.
This decision to keep things so recognizable was both a blessing and a curse for Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! Critics praised the game for its fantastic core gameplay and continued dedication to its unparalleled art direction, but there was an identifiable level of burnout among many, especially during a time when new consoles like the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation had released and started to pull attention away from Nintendo’s 16-bit SNES. It ultimately sold 3.5 million copies worldwide, and despite being widely considered the least essential of the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy, it nevertheless offered an incredibly fun time for returning fans and newcomers alike. Sadly, the game marked the end of the franchise for over a decade, though Retro Studios revived it with 2010’s Donkey Kong Country Returns for Wii (and eventually 3DS) and then followed it up with 2014’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for Wii U (and eventually Switch).
Where You Can Play It Now
Looking to jump into the final game of the trilogy right away? You’ve got a few options, but if you’re wanting to be as efficient as possible, you’ll probably want to give it a go via the Nintendo Switch Online service. It’s worth noting, though, that the subscription costs $3.99 a month or $19.99 a year.
Here’s the modern platforms on which you can access Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!:
- Wii U (Virtual Console)
- New Nintendo 3DS (Virtual Console)
- Nintendo Switch (via Nintendo Switch Online membership)
Both Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest are also available on all of those same platforms. Finishing up all three of the SNES games is likely to work up your appetite for more, too, so you’ll want to look into the rest of the series. You can do so by tracking down Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii, 3DS) and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U, Switch) to see the franchise through. Sadly, that marks the end of the road, but hopefully we’ll hear more about a new game in the near future.