Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast Review
Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Paon Corp. 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Nintendo 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 8, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

As far as play modes go, Barrel Blast is a very bare-bones title. Included are the obligatory tutorial, practice, time trial, cups, and challenge modes. The various cups are set up just like a Mario Kart title's, having you compete in a series of races where finishing in the top three overall earns you a trophy. Candy's challenge mode will give you varied objectives to complete in order to be victorious. These challenges aren't particularly imaginative, ranging anywhere from collecting a certain number of bananas during a race to finishing above a certain position for multiple laps. These two modes are where the meat of this title's gameplay comes from, but it still doesn't take very long to complete them.

Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast screenshot

Once you're done with all of the cups and challenges, what is left? In the end, all that remains are some very developed and sore arms and a massive feeling of disappointment. You can play offline multiplayer with up to four players competing in races, but it isn't that entertaining and does little to keep you coming back.

Graphically, Barrel Blast won't be winning any awards either. All of the characters look like we've come to expect but with very few additional details. The racetracks also maintain a serious lack of detail throughout. While the track itself is littered with barrels, enemies, and power-ups, the backgrounds are all fairly bland. If you take a moment and look around at most of the backgrounds, you will see there is very little going on, making it seem like the tracks could have just as easily been placed against a blank screen.

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While it is short and somewhat disappointing, Barrel Blast did make interesting use of the Wii's motion-sensing controls. Although they didn't work as well as they should have, they still made the game a unique experience. There are no other games out there that let you race around with rocket bongos that are fueled by arm pain. Perhaps that is for the best. Still, with just a slight reworking of the controls, more modes, and a better multiplayer component, this really could have been a great game. As it stands though, this is just a fairly lackluster and easily forgettable title.

By Adam Brown
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Seven play modes: Hone your skills in Practice mode, then work your way through Candy's Challenges, Cranky's Flight School, Time Trial, and more.
  • Items: Watch the fur fly as you use weapons like Backward Barrels and Pineapple Launchers. Grab Banana Fairies and other helpful power-ups to turn the tide of a race.
  • Multiplayer: Challenge up to three friends to see who is king of the jungle with a four-way split screen mode.

  • Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    3.0

    Graphics
    All of the characters look decent but there was a serious lack of detail for most of the racetrack environments.

    2.4

    Control
    While it is an interesting use of the motion-sensing controls, it doesn't work particularly well.

    2.9

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The music and sound effects were all of good quality but the extremely limited number of noises made by the characters quickly become irritating.

    2.0

    Play Value
    You can quickly breeze through all of the cups and challenges, ultimately leaving you with absolutely no more reasons to play the game.

    2.5

    Overall Rating - Average
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

    Screenshots / Images
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