Donkey Kong 64 (N64)
Donkey Kong 64 is incredible. I reserved my copy about 3 months before the game came out and I'm happy I did! The graphics, sound, control, and especially the game play are perfect or really close to being perfect. This is Nintendo's/Rare's "big" game of the year (the previous ones being Super Mario 64, Goldeneye, and Zelda 64) and this game exceeds all expectations for a "big" game of the year.
Graphics 10 out of 10
The graphics in this game look better than ever imagined possible for a Nintendo 64 game. The (included and required) expansion pak does more for this game than for any other. Unlike Super Mario 64's plain, primary color backgrounds and objects, this game's backgrounds and objects are so colorful they sometimes look like entrances to a new area. Unless you've played nothing but Dreamcast (in which case you shouldn't be at this site) I guarantee the graphics will astound at least once in every level.
Music and Sound 9 out of 10
This game has the most voice I've ever heard in a 64 game with the exception of Star Fox. The 3 or 4 minute "rap" at the beginning of the game is awesome. The sound effects are also great. Everything from launching orange grenades to electrocuting a huge fish boss sounds rich and what would probably be realistic if you really could do those things. This game is also in Dolby Surround Sound. The music isn't catchy, but isn't annoying like in Banjo-Kazooie. The only reason sound didn't get a 10 is because the music is kind of forgettable.
Game Challenge 10 out of 10
This game is HUGE! There are eight levels, and the 7 I've been to are big enough to be 3 Super Mario 64 levels or 2 Banjo-Kazooie level. The levels at the beginning may not seem huge at first, but once you get all the kongs you can open up lots of new areas. You keep getting new moves, items, and upgrades throughout the game, so don't think that once you explore every accessible inch of a level the first time that you're through. In each level, EACH kong can get: 5 golden bananas, 1 blueprint,1 banana medal, 100 regular bananas (which let you open the boss door and get banana medals). One kong can also get a crown and fight a boss to get a boss key. You can get some of these in the over-world(which is a large, outdoor environment, not a stuffy castle.)to. I don't think Nintendo was exgageratings when they said it would take 85 hours to fully beat this game.
Game Play-Fun 10 out of 10
This game is really fun. As I mentioned above, this game has over 300 items you'll have to collect, but unlike other games like this it never seems to get boring or repetitive. Being able to play as five characters may be why. Fighting the bosses is awesome, and I wish they let you fight them more than once. You also get to play lots of different mini games to get some bananas. The only annoying part is you can pick up most items only when you're a certain kong. This means if you're playing as say, Diddy Kong and you find a blueprint for Donkey Kong, you'll have to go find a kong change barrel before you can collect it. Luckily, there are lots of kong change barrels and lots of warp spots. I have had lots of fun with this game, and I have lots more secrets to find. (I've been playing for at least 35 hours, and I'm only 46% done.)
This game can be frustrating when you're trying for that banana you need to fight the boss and suddenly you're knocked of the platform by a Krusha and plummet 50 feet to the floor. There is one single factor that makes this game much less frustrating than Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie: When you die,or exit a level you keep all the bananas you had. YES!!! This one factor doubles the games fun! Overall, not too frustrating of a game.
Replayability 10 out of 10
This game has enough secrets to keep you replaying for hours. According to Rare you can beat the game with a score of 50%. That should give some idea of how big this game is. I stated all the stuff you need to find under challenge, so I think you can see how much replay value this game has.
Game Value 10 out of 10
Forget EGM's constant claim that the always included pak makes the game $70. I have never seen this game being sold for more than $60. If you do mind paying "extra" if you already own a pak than just sell it! Even if you do pay $70 this game is well worth it! If you don't own a Nintendo 64 than the green Nintendo 64 deal is great, because you get the game and the pak for only $30 once you factor in the cost of an Nintendo 64. No matter how you look at, this game is worth every cent of it's price.
Overall 9.7 out of 10
Overall, this is an incredible, defining game. If you own an Nintendo 64 or are thinking of buying one, turn off this computer, and GET THIS GAME! It's that simple.