How Donkey Kong 64 shaped a player

I’m a sucker for personal stories about the Nintendo 64. You should know that by now. So I came across this story here about how Donkey Kong 64 shaped Brett into who he is today.

Now, first things first: A bit of background. DK64 was a game that I got after playing through Banjo Kazooie for the umpteenth time, so I was well aware of these ‘collect-a-thon’ games that people were harping about at the time. It’s pretty much the same style of game but put to the extremes with many bananas to be collected. This brought upon the wrath of many people because they thought it to be too much, which made critics lean more towards Banjo Kazooie or Super Mario 64 for their fix of 3D platforming.

Anyways, onto the commentary.

The article starts out by Brett saying what I just mentioned above. I already went through it, so let’s move on. He goes on to tell the story about how he got the Nintendo 64 and how the first game you get for a system is always the one you remember the most, and that it was the game that taught him what he likes about video games in general.

The point that Brett eventually gets to is that it is a game that tests your skill and tracks your progress. As far as I remember, DK64 was the first game that I played that had a meter that tracked how much of the game you completed. I think that it also only tracked golden bananas to measure progress, but the point still stands. Brett became a completionist and it’s all thanks to Donkey Kong 64. It’s not all about the individual achievements, but the long-term progression towards the 100% goal.

Now, while he said that Donkey Kong 64 shaped him into the gamer he is today, I’d say that for me it was a somewhat different circumstance. When I was a kid, I had a few games and a lot of free time. This meant that I played each of the games that I had to death and got 100% on a few of them without using a guide through the sheer amount of time I spent just wandering around within them.

Now that I’m older I can’t really spend that amount of time on a game (it took me about a month to 100% Super Mario 64) so I can’t really experience that slow grind of achievement as much before my attention just goes onto the next game. It is that kind of enthusiasm that I wish I could have when playing a game since there are few greater joys than 100%ing a game. Beating the final boss is a rush, but completing everything there is to get is the true challenge.Wow, that’s a digression. Still, I’d suggest you have a look at Brett Makedonski’s post.


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This is a personal story about how Donkey Kong 64 shaped a gamer into the tastes and values he has today after realising what it meant to him.
Article published on N64 Squid


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