Donkey Kong Barrel Blast
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast (known as Donkey Kong Jet Race in Europe and Australia) is a racing game in the Donkey Kong series. It was released for the Wii in mid-late 2007 in Japan and North America and early 2008 in Europe and Australia. The game was developed by Paon, who previously developed DK: King of Swing and its sequel DK: Jungle Climber. Some game modes present in the game are Jungle Grand Prix, Time Trial, Candy's Challenges and Cranky's Flight School. The game incorporates Miis as indicators for records in Time Trial and Candy's Challenges mode.
A Wii Remote and Nunchuk are used to play the game, and the game makes use of motion-controls during a race. The game supports up to four players, but only in the Jungle Grand Prix and Single Race modes; the other game modes are for only one player. Jungle Grand Prix, the main mode of the game, features eight racers in a multi-lap race to the finish line on a given race track. Players race around courses using rocket-powered bongos, and during a race, players are able to use items, Wild Moves and shortcuts in an attempt to reach first place.
This game requires twenty-two blocks on the player's Wii system to save game data, and the game data can also be copied and moved to an SD card or transferred to another Wii.
Players pick a character with varying stats, strengths and weaknesses and race around an obstacle filled course in an attempt to finish in first place out of eight racers. During a race, players are able to obtain items from Item Balloons and can use them to mess up their rivals progress. The item system is similar to that of the Mario Kart series prior to Mario Kart 8. More powerful items are awarded the further behind a racer is. Players in first place are likely to get either Banana Bunches or Backward Barrels, while those near last place may get a Crystal Coconut, Mega TNT Barrel or Quawks. Players receive a certain amount of points depending on which position they finished a race in. The player with the most amount of points at the end is the winner.
Bananas are found on the racetracks and are used to fill up a gauge that contains Wild Moves which give players a small speed boost when used that can be extended by repeatedly crashing into barrels, certain enemies like Zingers or other players, making them lose ten bananas. Players can carry up to six Wild Moves. Players are also able to attack obstacles and other players, which also makes them lose ten bananas. Rocket-powered bongos are used to race around the courses. As they remain above ground at all times, they are unaffected by the course's grounded terrain, but they move slower underwater and will automatically reach their top speed inside a wormhole. Players are also able to jump over obstacles with them but they cannot drift.
A unique feature in this game is the ability to ride a Toboggan, a Minecart as well as Animal Buddies. The former two pits the player in a small bonus game were they can obtain more bananas and use the bonus area as a shortcut, while the latter allows a player to break through obstacles. Several types of barrels are also present, each with a different purpose. Normal barrels are weak obstacles that are essential to Wild Move combos, Iron Barrels will significantly slow down a player who bumps into them while Launcher Barrels can be used as shortcuts. Players will also encounter some wooden panels with a red !-mark on them. These are known as Surprise Panels, and they will summon a wide variety of things after being touched. Some examples are Golden Bananas, barrels and Launcher Barrels. Three difficulty levels not only control how difficult CPU players will be during a race, but how fast a player will move once they reach their top speed, with Rookie being the slowest, Pro being medium and Expert being the fastest.
Jungle Grand Prix
The main mode in the game. It works just like the Mario Kart series, but some cups have fewer tracks to race on depending on their difficulty level. Also, like Mario Kart Arcade GP, more than one track will take place in a certain area. Three are from the DK Jungle course, three are from the Seaside course, three are from the Mt. Dynamite course, two are from the Desert course, two are from the Snowy Mountain course and two are from the Sky Temple course. Only one racetrack is in a course of its own, which is in outer space. Difficulty selection ranges from Rookie (Beginner in Europe and Australia), to Pro, to Expert, the latter two which must be unlocked before the player can use them. To unlock Pro Difficulty, the player needs to win the Sapphire Cup on Rookie difficulty. To unlock Expert difficulty, the player needs to win the Platinum Cup on Pro difficulty.
The player selects two to five of any of the race courses, but one race course cannot be selected twice. This trophy will not be displayed on the selection screen no matter how many times it is beaten.
The computer randomly picks out five tracks for the player to race on. Like the Selection Cup, the trophy will not be displayed on the selection screen.
The trophies given during the award ceremony have differing designs and sizes, depending on which cup was beaten. Like the Mario Kart series, there will be an item displayed on top of the trophy, such as a Banana Fairy on top of the Diamond Cup.
Cup unlocking criteria
There is also the Training Course, which isn't used in any of the cups, but it is used in Cranky's Flight School, some of Candy's Challenges and during the credits.
Including Ultra Barrel DK as a separate character, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast features a total of 17 playable characters (consisting of 9 Kong characters (when Ultra Barrel DK is included as a separate character from Donkey Kong) and 8 Kremling characters). 6 characters are available from the start and 11 are unlockable. Kip, Kass, Kalypso and Kludge make their first appearance in this game. Unlockable characters will appear during a race, but Wrinkly Kong, Cranky Kong and King K. Rool need to be unlocked before they can appear as CPU opponents. Ultra Barrel DK never appears as a CPU opponent even after being unlocked, as he can only be used by human players.
It is also not possible for one player to use Ultra Barrel DK while another player uses Donkey Kong or vice versa, due to them sharing the same character slot. If a character hasn't been unlocked yet, a black silhouette of Donkey Kong will take its place on their character slot, except for Ultra Barrel DK. Once he is unlocked, the player will see a small speech bubble when hovering over DK's character slot that explains the buttons that needs to be pressed in order to select him. In order to select Ultra Barrel DK on the character select screen, the player needs to highlight Donkey Kong, hold and press .
Each character have three stats, all of which are shown when highlighting them on the character select screen.
These characters act as obstacles and will try to attack racers. Racers will slow down when struck by their attack or by colliding with them directly. A defeated enemy will reward a racer with ten bananas. Defeated enemies will respawn after a while.
Items are obtained by getting "?" balloons on the racetracks. Each type of racer, Kong or Kremling, has their team's color, with the Kong balloons being red and the Kremling balloons being blue. When the racer grabs their team's color of balloon, the effect of what's inside may last longer than if the other team had gotten it. Some Item Ballons will change color after being picked up. Which item from the Item Balloons a racer will receive is determined by their current race position.
Red Balloon items
Blue Balloon items
The key to winning is collecting bananas to fill the Wild Move gauge. It takes 50 bananas to fill it and obtain a Wild Move. Collected bananas will respawn on the racetrack after a while.
In order to hitch a ride on either of them, the player must run into the Animal Crate on the track with their picture. The box will either stay still or move back and forth in a line for players to catch. They cannot hurt another racer by touching them, but they are immune to being damaged by both racers using Wild Moves, their attacks as well as all items, except for the reversed control effects and loss of Wild Moves from a Mega TNT Barrel. Their Animal Crates will respawn to their original location once a riding racer reaches the end of the Animal Friend's area.
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast features a variety of Barrels. Some of them can be spawned by touching a Surprise Panel.
Pre-release and unused content
The game was originally planned for the Nintendo GameCube for use with the DK Bongo Controller. The Item Balloons originally had the DK logo on them, before being changed into question marks in the final version. Some of the character sprites, such as Donkey Kong, Funky Kong and Kritter were originally artwork reused from DK: King of Swing.
Kenichi Imaeda directed the game, while Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka worked as supervisors. Paon's president Rikiya Nakagawa was one of the three producers of the game, Eiji Akahori worked as the lead programmer and the game's soundtrack was composed by Takashi Kouga.
References to other games
References in later games
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast was met with mostly negative reviews for its slow racing, imprecise controls, a lack of online mode, and that the Bongo Controllers were left out of the game even though GameCube controllers are completely compatible with the Wii. It has an average score of 43.94% from 32 reviews on GameRankings and an average of 46 based on 34 reviews on Metacritic.
According to Famitsu sales data, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast sold 79.201 copies in Japan by the end of 2007.
Names in other languages