Still holds up well!
The Donkey Kong Country games are venerable classics in platform gaming. The gameplay is simple, the graphics still look crisp and vibrant, and the breezy fun of the genre is still a blast even today.
The graphics are surprisingly bright, detailed, and vibrant, and have aged very well. The animations are smooth. Backgrounds seem to sway and move with the user, and they never fail to be pleasant. This is a well-thought out world, with typical fire/ice/water levels along with some fun variants on jungle themes. Weather effects can be a bit much, but it's not much of a hindrance.
Definitely among the very top-tier of platformers, even today, the original DKC was a brilliant mix between simplistic platforming and devilish timing games. The half-star detraction comes from those timing games - although fun, the slight delay in barrel fire can be aggravating and definitely detracts from the overall great flow of the game. The other elements are all top-notch, and the plethora of bonus rounds and hidden items is great fun. It definitely rewards multiple playthroughs, and it never feels like a grind.
OVERALL FUN AND VALUE-
The DKC games are a treat. If you have some extra cash, a classic controller or a Gamecube controller, and have a hankering for some classic gameplay, the original Donkey Kong Country is well worth the bucks.