Donkey Kong Country
The first in the series, DKC was a revolution in console gaming, noteably the graphics. DKC also was packed with hidden bonus rooms in levels throughout the game. The old score was gone and replaced by the time you've played and the percentage of bonus rooms you found. One of the nice features, is that the screen isn't clutered with a score, number of lives and bananas, instead it shows up breifly when you get a banana or die and then hides again, leaving you with the whole screen, which is filled with the amazing graphics. The barrel blasting required timing to end up shooting out where and when you wanted to. Your primary weapons, barrels. DK throws overhead and Diddy threw from his chest, making you need to learn the angles at which they are thrown at. DK being stronger, he can topple Krusha with a jump, while Diddy is bounced back. Also DK has a underused and almost worthless groundslap which uncovers hidden bananas in the ground or can be used against enemies. Diddy can jump higher, do a roll jump very easily and his small size makes him more likely to avoid hits.
The 2 kongs also have a roll attack in which they can knock their enemy senseless. Standard jumping also works. The ability to switch characters anytime as long as you have both is also useful. As a two player game, you can pick 2 different playing options, the somewhat simultaneous (the players dont take turns they tag anytime in the game or take over when one dies); and the alternating (each player plays until they die or complete a level then the other person plays). Cranky adds a sense of humor and some tips in the game. Candy saves the game in different locations and Funky allows you to go back to previous areas to replay levels. Animals can be ridden on and have a different 'feel' for each. Winky being a little too bouncy, and Expresso being a bit fast. Squawks shows up lighting one level up from darkness and when you turn he blinds the screen momentarily just like he really turned around. Over 30 levels and lots of Bonus rooms. Eight million copies were sold.
Pros: Graphics and animation are very nice and smooth, nice sound and bonus levels.
Cons: The bosses are repeated in this game, its rather short, and could be called another platform game.