Video games and I go way back. I recall playing with the SNES back when I was in kindergarten. I didn't own the console as it belonged to my aunt. Yeah, sounds crazy, but she's only 13 years older than me, so she was a gamer girl back then even if she didn't look like one.
Of course, I was more of a watcher than a player then. I remember struggling with Super Mario All Stars. So, I opted to watching my aunt or her then boyfriend (later first husband) play. In short, I didn't play games on my own until I was around middle school age. By then, I had a more defined gaming preference.
One of the best memories I had was 100% Donkey Kong Country 2 with my brother.
Again, we didn't own the SNES because it belonged to our parents. My parents gamed as well in their 30s and 40s. However, they were never completionists. They would go for the standard endings in most games and called it good. In this case, I remember DKC2 was not even 70% complete when my brother and I took a stab at it.
We made our own save profile and started from scratch. It was a long journey since we didn't have the luxury of playing video games daily. Our parents would have never allowed us to play outside of weekends. It took us over a year to grab every coin, every secret, etc. and fight the final K. Rool.
Along the ways, we learned bits and pieces of the game mechanic. It took me months to realize I could cartwheel with Diddy to make longer and trickier jumps. We had assumed you'd always have to lose a companion. It was not until playing through the later stages that we realized picking up your partner had its uses. Heck, for the most part, we thought Dixie was much more useful than Diddy.
But hey, what did you expect from a preteen and a grade school kid?
Aside from the gameplay, some of the best moments from the game were the music. The early video games had some of the most iconic music and tunes the industry has ever known. Even today, I find myself humming to DKC2's soundtrack from time to time.
And gamers all over the world seem to share my appreciation for the OSTs from the series. It's unsurprising to find artists making covers to some of the best tracks in the game.
It's great to know that I wasn't the only recipient of good memories from Donkey Kong Country 2. Some people may have different preferences when it comes to the DKC series. I liked the first game as well, but it didn't have as much of an impact on me as the second game. Then again, I played the second game before the first.
This game paved the way to more completionist projects in my parents' game collection. That's a story for another time.