The thing I find the most interesting about this IP is that this happens to be the only open world game they made. After this they go back to 2D style games (well received mind you).
Gloomy Galleon: Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong 64 may be loved by many, but I find it’s often overlooked. When someone says Donkey Kong the first game that probably comes to mind is Donkey Kong Country 1-3. I think part of this may have to do with a lack of… well any sort of exposure for this game. I think they had a wii VC re-release but beyond that nothing much was done with this game or many of the characters introduced in it.
It’s a shame because the game actually has a lot of cool levels and of course characters, though most of them don’t make it beyond a cameo or two. The most we’ve seen of Chunky in recent years is in Smash games. Currently Chunky is a spirit which is very fitting considering his absence from Donkey Kong games.
As for the Galleon itself? I just really like the atmosphere of the level. All the cavers and lagoons with the sunken ship motif carry an eerie/kreepy vibe that is still fun and playful. This level is also significantly less frustrating for what is a water level in a nintendo game. I’ll take this over either Zelda 64 water temple any day of the week. I even prefer this to Dire Dire Docks/ Jolly Rodger bay. It’s just more fun to mess around Gloomy Galleon than either level from Mario 64. Once you collect the stars from those levels you don’t want to come back. I can’t tell you how many times I lost my 100 coin run on Dire Dire Docks to that dumb escape route in the submarine area. None of that with Gloomy Galleon, just having a good time smacking some enemies and exploring the surrounding area in a much larger more atmospheric space.