Recently, Nintendo released a new game called "Donkey Kong Country Returns" - I thought I'd take that as an opportunity to tell you a bit about it and it's main figure, Donkey Kong.
What's interesting about this is that it's a revival of a revival - the original game is almost as old as I am (from 1981, so I can't tell you about the "good old times" here). It was released on an arcade machine and later ported to several consoles. You played Mario in the game (yes, this was also the very first time Mario appeared in a video game) and had to rescue the princess from a big evil Gorilla. Not very creative, but who cares about game stories anyway, right? You had to jump over barrels to get to the gorilla.
I think the first time I saw the game was this one. It is from the Game and Watch series, mobile devices that had just one game built in. The Game and Watch games had no real display, they were only able to switch some elements on and of. For that limitation, the games had surprising complexity (another one I really liked is the Super Mario Bros. 3 wrist band game). Still, it is far away (or let's say rather different) from the original game.
The second time I saw a Donkey Kong game was a (probably inofficial) remake in DOS. To be honest, it wasn't very good, but I had not many games at that time, so I played it a lot. You had to go up to the princess and after that, the gorilla threw something over the screen and you had to go down again, but now with fires and more holes. Sadly, I can't provide it to you as I didn't find it online (maybe I have it on an old CD, I'll have to look for that).
The very first time I played the "real" Donkey Kong was much later - 1992 Nintendo released the first two Donkey Kong games together as "Donkey Kong Classics" on the NES. There was also an advanced version for the Gameboy which featured the original Donkey Kong levels and about 100 more levels afterwards (I played through all of them).
1994 was the "first revival" - Nintendo released Donkey Kong Country on the Super Nintendo, a game which had impressive graphics and was a technical breakthrough at that time. It has not much in common with the original game beside the character and the fact that barrels still play an important role. A nice gimmick: It had a character called "Cranky Kong", who was said to be the "original Donkey Kong" from the old game. He was always grumbling that todays games are far to easy.
Now Nintendo is doing the second revival - interesting enough, it doesn't really use much of the possibilities the Wii offers. It is a classic jump and run game, very much like Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo just recently released "New Super Mario Bros", quite similar also a classic Mario jump and run). I like that. Though I played the game a bit and I must say I'm not highly impressed (at least yet). I'd rate it a nice game, but not a great game. But I also have to say that the old Donkey Kong Country is not on my all-time-favorite video games list. Maybe I'll tell you more when I played it longer.