I'm not entirely sure why, but Taito's Don Doko Don 2 is strangely absent from most online discussions of great Famicom and NES platformers.
Which is a real shame, as this Japan-only release from 1992 is one of the system's better side-scrollers, in my opinion.
One reason I hold it in such high esteem is it's as cute as can be. Another is that it's full of the kind of charm Taito was known for back in the day. (Don't know what I'm talking about here? Check out Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, Parasol Stars, The New Zealand Story and Mizubaku Daibouken.)
Most importantly, though, Don Doko Don 2 is a blast to play. I especially like how it takes the hammer-centric gameplay mechanism of the original Don Doko Don, which basically is a Bubble Bobble clone, and puts it to use in a Super Mario-esque platformer.
Don Doko Don 2 never reaches the dizzying heights of Super Mario Bros. 2 or 3, mind you, but it's still very much worth trying if you tend to enjoy the genre.
And even if you consider it a flop from a gameplay perspective, you should still get a kick out of its soundtrack. "Woods Land," which can be heard in the video above, is my favorite of its many tunes, but plenty of others also will have you tapping your foot or bobbing your head as you traipse through the title's brightly colored stages.
So, what do you think of this Don Doko Don 2 song? Or what do you think of this Famicom game in general?
See also: previous 'Aural Gratification' posts