A new Jumanji has hit the cinemas and this time it's a video game, with The Rock and Jack Black instead of a board game that Robin Williams got stuck inside of. And though the Jumanji video game level has a lot of tricks and danger to them, here are 10 great jungle levels in video games that are way deadlier than whatever Kevin Hart had to go through:
Donkey Kong Country
Banana Jungle is the original name of Jungle Hijinks, the first level in Donkey Kong Country and the first level to kick off Donkey Kong’s revitalized return to video games. The level starts off beneath DK’s tree house and there you will find the Kremlings have stolen all of Donkey Kong’s bananas. Now it’s up to you and Diddy Kong to get it back. The level will teach you all the fundamentals of the game and even introduce you to your first animal pal, Rambi the Rhino.
Slash Man’s Stage in Megaman 7 is a lush tropical jungle, filled to the brim with hostile enemies and a whole bunch of secrets hidden away. Though Slash Man looks a lot like Wolverine from the X-Men, his stage is more like a trip to a robotic Jurassic Park, with evil bionic Stegosauruses and a T-Rex miniboss. There’s also a nice big waterfall in the middle and there’s a section where Megaman has to ride a robot Parasaur to cross some nasty spikes. Awesome.
New Super Mario Bros.
Now forests are more easily found in games than jungles are, even the grand-daddy of video games took a while to tackle jungles. Nonetheless, the fourteenth Mario game delivered with Soda Jungle, the largest world in the game. Not only was it a deadly jungle with lush trees canopying the ceiling, there’s a poison river running throughout the levels. Taking a cue from the Amazon, Soda Jungle has weirder variations on your typical Mario baddies, including Giant Koopa Troopas, Goombas and the whole lot of other jungle giants are here to take you down.
Far Cry 3
Fun fact: The new Jumanji and Far Cry 3 share the same tagline, Welcome to the Jungle, an overused callback to the song by Guns and Roses. What’s not overused is Far Cry 3’s tropical jungle wasteland, Rook Island, and all the danger that lies within. From the get-go, you see the pirate leader Vaas going crazy and killing your character’s older brother. That’s more than enough motivation for you join the Rakyat and save the island. What makes this jungle scarier are the cassowaries, the deadliest of all birds in all of the video games.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
For a while, it seemed like basing your jungle levels on our very own rainforests and wildlife was a trend among western developers, as they seem to think that basing stuff on South East Asian landscapes were uncharted territory. Jokes aside, chapters 3 and 4 of Among Thieves took place in Borneo, a huge shout-out to our East Malaysian brethren. Finding the lost Fleet of Marco Polo, Nathan Drake and the gang head to Borneo to uncover some clues that Marco Polo himself left on his journeys.
Just Cause 2
Jungle levels based on Malaysia don’t just stop at Far Cry and the Uncharted series. The entire country of Panau in Just Cause 2 is based on South East Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. And naturally, they contain plenty of jungles. While the jungles may not be teeming with wildlife that is out to get you, you will encounter a despot’s corrupted regime and numerous factions trying to take him out. A noteworthy faction is the Ular Boys, pronounced in-game as the “You-lar bois”, you can either fight them or join them, all while they awkwardly misplace “lah” at the end of their sentences.
Deep Jungle is typically the second world you visit after leaving Traverse Town and Wonderland in the first Kingdom Hearts. It’s based on Tarzan’s jungle and hasn’t been revisited in any other game due to the ownership of the Tarzan license. This jungle features vines to grind on, deadly Heartless, and the first unique Keyblade you can acquire in the game, definitely helpful in a later fight in the next world against the Cerberus from Hercules.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid 3 is a landmark game, a game that finally shows off Big Boss’ origin. Taking place in a lush jungle laying south of the Soviet Union, the Virgin Cliffs or Tselinoyarsk, is where Naked Snake must endure and survive as he takes on The Sorrow, The Pain, The End, and all matter of evil nouns out to get him. This jungle is the most guerilla of them all, especially compared to the more tamer entries on this list. Players must keep an eye on Naked Snake’s health and hunger, eating all that nature has to offer him, including frogs, bugs, and snakes (hence the title of the game).
The first Crash Bandicoot game was made up of three different islands and the first one is sure to be the most memorable for people who grew up with the original. N.Sanity Island was filled to the brim with jungle levels. These players will learn all the tricks they need to survive Crash Bandicoot, and learn the fundamentals of breaking crates and spinning around. This section of the game also ends with a boss fight with the local village elder, Papu Papu, the first out of many bosses Crash has to defeat throughout his lifetime.
Though not technically a level as it’s just the space between lanes in Dota, the term “jungling” is ubiquitous in Dota and is a valuable team effort in nabbing neutral Creeps for extra gold and experience. Dota’s jungles are also where players can prowl on the opposing team, catching them off-guard, and also as a place to hide away when the going gets tough. Truly, this encompasses what it really feels to be a prey or predator in nature’s jungles in real life.