Leave No Game Untouched’s Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii) Review
Donkey Kong Country has returned in an all new game for the Wii. Fans of the DK series get ready to relive your child hoods, Diddy and Donkey are back. 2010 marked the end of a great year and the start of something awesome in the form of Donkey Kong Country Returns; people have been rushing in stores to buy this game, most of which were teeny tiny children that probably didn’t even know DK existed until this game came out. This is because since Rare Ware sold to Microsoft, Nintendo had been producing tiresome spin offs such as Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat and Donkey Kong Barrel Blast Wii. Up until now there hasn’t been an awesome DK game that has been made by Nintendo. But now, DK is back and better than ever.
Donkey Kong Country Returns keeps the original 2D Plat forming style from the Donkey Kong Country SNES titles as well as a few new gaming elements. DKCR introduces interaction with the background which really does give the game more of a 2.5D feel. Donkey and Diddy can pound and even blow to find hidden items, bonuses and clear the way to proceed in finishing the level. Donkey can now climb and vine swing better than ever, adding more jungly fun and reminding you that Donkey and Diddy ARE apes and monkeys. Mine carts and barrel cannons are also back (who ever thought monkeys and barrels could work on so many levels) as well as a new rocket barrel in which the player must tap the 2/A button a certain amount of times in order to avoid obstacles and collisions. Original Donkey Kong players may need to get used the background interaction; I myself did get puzzled when I died after accidentally hit the roof of the cave while in a mine cart level and diedJ. I was also puzzled when instead of diddy taking over when a certain amount of hits are taken (like the SNES titles) instead diddy dies and Donkey continues. This is another new game play element in the series, when playing in 2 player mode one player can play as either Donkey and diddy, Donkey can pound and blow to find secrets while Diddy can float in mid air with his jetpack and use his peanut popgun to defeat enemies, when it gets too hard for Diddy, he can jump on Donkey’s back (who is the better player) and let them take over for a bit, while Diddy can still use his gun and jetpack, when one of the two players die, they can be revived by the other player freeing them from their floating barrels (Similar to New Super Mario Bros Wii.) In player 1 mode it is pretty much the same apart from Diddy being on Donkey’s back the whole time and he cannot use his popgun, but of course you can still float with the jetpack.
As well as old school game play, the controls has pretty much remained the same, the player can choose between using the Wii remote connected to the nun-chuck or hold the wii remote sideways to play the game more like the other SNES titles, but apart from the shaking, the controls have remained constant and simple and that wasn’t really ever a problem while playing the game. The graphics are very good and suit this game very well; things have slightly changed since the games predecessors but are still nonetheless very good. There are a few things that did disappoint me in this game, the kremlings from the old games did not appear in this wii title, instead they are replaced by haunted musical tiki masks that of course steal DK’s bananas. The tiki’s take control of various monsters and animals in the DK Island and turn them against him. But I don’t think that they can replace the Kremlings but still the enemies in the game are not that, bad but not that original either. Though some people didn’t like the other Kong family members from the other games I kind of missed them in this game, but they weren’t really necessary for this game either. You can find Cranky Kong in this game, selling out old junk from his shack (while he tells you how much better he could do in the game than you) that you can buy with banana coins that can help you in your quest. Another weird character in this game is the tutorial pig that is found in various checkpoints throughout the levels, so you don’t have to start them all over again, and also gives you some advice too. Squawk the Parrot and Rambi the Rhino are also in this game, as always you can ride Rambi to crush rocks, enemies and reveal secrets. You can rent out Squawk from Cranky’s Shack so he can help you find secrets.
The soundtrack was almost left untouched from the original games, but there were still new background songs that really did suit the whole fast paced Donkey Kong theme, some of the songs are a bit depressing, to me at least. Under water levels don’t appear in game either which is for the best I think, it would have slowed down this extremely fast paced game and seem out of place. The level design in this game was extremely good, for me I just loved embracing every bit of every level, even if I did hate it. It gives you a lot of fun just exploring the levels and trying to find all the secrets, I ended up laughing like a mad man after a level because it was just great fun playing through it. The bosses in this game were great fun too; I liked how it wasn’t just 3 hits any more like in the original games but like the tiki’s, they weren’t as original as the old school DK bosses. There was one thing though, that absolutely ticked me off during this game……..IT IS SO HARD!!!!!!! You may think that with all the tips from the pig, and extra health count and the items from Cranky, that Nintendo is spoon feeding gamers now, WELL YOU ARE WRONG, you may need every chance you can get raising enough coins to buy items just so you can get through some levels. As well as the levels you will eventually be tempted to find all the KONG letters and the Puzzle pieces in every single level which unlock more things in the gallery but then it just also unlocks even harder levels and then after that, even harder levels and so on. I thought that the level of difficulty just brought it down for me, and I’m sure it brought it down for many other players too. The target audience of this game is people of all ages but especially younger gamers, I don’t think gamers 6-9 years old will be able to pass the game at all; 10-14 will struggle, A LOT and 15-infinity will get really mad sometimes. But depending how hard core gamer you are you may pass the game on some degree.
Overall everything Donkey Kong Country Returns has to offer is just excellent, its loads of fun playing this game, whether you’re by yourself or with a friend. The Game play is the main thing about the game I think, and the way they handled it was great, I loved the fast pace of the game and it really gives you a lot of fun. This game is almost perfect, apart from the difficulty and enemies that really did bring down the mark for this one. It’s a great game, and I can’t wait for the next instalment.
OVERALL SCORE: 8/10 Unnamed units
Written By JakovZord (8/1/11)