Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Great Playthrough: Game 74: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Donkey Kong Country Returns
Released on: Nintendo Wii
Played on: Nintendo WiiU
Release Date: 2010

You all know from previous blogs that I'm a big Nintendo fan. I don't need to link to said blogs, you all know that it's true. So I had to be careful and make sure that I reviewed this game with my impartial hat on (and before you ask, it's a bright blue hat with green stars on it). And do you know what I discovered when I played this game?

This game is one of the greatest 2D platformers to have ever been made.

It is seriously that good.

Let me put it another way - it's not a Sonic 2 beater, but it's damn close.

Lots of people assume that every 2D platformer plays approximately the same way, and that's not the case. Mario games are about careful jumping rather than speed, Sonic games are all about speed and fast reflexes. Donkey Kong doesn't feel like either of those. The closest thing I can find to compare it to is the modern Rayman platformers. It's complex, but all feels intuitive.

And it's a huge amount of fun.

I don't think I stated that enough.


The graphics are gorgeous, the music is amazing - I mean, who couldn't love this music here?

The thing that makes it one of the best platformers ever though, is the level design. They are beautiful, well crafted, all of the hidden secrets are challenging but not impossible and every time you think the levels are going to get repetitive, they throw in a curveball to keep it fresh. There are mine cart levels, flying barrel levels, and a really fabulously designed level with waves that crash into the foreground every few moments, meaning that if you aren't hidden behind the rocks then you are washed away.

Couple these innovations with a huge number of bonus levels and endless replayability, and DK Country Returns is so immensely playable.

So there's no reason for all of you not to play this game - it came out on the Wii, a console that practically everyone owns (at least according to the sales figures!) - it's also had a portable remake (DK Country Returns 3D on the 3DS) and a sequel (DK Country Returns: Tropical Freeze on the WiiU), so you can look into those options as well.

But seriously, play it. It's REALLY worth it.

Rating - 9/10
Time Played - 1 hour 35 minutes
Would I play it again? - Of course I would!