Review: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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Review: Donkey Kong Country Returns

It's Donkey Kong Country all over again, which is just how we like it.

Read Full Article
 

Scarim Coral

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I've been glad it been getting good reviews since I had preorder it. I can't wait to get it next Friday! Wait when does a crab eat a banana?
 

seekeroftruth86

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Scarim Coral said:
I've been glad it been getting good reviews since I had preorder it. I can't wait to get it next Friday! Wait when does a crab eat a banana?
When it's a PIRATE CRAB!

This is incredible. My nostalgia filter already paints this series as awesome and now actually seeing the excellent visuals and gameplay, I'm sold all the more.

And Susan? Squirrels live EVERYWHERE. Seriously, they're like adorable rats with big bushy tails and little twitchy noses. Pretty sure they don't eat bananas though...
 

teh_Canape

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I may look like a douche or something here...

but in my opinion, there can't be Donkey Kong Country without Vectorman

*vectorman remake, sega? lay sonic off and bring up the green balls guy?"
 

Moriarty70

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Dec 24, 2008
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All I care about is that the childhood joke is intact. We aways loved the fact that no matter how large and brutal the object/creature was that killed Diddy the only sound he made was a small high-pitched "ow".
 

SnipErlite

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Bet it isn't as good as the Gameboy colour one :) That was a bastard hard game, but damn fun.


Although it's good to see this is potentially on par with it. (Y)
 

Mr. Fister

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Ugh, I don't have the money to buy this, so my next best choice is to wait for relatives to give it to me on Christmas day. The endless positive reviews for it is certainly not helping.

I wanna play this now, dangit.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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Not G. Ivingname said:
Susan Arendt said:
The game has pirate crabs and you noticed the squirrels?
Pirate crabs with an over-the-top death scene, no less. And you know...it probably says something about me that a crab with a hook and a hat didn't bother me at all, but a squirrel in the jungle did.
 

SaturdayS

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I'm a shitty gamer and hate difficult games, but I needs to support this one. However I am a little disappointed (in the most redundant of ways) that they didn't keep the insane character texture details of the original DKC. DK used to look like a hairy (odd looking) ape now he looks like every other wii/3d animated movie character, like plasticine.

teh_Canape said:
*vectorman remake, sega? lay sonic off and bring up the green balls guy?"
Yes, yes, and yes please!
 

coldfrog

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Dec 22, 2008
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Susan Arendt said:
Review: Donkey Kong Country Returns

It's Donkey Kong Country all over again, which is just how we like it.

Read Full Article
Having recently played the original Donkey Kong games again, I noticed a key item missing from your review - Does the game include the ability to save the game at any point? (between levels at least) I love love love these platform games, but that might mean the difference between buying it new and waiting for an after Christmas sale.
 

Capt. Crankypants

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THAT is your one question Susan? What about "How does he expect those bananas to keep for any period of time with THAT MANY in such a small space?". Bananas really aren't the most intelligent thing to try and horde for any length of time.
 
Jul 13, 2010
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Giraffes don't live in the jungle, nor do African elephants, which would be the only elephant you would find around a giraffe.

Anyways, might dust the Wii of to have a look at this.
 

Susan Arendt

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coldfrog said:
Susan Arendt said:
Review: Donkey Kong Country Returns

It's Donkey Kong Country all over again, which is just how we like it.

Read Full Article
Having recently played the original Donkey Kong games again, I noticed a key item missing from your review - Does the game include the ability to save the game at any point? (between levels at least) I love love love these platform games, but that might mean the difference between buying it new and waiting for an after Christmas sale.
Ah, fair question! It saves automatically when you finish the level. You can't save it yourself, but so long as you get to the end of a level, you're good. Also, Cranky will front you 4 balloons if you use up all your lives, then quit.

uro vii said:
Giraffes don't live in the jungle, nor do African elephants, which would be the only elephant you would find around a giraffe.
True, but they're more appropriate than a friggin' squirrel.
 

KDR_11k

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SaturdayS said:
I'm a shitty gamer and hate difficult games, but I needs to support this one. However I am a little disappointed (in the most redundant of ways) that they didn't keep the insane character texture details of the original DKC. DK used to look like a hairy (odd looking) ape now he looks like every other wii/3d animated movie character, like plasticine.
What? He always looked like plasticine in DKC to me, along with everything else in that game. I hated the look on the SNES.
 

coldfrog

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Dec 22, 2008
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Susan Arendt said:
Ah, fair question! It saves automatically when you finish the level. You can't save it yourself, but so long as you get to the end of a level, you're good. Also, Cranky will front you 4 balloons if you use up all your lives, then quit.
Wahoo! The gods of gaming smile upon me today! You just cost me 50 bucks! Thanks!
 

Electrogecko

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SnipErlite said:
Bet it isn't as good as the Gameboy colour one :) That was a bastard hard game, but damn fun.


Although it's good to see this is potentially on par with it. (Y)
Wasn't the GBC version a low quality remake of the SNES version?
As much as I loved all 3 original games, (and I really love them....100% in all 3....#2 has my favorite soundtrack of all time) this one is better....really. It hurts to say it but I'm pretty sure it's true.

This review didn't mention the time trials that open up whenever you beat a level. These are the most challenging parts of the game. Gold medals are ridiculously difficult....you basically need a perfect speedrun to get it....just the way I like it. I can't even get all the golds in the first world, so thinking about how difficult it's gonna be in the end...but I'm up for the challenge...I love the challenge.

The KONG letters must all be found in one run-through to get credit, while the puzzle pieces stack. Getting all the KONG letters in a world opens up a new, extremely challenging level, and the puzzle pieces unlock extras like artwork and music. Combined, each level has about a dozen collectibles to find, and the puzzle pieces especially are very well hidden and often have you risking your ass to get to them. As a perfectionist, I can see this game lasting months at a brisk pace.

The level design really is fantastic. The environment is much more present than in previous games. You constantly find rocks and structures crumbling around you, lava levels rising, tidal waves pounding the shore, cannons being shot at you from the distance, etc. There's always something going on in the backround that deserves to be noticed, like a well placed reference or a physics based explanation for why a set of platforms is behaving in the way it is. Sometimes studying the screen carefully will give you a subtle clue that will help you find something of interest. Some of the fastest paced and most exciting levels I've ever experienced are in this game, and I found that my heart was pounding by the end of them and all the way through. It's one of those experiences you want to write all your friends about.

The only gripe I can see people having with this game (unless they can't handle the difficulty) is the lack of classic controller support. If you want to roll, you're gonna have to shake your controller, which means that clearing difficult gaps and doing time trials will require a lot of precision wiimote flicking. I was also worried about this fact, but after playing, I found that the conrols are responsive, unobtrusive, and intuitive. When I think about how the game would play with 4 face buttons, for some reason, I don't think it would be quite as fun. There's something oddly satisfying about the controls, and I'm not sure if I would use the classic controller even if I had the option.....I'm sure Yahtzee will mercilessly beat this point if he ever reviews the game.
 

coldfrog

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Dec 22, 2008
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uro vii said:
Susan Arendt said:
True, but they're more appropriate than a friggin' squirrel.
well actually.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_Palm_Squirrel

- Squirrel'd! -
So actually that is the most appropriate animal in the game. Thhhaaaaaat's amusing!
 

Jacob.pederson

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Shaking to pound the ground, break rocks, or go into a roll feels completely natural and fluid and doesn't get in the way of the platforming.

Um, no, not one bit. Shaking would have been ok for JUST rolling or JUST ground pounding, but to use it for both is plain bad design. I've lost count of how many balloons I've lost by rolling neatly into pits next to thing I wanted to be ground pounding. Additionally, rolling does not function as it did in the original game. In the original, you could roll through infinity enemies, killing them all. In the new game, you roll through the first two, then die on the third? How does that make sense?

Other nit-picks: Diddy is overpowered. Seriously, he gets a jetpack AND a gun? What does Donkey get? Nothing. To compound this issue, single player doesn't feature the awesome high-fiving character switch mechanic from the orginal game. That's right, you can't play as Diddy at all without a partner. Boo.

I do agree that overall this is an excellent game btw. I just feel like some of the control and character design decisions are nonsensical at best.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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uro vii said:
Susan Arendt said:
True, but they're more appropriate than a friggin' squirrel.
well actually.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_Palm_Squirrel

Well, cover me in bananas and call me a monkey. I guess the squirrels really do belong there! I have been boggled. BOGGLED!

:D
 

team star pug

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The game looks good, but god escapist please replace the reviewer, as her voice drives me nuts and the way she says puns or asks retoricle questions is really annoying.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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team star pug said:
The game looks good, but god escapist please replace the reviewer, as her voice drives me nuts and the way she says puns or asks retoricle questions is really annoying.
Yeah, not terribly likely, I'm afraid. Don't watch the video, then, just read.
 

Generic_Dave

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Jul 15, 2009
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@ Susan, they have Squirrels in the jungles in Malaysia...I never knew until I went. I suppose documentaries and tv shows focus on the exotic and unknown, and forgo the more mundane creatures we are familiar with....
 

Electrogecko

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Jacob.pederson said:
Shaking to pound the ground, break rocks, or go into a roll feels completely natural and fluid and doesn't get in the way of the platforming.

Um, no, not one bit. Shaking would have been ok for JUST rolling or JUST ground pounding, but to use it for both is plain bad design. I've lost count of how many balloons I've lost by rolling neatly into pits next to thing I wanted to be ground pounding. Additionally, rolling does not function as it did in the original game. In the original, you could roll through infinity enemies, killing them all. In the new game, you roll through the first two, then die on the third? How does that make sense?

Other nit-picks: Diddy is overpowered. Seriously, he gets a jetpack AND a gun? What does Donkey get? Nothing. To compound this issue, single player doesn't feature the awesome high-fiving character switch mechanic from the orginal game. That's right, you can't play as Diddy at all without a partner. Boo.

I do agree that overall this is an excellent game btw. I just feel like some of the control and character design decisions are nonsensical at best.
That's never happened to me. Maybe my analog stick is in good condition? I'm sure playing with the wii remote sideways solves that issue, but I can see how that would happen. The problem that I've had a couple of times is when you want to transition from one motion controlled action to another, you have to stop shaking the remote, wait for DK to go idle, then do the other action.

Also, if you have Diddy, you can do the infinite roll thing (and not just through enemies) and not being able to do it without him is not really something to complain about. The difficulty that adds is more than countered by the double health, and there's a bigger emphasis on jump combo-ing

It is kinda stupid that Diddy gets two utilities and Donkey gets none. Maybe they assumed that P2 would be the worse player.
 

Jacob.pederson

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Electrogecko said:
That's never happened to me. Maybe my analog stick is in good condition? I'm sure playing with the wii remote sideways solves that issue, but I can see how that would happen. The problem that I've had a couple of times is when you want to transition from one motion controlled action to another, you have to stop shaking the remote, wait for DK to go idle, then do the other action.

Also, if you have Diddy, you can do the infinite roll thing (and not just through enemies) and not being able to do it without him is not really something to complain about. The difficulty that adds is more than countered by the double health, and there's a bigger emphasis on jump combo-ing

It is kinda stupid that Diddy gets two utilities and Donkey gets none. Maybe they assumed that P2 would be the worse player.
I am using the Wiimote sideways, maybe I should give the analog stick a try. They were right that p2 would be the worse player I think. My nine-year-old is playing Diddy for me currently, and I'm constantly going, "dang your OP," when he shoots someone across the screen. I really have to show some skill in coop mode, cause without Diddy riding my back, the roll/jump become my only option to get across certain gaps.

I like the jump combo-ing where coins start to pop out after the 3rd hit. That is a nice touch.
 

Jacob.pederson

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Tim Latshaw said:
It feels like challenging platformers are coming back into vogue. I'm liking this trend.
I'm still waiting for my HD Castlevania or Metriod title back into 2d, although the DS Castlevania's where AWESOME and all.
 

PunkRex

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The game looks really nice (im all about the visuals) but didnt evil, mind controling Tikis have a key role in another jungle based, platforming game concerning a certain Bandicoot, not that I really care as I never really played either, being slightly younger then most DK and Crash fans.

Still I have room in my heart for Bioshock and Fallout so slight similarities are not really a problem for me, especially if there the good ones. I played the Crash game that was on the Xbox 360 (the one with the mutants) and had loads of fun (again the visuals were really nice) so may give this a try.
 

SnipErlite

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Electrogecko said:
SnipErlite said:
Bet it isn't as good as the Gameboy colour one :) That was a bastard hard game, but damn fun.


Although it's good to see this is potentially on par with it. (Y)
Wasn't the GBC version a low quality remake of the SNES version? [big snip]
*shrug* I don't know, quite probably. Nonetheless it was an awesome game and I very much enjoyed it :p
 

Swifteye

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teh_Canape said:
I may look like a douche or something here...

but in my opinion, there can't be Donkey Kong Country without Vectorman

*vectorman remake, sega? lay sonic off and bring up the green balls guy?"
I remember reading a long time ago that they planned on making a vectorman game but it was turned down when there was some legal trouble with the character design. Turns out vectorman resembled another very green looking hero and canned it's release for the ps2.
 

Bon_Clay

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The games great overall, very fun. The only problem is the motion control aspect gets annoying somewhat, I wish you could choose to switch ground pound and stuff to a button instead. Also it is true Diddy seems to have a lot more extra features than DK, but I felt he was better in the original anyway.
 

Mr.Pandah

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Jul 20, 2008
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Lucky you, you actually got to review it =)

I'm glad to see that from the floor of Comic-Con, to the actual retail shelves that the game is everything that was promised in those levels. I can't wait to get my hands on it now.
 

teh_Canape

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Swifteye said:
I remember reading a long time ago that they planned on making a vectorman game but it was turned down when there was some legal trouble with the character design. Turns out vectorman resembled another very green looking hero and canned it's release for the ps2.
http://www.unseen64.net/wp-content/gallery/vectorman/Vectorman_E3_Screen13.jpg

this is master chief with a light saber
 

Ruwrak

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I've actually been waiting and complaining about a new donky kong country game. Though I wonder why is it on the wii and not (for example) on the DS?

Then again I was more whining about a remake of the old series from the SNES for the DS. Since those three (especially 1 and 2) are so entertaining.

Alas. I guess I'll just have to pop them in my old Snes when I'm home instead on the go.
 

thenumberthirteen

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Dec 19, 2007
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Susan doesn't watch "Until We Win" by any chance does she? The line "You're going to die... a lot" sounds familiar.

OT: This does look like fun, and the list of Wii games I'm interested in grows by 1. My dad has a Wii, but he never uses it. If I steal it he may not notice.
 

Communist partisan

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I don't have a Wii and I have a fully working SNES and DKC for it so not getting this but I'm still happy that the game seems awesome.
 

Susan Arendt

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Susan Arendt said:
team star pug said:
The game looks good, but god escapist please replace the reviewer, as her voice drives me nuts and the way she says puns or asks retoricle questions is really annoying.
Yeah, not terribly likely, I'm afraid. Don't watch the video, then, just read.
I always found your voice oddly calming.

What? That's weird?
 

FightThePower

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Dec 17, 2008
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Played this a few months ago at the Eurogamer Expo, had a blast with it. There's absolutely no way in hell this was going to be any less than amazing.

Because it was developed by Retro Studios (might want to edit that in the description btw) a.k.a the developers of the Metroid Prime series. I don't know how much their level design and art teams get paid, but whatever it is, it isn't enough.
 

AzrealMaximillion

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teh_Canape said:
I may look like a douche or something here...

but in my opinion, there can't be Donkey Kong Country without Vectorman

*vectorman remake, sega? lay sonic off and bring up the green balls guy?"
THIS GUY!! THIS GUY RIGHT HERE^^^^^

SOMEONE HIRE HIM PLEASE!!!

Also remake Beyond Oasis
 

BrainWalker

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team star pug said:
The game looks good, but god escapist please replace the reviewer, as her voice drives me nuts and the way she says puns or asks retoricle questions is really annoying.
Really? Someone should lose their job because you, personally, have superficial problems with material they produce that is merely supplemental to their traditional written review? That's pretty harsh, man.

Also, 'cause I can't resist: It's "rhetorical."
 

loremazd

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Susan Arendt said:
team star pug said:
The game looks good, but god escapist please replace the reviewer, as her voice drives me nuts and the way she says puns or asks retoricle questions is really annoying.
Yeah, not terribly likely, I'm afraid. Don't watch the video, then, just read.
Sorry Susan, but Russ' hands are tied. One guy on the internet does not approve, and goodness knows the best business model is to ask for unanimous approval from the internet on everything.
 

team star pug

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BrainWalker said:
team star pug said:
The game looks good, but god escapist please replace the reviewer, as her voice drives me nuts and the way she says puns or asks retoricle questions is really annoying.
Really? Someone should lose their job because you, personally, have superficial problems with material they produce that is merely supplemental to their traditional written review? That's pretty harsh, man.

Also, 'cause I can't resist: It's "rhetorical."
Im just saying she has a really annoying voice. If she writes the reviews, okay, but just get another person for the video review.
 

DustyDrB

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Jan 19, 2010
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Grr...my 2D platformer boycott (not because I hate them, but because I want more 3D platformers) is being tested. I could really use a challenging game to make me throw controllers around.
 

BrainWalker

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team star pug said:
I'm just saying she has a really annoying voice. If she writes the reviews, okay, but just get another person for the video review.
That's much more reasonable. I still disagree, but much more respectfully this time.