Donkey Kong Country Returns

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JaySevenZero
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Donkey Kong Country Returns

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your memories and opinions of Donkey Kong Country Returns for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

Friendly reminder to all that where feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but self-editing (brevity) is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mainly reading. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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Jobobonobo
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Re: 399: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Post by Jobobonobo »

After a strange console generation of music based spinoffs, it was wonderful to see Donkey Kong back in the style that made him relevant after the arcade. 2010 was a incredible year to be a Wii owner and platformer fan with this, Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Super Mario Galaxy 2 out in the same year. Speaking of Kirby, I feel that the release of both games at the same time frame was more significant than people might initially think. While Kirby was fun but laughably easy, Returns is a glorious return to form in how it embraces the difficulty that the SNES games were known for. It is the ying to Kirby’s yang. I remember watching a friend of mine play through one of the rocket barrel levels whilst being chased by a giant bat and naturally died over and over. We swapped the controllers back and forth, progressively getting a little further. Then in one go, it was my friend’s turn and she was deftly avoiding all the obstacles and attacks from the bat. I was in absolute awe watching this, not saying a word in case I break her concentration and then she reached the end of the level. It was at this point we both screamed in utter joy that that horrible bat was finally overcome. Even though, I was not playing I still weirdly felt just as accomplished even witnessing this event.

It is moments like this that make DKCR one of the standouts of the Wii. It does a great job of giving old school challenge along with more modern design sensibilities such as autosaving that it is one of the toughest platformers on the system but without the drawbacks like constantly redoing sections that you would get in older titles. Collecting items was fun again with the KONG letters and the jigsaw pieces being hidden away in bonus rooms. Bosses were complex multi stage affairs which were a step up from previous titles. The levels were tightly designed and built for blasting through them as fast as possible. Rambi was sadly, the only animal buddy playable in this game but he still got more screen time than any of the animal buddies got in DK64. My only real complaints are that the waggle controls felt a bit unnecessary and that the Tikis were nowhere near as memorable antagonists as the Kremlings. However, I bought the 3DS port so thankfully waggle controls were no longer a problem. Waggle or not, I would happily recommend either version for anyone who wants to have skilled SNES era platforming in a lovely modern coat of paint.

Three word review: Kong is back

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oni-link
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Re: 399: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Post by oni-link »

I picked this up during the barren Wii days. Don't get me wrong, the Wii was a great system, but it didn't have too much that appealed to me, so I picked DKCR up almost out of obligation. Here was a well reviewed single player game on Wii, so I had to give it a go

I didn't enjoy the SNES games that much, as I found them pretty difficult and in places, unfair, but DKCR blew me away with how much I enjoyed it

The game will still incredibly difficult, though if you die over and over the game will give you a pass. I didn't like this at first, but I did end up skipping 2 or 3 levels, and this at least allowed me to get to the end of the game

The motion control implementation was awkward and forced and like with most Wii games, didn't add much to the experience, but it also didn't detract from it either

The real star is the gameplay. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it's a really well designed and paced 2D platformer. It would in time be overshadowed by it's superior squeal, but DKCR is a fantastic game in it's own right and shouldn't be missed by fans of the genre

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Alex79uk
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Re: 399: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Post by Alex79uk »

I got this for Wii having been a big fan of the original 'Country' trilogy on SNES. Unfortunately, enforced waggle controls and lack of support for either the classic controller or Gamecube pad put me right off and I never played it for more than an hour or so. Another case of the Wii ruining potentially great games with its stupid control scheme. I know I'm the one losing out here, but I'm still annoyed about it, genuinely.

THREE WORD REVIEW: Waggle on this!

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Jobobonobo
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Re: 399: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Post by Jobobonobo »

Alex79uk wrote: October 25th, 2019, 6:08 pm I got this for Switch
Wasn't itthe sequel Tropical Freeze that got a Switch release? Returns was only on the Wii and 3DS I believe.

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Re: 399: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Post by Alex79uk »

Haha typo! I got it for Wii!

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seansthomas
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Re: 399: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Post by seansthomas »

I loved my Wii. Whilst many friends ridiculed me for waggling those Wiimotes around whilst they slaughtered unknown enemies and chatted en masse via headsets, I cared not one jot. "Motion controls are plain unnecessary" they said. "You look stupid" they laughed.

I begged to differ.

Goldeneye. Red Steel 2. Wii Sports Resort. No More Heroes. Zack and Wiki. Call of Duty Modern Warfare. Metroid Prime Corruption. Super Mario Galaxy. Resident Evil 4.

All games made far, far better for their inclusion. And I think we lost something giving up on them so prematurely, given how glorious Pikmin 3 and Nintendoland were on Wii U.

HOWEVER they can totally get to f*?! in this game. Who's bright idea was it to make one of the most integral and accurate moves needed in a rock hard platformer ONLY executable by waggling the Wiimote?!

I battled with their inclusion here for days. Possibly weeks. But ultimately, in a very rare instance given my stubborn determination to usually end what I start, I gave up and walked away from DKCR.

I loved Tropical Freeze so I know now it wasn't the gameplay, graphics or inertia that dissuaded me so. Nope, this was a rare time where my mates were right.

Nintendo. What were you thinking...

(Hope others enjoyed it and got past this!)

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Pocketpocket
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Re: 399: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Post by Pocketpocket »

I'm personally not a fan of Returns at all, and while the waggle complaints have all been done to death and I do agree with them, I feel like the complaints have been done to death and now that we have the 3DS port I'll just move onto what killed the game for me personally, even though it is a very personal and biased issue that won't effect most other people's experience with the game.

I absolutely love Rareware's run with the Donkey Kong franchise, yet controversially I'll admit that Donkey Kong Country 3 is one of my favourites, either tied with or possibly even topping DKC2. My least favourite of the Rareware Donkey Kong games is actually DKC1, I actually even like the infamous DK64 significantly more, and that mostly comes down to what I get out of platformers the most.

Exploration is usually my main drive in platformers. Since most of the challenge from platformers is not derived from enemies and combats but instead navigating the levels themselves, I find it particularly enjoyable to explore and find all the extra hidden challenges throughout the stages, fully conquer the levels. This is why I like DKC2 and 3 more than 1. DKC1's bonus stages are near impossible to find without a guide and there's no major reward for it other than 101%. DKC2 & 3 meanwhile have secret levels, constant unique bonus rooms with varied challenges, a secret final boss and even more to find when talking about DKC3 thanks to the more elaborate hub world. Exploring and getting all the collectables is enjoyable in itself because the bonus rooms are fun to find and fun to play, all possible to find without a guide even if you need to check in with Cranky for some extra hints. It's the best kind of collection sidequest I feel in that it's the journey of getting each bonus coin, finding the secret and completing the challenge it presents that makes it fun, rather than just the mindless collecting.

This is where DKCR falls flat for me. I feel no drive to collect the puzzle pieces as all I unlock for finding them is underwhelming concept art. As well as that, the act of collecting them isn't fun either since there's only a handful of bonus rooms that all repeat as opposed to every single room being uniquely designed in DKC2 & 3. If you want 100% completion and to unlock the secret levels all you need to do is get the KONG letters, but they're the least fulfilling to collect of them all since they're almost always directly in plain sight along your main path. Returns feels best approached as a very straightforward linear platformer, ignoring everything but KONG letters and treating the stages as a linear sequence of challenges one after the other. Yet the constant presence of puzzle pieces and bonus rooms hidden throughout all the levels just leaves me cold and longing for more like I got from Country 2 & 3 with their excellent balance of challenging straightforward platforming as well as rewarding exploration and secret finding. It's an aspect I'm sure many can easily overlook and simply enjoy Returns' otherwise solid main campaign, yet for me personally I felt disappointed by both Returns and even Tropical Freeze, unfortunately.

Three word review: Repetitive bonus rooms

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Mr Ixolite
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Re: 399: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Post by Mr Ixolite »

Donkey Kong Country Returns challenged me, in more ways than one. 2D platformers are my videogaming bread and butter, and based on its great reputation I bought DKCR to play on my 3DS in the spare hours of my impending paternity leave. Despite the games reputation I opted for Original Mode, because how bad could it be? I’d played megaman games before!
This turned out to be a grave error, as what should’ve helped me unwind often did the exact opposite. My pride compelled me to collect every collectible and forbade me from using the life-extending items from Crankys shop, instead opting to buy untold numbers of 1up balloons. The result was me neededing most of my infant-naptime breaks to make meaningful headway in the game. I came to rely on Diddy and his jump-adjusting jetpack, and spent an inordinate amount of time going in and out of levels to pick up DK barrels as I bashed my head against the grueling secret temples. Eventually I abandoned my attempts to 100% the game, something that’d be unthinkable to my younger self. I made a beeline for the final boss, which naturally locks you out of using Diddy if you die once. After finally beating him, I put the game down with a sour taste in my mouth.

However, seeing DKCR on the Cane and Rinse schedule inspired me to pick it up again, only this time – more aware of the time-constraints associated with newfound fatherhood – I opted for the New Mode. Where my pride once scoffed at the thought of using such “crutches”, the extra hit point and purchasable DK barrels made all the difference. I still winced and cursed horribly throughout the accursed rocket barrel levels, but these were now framed by a far more forgiving game where I could appreciate the extremely varied and imaginative level designs. I wish the environments and enemies had a bit more pizzazz -Living drums hardly make for interesting foes- but the platforming craftmanship of the game is undeniable. I never bothered with the puzzle pieces throughout this run, yet did make it through the secret world out of a simple desire for more stages. Thus emboldened I tried the time trial mode, promptly declared “NOPE!”, and never touched it again.

In the end, by picking and choosing which of the games options and content to engage with, it was finally the fun 2D platformer I wanted it to be. DKC Returns taught me to not let my pride dictate an unenjoyable gameplay experience.

3 word review (s)

New Mode: I’m having fun!
Original Mode: I’m having ffffffffFFFFFFUUU

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