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Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)

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Written by  :  Pixelspeech (955)
Written on  :  May 22, 2011
Rating  :  1.8 Stars1.8 Stars1.8 Stars1.8 Stars1.8 Stars

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Summary

Returns is the right word, the game has the same good and same flaws as the original

The Good

Just like the original Donkey Kong Country looked very good for the SNES, this new installment in the franchise looks really good for the Wii. This is not only limited to the graphics, you will often see very good cinematic effects like explosions and chain-reactions and you can also be fired into the background to continue platforming there.

Every world has it's own theme and every stage of every world has it's own obstacles. There was; a rain-forest stage where I had to flee from an army of termites, a sea level where I had to take cover from waves and an industrial stage where platforms and enemies could hide behind smoke just to name a few. There is barely any repetition and I loved it.

There were a lot of secrets and collectibles to be found in each stage. I didn't make too much of an effort to find them all, but I know that a lot of people do. Donkey Kong games have always been known for having lots of stuff to collect. This game might even get you interested in collecting stuff, unlike Donkey Kong 64 which had way too much to collect.

The Bad

Waggling the Wii-remote in order to roll sounds fair enough, but in the later stages you need to do these rolls quite a lot and with a lot of precision. roll-jumping is already very hard to predict, but when I also need to hope the wii-remote will register my shaking at the right moment... Especially in the last few stages it depended mostly on pure dumb luck.

The difficulty is beyond reasonable. My little sister couldn't even make it past the sea-stage and I couldn't make it through quite a lot of stages either and had to let the AI do the stage for me. I didn't even defeat the last boss because defeating him requires you to put RAM-memory in your brains in order to achieve the necessary speed. You got like 1 second to react when he drops his guard and if you miss he will attack you for two minutes again. It doesn't help that ever single thing he does starts with a boring ten second animation.

The stages in which you had to ride the mine-cart were alright, but there was also a rocket-barrel which was just a perfect example of terrible game design. To control this wooden construction from hell you had to repeatedly tap the A-button to maintain altitude. Imagine doing that for entire stages, assuming you will die a few dozen times per stage, I think this is the point my sister stopped playing the game.

The story has nothing to do with Donkey Kong Country or any Donkey Kong game I have ever played. King K. Rool or any of the other familiar enemies are nowhere to be found. The only enemies you will find in this game are possessed animals and tiki-masks. No charm, not fun and it makes no sense. How is this a return of the Donkey Kong Country games if it's story has nothing to do with the already established story.

The Bottom Line

My sister and I got this game for Christmas and most of the time games I receive during the most wonderful time of the year have a special place in my hearth. This game however is just plain terrible and the difficulty curve which shoots into space before you can even get used to the controls is an act of pure cruelty. I wonder how many unfortunate children bought or got this game, thinking it was a fun game for people of all ages, only to find out it is a game for psychotic people who mastered old arcade games.