Donkey Kong Country Returns Review
Once again it is time to play as DK (Donkey Kong) as his horde of Bananas has yet again been stolen right under his nose. This time its a hypnotizing mask that gets all the animals on the island to do its dirty work. You get to choose slight variations in your path to defeat bosses that will try to stop you from ascending the Volcano for the final showdown.
Graphically this looks like Donkey Kong Country with updated graphics. There's also the wider range of level types that you'll be taking on as well, which all look great. I think by sticking with the 3D in the 2D side scrolling world, this game could not be any better.
The music, as you would expect, has that Donkey Kong Country flavor, and by sticking to its roots captures the gamers of yesteryear and won't let them go, but also the music still fits with this generation of console.
The controls have a bit more to them. You can run and jump as usual, but this time around you can also do a little extra to try to take out some of the enemies that stand in your path, or reveal secret areas. If there is a second player they will notice that Diddy Kong has a couple new moves as well to help out.
Going off of basically the same plot every time would seem like it would doom the game, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did it really not matter, but it allowed me to compartmentalize that portion of the game and get into the rest of the game. Let me tell you, the rest of the game did not disappoint either. There's plenty of climbing, rolling, jumping, riding in carts, etc to keep you occupied and trapped on that island. The boss battles can be difficult, but once you've found the pattern of the attacks you'll find that truly nothing will stand in your path, as long as you smartly game. You'll find Cranky Kong living in a hut willing to sell you items to give you an extra heart, help find hidden puzzle pieces, give you some extra lives, or even give you a key to unlock a different path that can be taken. My one qualm with Cranky's items for sale, and I'll save you some heartbreak here, is that they are all one time use items. So don't think that by equipping the extra heart item for the next level that you'll ever get to use that exact item again. Once you're done with the level you'll have to buy another one from Cranky to do it again. Personally once I figured that out I never equipped an item for a level. I can see where the Parrot that sniffs out the puzzle pieces would come in handy, if I was trying to get every little thing out of the game, but other than that, there's really no reason to do that.
If you liked any of the Donkey Kong Countries, you're probably going to find yourself liking this one. There's definitely a fair share of throwbacks for people looking for some nostalgia, but at the same time there's some new wrinkles to keep you going through the game. It always good to see a strong title on the Wii, one with some history, and this one doesn't disappoint, this one gets an 8.9 out of 10.