So we’re down to a single day before Cataclysm, we’re all pretty excited I think but that’s not what I want to talk to you about since I figure there will be numerous posts about the topic in the following days. What I want to talk about is a good surprise I’ve had with Donkey Kong country Returns (Dkcr, to make it short).
I picked this game about two weeks ago out of pure nostalgia for the old titles on the Super Nintendo. I was expecting some platforming with a few gimmicks for the newer generation along with an easy difficulty not to discourage anyone. In short, a few hours of nostalgic platforming.
The Kong plays for keeps
So I did find platforming and a few gimmicks and in many ways the game is a return to the old Super Nintendo style. It’s exactly as if they would have taken a game of that era and upgraded the graphics. What I did not expect to find was a platformer that starts out easy enough and ramps up to become one of the hardest platformer I have ever played. Or rather I should say it’s as hard as the games of old on the Nes and Snes. Single checkpoint during a level? Check. Have to cross an entire section without making a single mistake? Check. Cross chasms while jumping on the back of enemies while a giant swarm of ravenous insects follow you? Check also!
Then there’s the Kong temple secret levels where they ramp up the whole thing to a ridiculous level. Imagine a whole level where there’s no checkpoint, where the ground disappears as soon as you touch it, where a single mistake will send you plummeting to your death. You have to be perfect from start to finish.
I was playing this and I was thinking of all the parents who bought this game to their kids thinking Nintendo and Donkey Kong were safe bets of mindless fun but what their kid will get will be an exercise in patience and perseverance. Not that that wouldn’t be a bad thing in itself tough.
Personally, I love the difficulty but I can see how it may be a game breaker for some. There is an option given to you when you die enough to become super strong and blow through the level if you’re really stuck and don’t feel bad about cheating.
Music, graphics and the rest
Dkcr is a very pretty game in pretty much the same way other Nintendo games are. It’s cheerful and colorful, there’s the classic Donkey Kong music almost everywhere and if you wanted to be picky about the game you could blame it from not being original enough. Then again, some of the levels have some of the most impressive designs I have seen for a platformer so…
I’m going to make this short by repeating that this is a Nintendo brand game with all the bells and whistles associated with it. If you like the style you will like this game and if you hate it then you will probably hate this game too.
The monkey liked:
-It’s a real platformer game! Something that is becoming increasingly rare
-Music and graphics.
-The cheerful atmosphere
The monkey disliked
-The Wii gimmicks. While there’s very few of them, I still don’t like having to shake the controller to make a roll.
The monkey thinks it’s up to you to decide
-The difficulty. It can get pretty hard. Myself I like it but it’s up to everyone to decide what they’re comfortable with.