Customer Review

79 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is it a good return?, November 29, 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Donkey Kong Country Returns (Video Game)
I always make sure I play a game all the way through before a leave a review about it since many games grow on me over time, and some games are very exciting for a week until you realize the replay value is non existent. Many of the reviews for this game and others are given on release day or the next day! Leaving a hasty assessment of the game. It was a difficult journey but I have finally completed the game and can give it a fair and honest review. To get 2 things out of the way before I start the review I want to say that this review is coming from a game developer and very looooong time fan of the Donkey Kong Country series. Needless to say I was extremely excited when I heard the announcement of this title at E3 and it became my most anticipated game of the year. I was also very pleased to hear that the game would be developed by retro studios who are held in very high regard with their Metroid prime series. But has the Return been a good one?

For the most part.....Yes.

The best part of the game for me was retro studios decision to keep the same difficulty found in the original games. THE GAME IS TOUGH! Collecting every puzzle piece and KONG letters for the game is a daunting, but very enjoyable task! Is that not hard enough for you? Try and get a gold medal on every level in Time Attack! Time attack is a spped run mode that will make the most hardcore of players squeeze the controller with frustration. This will keep you coming back for more for a very long time.
It is difficult for me to determine if this game will be too hard and difficult for the younger or casual gamer, But I think its safe to say much fun can still be had here from the younger or casual gamer just trying to play through the levels.

The Graphics and art style for this game is top notch (which is to be expected from retro studios) I would say a step above New Super Mario Bros which this game takes heavy influence from. That being said I dont get the nostalgia of the original donkey kong country games when I play this game. But yet again I wasnt expecting that to happen with this game. Dont get me wrong, the graphics and aesthetic are great but when the original donkey kong country games came out the visuals were revolutionary! Still to this day nothing matches the looks of that game, and I can give this game a free pass on that topic.

The game also gets increasingly fun as you progress through the game, the level design and level interaction are great! It is also good to see a return of mine carts and even Rambi!

Now on to some of the cons of the game.

Co-op is horrible. I never expected it to be any good especially since I heard it would be very similar to New Super Mario Bros. But Kirbys Epic Yarn gave me hope since the co-op in that game works great and is fun and not aggravating. Sadly to say the co-op in this game is nothing but frustrating and pointless. Me and my wife much rather play one player and take turns everytime we die or get to a checkpoint. This is the most critical aspect of the game for me especially since the 2 player mode in the original games worked Perfectly! The ability to switch characters on demand with select allowed you to work with each others abilities. I dont mind nintendo wanting to add these new co-op modes to there games, but they should really add a CLASSIC 2 player mode as well and the player can choose for themselves. Like mentioned earlier, the only game that got this right was Kirbys Epic Yarn.

The decision to give the game motion controls without the choice of opting out of them was also a very poor decision. This has been one of the most heated debates with the game. I dont believe this totally breaks the game like some reviewers think but I also dont think it makes it better. It is MUCH easier to perform a roll with push of the button then a control waggle. Its simply not as responsive. The option to have full classic controller support would have been an easy and welcome inclusion to the game (hint hint for game sequel) And for those who fully support the waggle roll for this game, have you tried completing the time attack levels using the roll? to obtain a gold you must roll almost the entire level leaving you with very sore and awkward gameplay.

My final cons are with the bonus levels and characters. The bonus barrel levels are extremely repetitive. They cycle through the same 4 or five throughout the entire game.
Its also unfortunate that rambi is the only animal friend in the game which you can ride. One of the best things about the originals are the variety of animal friends that can help you on your way. This game only has one. And he doesnt appear very often.
Both of these flaws are obvious time restraints from the developer, if this game wasnt trying to meet a christmas release I believe most of these problems would have been taken care of, and we would have been left with a near perfect game.

Now after all that being said the game is still a FANTASTIC gaming experience. Even though the flaws are many, the pros are great as well. I am very glad for this game purchase and I will be playing it for years to come. I really hope Nintendo is planning on releasing a sequel to this game!
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 18, 2010 9:47:21 AM PST
NLM4501 says:
Thanks for this detailed review. As I am an older person I was very concerned about the difficulty level of this game. On previous DK games when I got "stuck" my son beat/completed those levels for me. Unfortunately I no longer have him at my disposal (he actually had the nerve to grow up, go to college, and leave me to play these games for myself, imagine!). Glad to know when I die too much I can get some help - don't like to give up to soon but hey my days are numbered!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2010 11:15:00 AM PST
DGrady says:
Yes, I forgot to mention the super guide in my review. Once you lose a certain amount of lives on the same level the super guide becomes available. The computer will play through the level for you and you can continue on were it left off at ANY point you want to jump back into the action. This can help with those very difficult parts if nobody is around to help. The only con with using it is your item collection will not count on that level if you used super guide to complete it. I think this is a good condition though. I am always too stubborn to use the guide, but it is a welcome inclusion to the game.
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