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Showing 1-10 of 728 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 928 reviews
on July 15, 2016
Got it for my 10 yr old, she really likes it. I have only played it with her once, and it is a nice combination of being easy to figure out, while still being a challenge. Gameplay is broken up into smaller levels, each with a somewhat different method of play, adding something fresh as the game goes along. So far, from what I have seen, the actions the player needs to take to complete the level are fairly straightforward, the player just needs to figure out the proper timing and moves. My only gripe is that if she plays with her younger sister, the younger one can fall behind and lose a life. I have not figured out a way for her to 'float' and catch up with the older one without losing a life, like they can in Super Mario Bros.
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on March 1, 2017
I feel weird reviewing a game on the Wii days away from the Switch coming out, but dor anyone who has a Wii and hasn't played this game yet (pretty sure it's also on the Wii U virtual console) really should. It will need the Wiimote and nunchuck, even the virtual console version.

If you played the first 3 DKC games on SNES, this is more than just nostalgia. It takes all of that and uses the Wii tech to it's full advantage. Nearly every level provides something new to the series and hardly anything is done twice in the game, which is very impressive. Just about every level has it's own feel and I even forgot how FUN a game could really be. This full-on reinvented the series and I feel bad for missing out in it when it came out.
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on March 23, 2016
True story.

First copy: It came with my Wii. But then someone kicked the my apartment door open and took it (along with my wife's wedding ring). I was super sad but it helped me relate to Donkey Kong when his banana hoard got stolen.

Second copy: I bought it from some dude on Craigslist. But then, like a total idiot, I left it at my friend's house. For a year or two my friend told me he'd find and return it. He never found it. I don't think he really looked that hard.

Third copy: After losing the game twice I debated whether I should to shell over more cash to get a third time. After waiting a year or so I finally broke down and bought it again. So worth it! This game immediately puts me in a good mood. I can't describe how stupid happy this game makes me.

If you like platformers at all, BUY THIS GAME. Here's what I love:
-Incredible gameplay. Every level is platforming genius. This is easily one of the best designed 2D platformer out there. Every level is clever.
-Tons of extras to find. True to form this DK game has SO many secrets tucked away. There's a lot of replay value here folks.
-Beautiful graphics, gorgeous vistas, and set pieces. I really wish Wii was in HD to do this game justice.
-Nostalgia overload. This game brings back so many fun elements of the original DK Country game but with a fresh twist. The entire soundtrack is a beautiful rearrangement of the first game. It takes me back to when I first saw this game at my friend Dylan Young's house in second grade. A lot has changed since then! Dylan has been in and out of jail a few times but he's got a good heart. Really.

BUT BE WARNED. The creators of this game are sadistic. It starts off fine but the difficulty ramps up quickly. You will want to scream. You will want to punch a monkey in the face. I know that you don't wear that little gray wiimote wristband. No one does. But you should wear it for this game. That way you won't break your TV when you throw your remote in a fit of frustration.
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on December 18, 2010
When my wife and I saw previews for this game, we both decided together immediately that we would get it. We both had hyper levels of nostalgia for the classic trilogy of Donkey Kong Country games on the SNES, and when I saw that Retro studios, the geniuses behind the best Metroid games in the franchise (I'm referring to the amazing Metroid Prime Trilogy, for those sadly unacquainted), I knew this sequel/reboot would be of the highest quality.

We were not disappointed.

We had an absolute blast playing together through each level to the end barrel, collecting red ballons, banana coins, and literally hundreds and hundreds of bananas along the way. We jumped around on evil sentient tiki torches, ran away from mountains of ants, and pounded on weird yet ridiculously fun bosses ranging from toad-armadillo-rhino hybrids, to a chicken operating a mech. All the while, we laughed, we fought, we screamed at the television, and we high fived when we actually got through a particularly difficult patch. This is not an easy game by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it is one of the most challenging games I have ever attempted to play in my life. Oh, it starts out easy enough, but by the fourth world, every level will leave you breathless and your adrenal gland aged at least a couple more years. Playing it on co-op, as me and my wife did, makes it even harder as you have to be almost one minded in jumping at the same time in rapid succession across platforms that collapse within one or two seconds of landing on them. We didn't have too much of a problem though, and it was made all the funner for it. Who would have thought Donkey Kong would be awesome for husband-wife bonding? Plus, if a sequence is too difficult OR requires you to be too precise for two players to get through, the second player as Diddy can jump on DK's back and let player one get through that rough area. It's a brilliant, yet simple, design choice on Retro's part. This game has a ton of replay value as well, as you can't see everything this game has to offer without all the KONG letters and puzzle pieces. Heck, we were even playing optional levels, just to experience the greatness that is DKCR in every way we could.

Obviously, I am smitten with DKCR's gameplay, its strongest suit, but is there anything else that is great about it? The answer is a resounding YES! The graphics are fantastic by any system's standards. The backgrounds are full of depth and amazing originality. Because of this advancement in graphical technology, Retro could do things unheard of in the day's of DKC 1-3. For instance, some of the barrel shooting sequence send you in full 3-D trajectories and may land you way off in one of the background courses, only to send you crashing through giant stone totem poles to get you back to the main ground. Some levels also feature foregrounds being only black silhouettes with the only color being DK's tie and Diddy's hat and shirt. These levels were very, very unique and visually stunning. The animations are fantastic in every way, as well as the animal designs. The music is a perfect blend of nostalgic tunes and very cool new tunes that resonate with surprisingly deep atmosphere. I was very impressed.

All-in-all, Donkey Kong Country Returns is a brilliant and triumphant return to platform for DK, who has spent too long being cameos in Super Smash games and Mario Kart or starring in bizarre titles like Jungle Beat. After playing this, I can't help but wonder what took the big guy so long to come back, but boy am I glad he did! My wife and I can't recommend this game enough! BUY IT! PLAY IT! LOVE IT!
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on March 7, 2014
I grew up playing Donkey Kong Country 1-3 when they originally came out. While I do miss the old Donkey Kong Country games, I think this game has done an excellent job at capturing the original gameplay. This game was incredibly challenging, and I actually have yet to beat it. People used to use the phrase "Nintendo Hard" to explain how difficult a game was, and this game certainly has done a good job at remembering that video games may be challenging and fun. I think this game makes good use of the Wii Remote, with the shaking making Donkey roll, pound the ground, or blow on flowers. I loved how the game makes use of the background, by making it part of the game experience. An example would be how certain enemies will come from the background to the foreground, or how you will jump into barrels that shoot you around the stage, giving this side scroller some dimension. I liked how they did this as opposed to a making the background a mere painting.
I think this was a great game, and I recommend to any gamer.

While I loved the game, I do have some complaints. However, my list of criticisms doesn't hinder the game at all, this is just me nitpicking. Because my complaints don't take away from the 5-Star rating, feel free to stop reading here. Again, these are simply little complaints.

1) Firstly, I would love to be able to switch between Donkey and Diddy. Unfortunately, Diddy has become more of an added easy switch, if that makes any sense. All Diddy does is allow Donkey to have more life bars and float. This makes the game slightly easier. I want to emphasize, slightly easier. This is all so unfortunate because Diddy is a fun character and it would have been nice to play as him.
2) I wish the bosses were a little more memorable, like Kleever from DKC 2 or the Dumb Drum from DKC.
3) I would have like to have seen other animal buddies make an appearance rather than just Rambi and Squawks (who is only used as a guide to find puzzle pieces). I would love to see Winky, Enguarde, and Squitter make a return.
4) I miss the DK coins, which I believe made a great challenge, especially getting to the DK Coin Kremling, appropriately named Koin.
5) Lastly, I thought the Tiki's made great villains, but it would have been nice to see a Kremling, at least once; even if there was a Kremling used an opening appearance. I just want to see if Nintendo owns all the rights to the DKC games or if is Rare that owns certain parts of the game, because I want to see 'K. Rool' come back in later games.

Anyway, that's it. In short, this was a great game and I recommend it anyone who loves Donkey Kong, and to anyone who also loves a challenge!
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on December 11, 2014
I wouldn't call myself a hardcore gamer (due to lots of work and energetic ferrets), but I am quite experienced and it's my passion and life. I played the original DK Country and good god it really requires patience and fast puzzle solving skills. This version is just as tough. Just when you come across a level and think after finishing it, "god, what kind of douchery was that..." The very next level will be ten times harder (not all the time, but very often).

This game will make you rage. I don't care if you're the most experienced gamer in the world- there's never gonna be any gamer that says they beat every level without dying at least once. I died maybe 40 times on one level alone. I almost broke my Wii but I chilled and eventually beat it. It is super challenging and I highly recommend this game to anyone who is tired of playing intense RPG or FPS games. Trust me you'll be in for a treat. Just don't kill your stuff while playing.

5/5 for a challenge which games these days lack, cute sound FX, nice graphics, easy game controls, and fun puzzles.

Long live DK!
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VINE VOICEon December 23, 2010
I've never played a game that's both so frustrating and so fun at the same time. Here are some thoughts a bit more than halfway through the game:


The graphics are gorgeous. While Donkey Kong Country Returns' graphics don't have quite the same "wow factor" as the original Donkey Kong Country did for SNES, Retro Studios did an amazing job. Some of the cutscenes almost look like Pixar films. The music really evokes the classic soundtrack, with some tracks lifted directly from the original.

The best part of the game is the ingenious level designs. For 3-D platforming, Super Mario Galaxy is still king, but Donkey Kong Country Returns raises the bar for 2-D platforming. Levels aren't simply linear 2-D routes, but have several foreground and background layers that interact with you characters. The most famous example is the giant Octopus on the beach, which launches its tentacles as it tries to attack you. Other stages feature moles in mine karts that drive parallel to your kart and throw bombs. Meanwhile, the bosses are far more complex than the old SNES goons and can change their strategies according to your actions.


First of all, there are no Kremlings. For a Donkey Kong game, this is a travesty. I can understand that Retro didn't want to simply copy Rare and rehash King K. Rool, but the Tikis - which look like giant drums - are just underwhelming as villains. Most of the villains you do encounter are simply animals, such as parrots and bats and frogs.

Speaking of animals, I also can't understand why Rambi and Squawks are the only animal buddies to make a return. What about Expresso, Enguarde, and Rattly? At least Retro could have created a few new animals. This was disappointing.

More seriously, the game is really hard. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about a challenge. But, even though you get up to four hears, there a lot of one-hit kills in the game. For example, in the SNES version, you had at least two hits on mine kart levels, whereas in Donkey Kong Country Returns a single crash kills instantly. Furthermore, the DK barrels are few and far between - sometimes there are not even any near the halfway point. This simply makes the game more frustrating than necessary. Fortunately, the Super Guide feature really helps and allows players to progress in the game even if they can't overcome some of the more difficult stages.


The control scheme isn't always intuitive. I definitely think the roll and jump roll should have been easier to execute. This becomes worrisome when you have to make careful jumps. It works well enough, but takes some getting used to.

In balancing platforming versus exploration, Donkey Kong Country Returns definitely emphasizes the former, even more than the SNES games. In Donkey Kong Country Returns, the bonus stages and hidden items are fairly easy to discover - the tough part is getting them. There aren't many barrels throughout the game, so no more running around with barrels throwing them at every wall to find secret chambers.

Overall, Donkey Kong Country Returns is a true heir to the SNES classics. However, definitely don't get this game if you're impatient or have high blood pressure. I promise you, you will release a stream of expletives at some point in your quest. In fact, I'd highly recommend simply ignoring all of the puzzles and secrets during your first run-through, and instead just enjoy the graphics and sheer originality of the levels.
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on December 11, 2014
I was pretty into video games when I was a kid. So naturally I played Donkey Kong on occasion at the arcade. Not one of my favorites then - but this version really shows how far games have advanced. It's not too often that I hop in front of the Wii, but I have to admit the game impressed me a great deal. It has a pretty simple learning curve in the side-scrolling format - But packs a great deal of fun and variety that keeps it challenging and exciting.

My 9 and 6 year old really enjoy it but regarding skill and coordination, I'm thinking anyone younger than 7 will have a hard time unless they already have good gaming skills.

Sets the bar pretty high for Wii games. I can't say I've played a better one.
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on October 26, 2013
Nintendo made a bold move returning to a side-scroller instead of making a follow-up to DKC64. Perhaps the reason that Donkey Kong didn't translate as well to the 3D format as Mario is because Nintendo's technology simply wasn't and isn't up to the task of rendering the lush jungles and environments of the Donkey Kong universe. So for the time being what we have is a basically side-scrolling gameplay, but done exceptionally well.

The game, being rendered in 3D, plays with a third dimension by tossing the eponymous ape into the background or foreground, almost reminiscent of pinball games with a second, vertical component on the back board. This opens up a whole new set of possibilities that weren't there on the 16-bit offerings. Levels can be absolutely gigantic in scope, as the camera simply pans out to accommodate the size, or zooms into claustrophobic caves and catacombs. The level design itself is almost always brilliant with new and occasionally infuriating challenges guaranteed on every level. Donkey Kong is at one point forced to run along a beach being bombarded by tidal waves that wash away good guys, bad guys, and any spare items lying around, and he must make use of whatever meager shelter he finds. Another level is set against the backdrop of a tropical sunset, and all foreground objects, be they static or otherwise, are rendered as black silhouettes. Complete with a jazzy soundtrack, the level would be downright relaxing were it not for the parade of vermin looking to kill you. There are plenty of mine cart levels, some of which require you to jump into and out of carts, and others in which you must make the cart itself jump. Unlike in previous games, the game gives you a visual clue as to which is which. There is no shortage of creativity flowing in the levels and the sense of discovery is constant.

Unfortunately the game is definitely not perfect and prominently features some faults, both major and minor. The biggest is that the controls are absolutely awful. You never quite feel fully in control of Donkey Kong as he unpredictably bumbles along, falling to his death more often than he should. One of the mine cart levels requires a type of physically impossible double jump which is neither explained with in-game text or in any way intuitive or even logical. The game essentially requires that you die several times and memorize jumping spots to beat some levels. Very lame.

The second notable issue is the intangible aspect, the atmosphere and "feel". DKCR is not made by Rare and the hip attitude and character of those games is conspicuously absent. The vast majority of music in the game is simply a more advanced rendering of the music from DKC1 (no tunes from 2 and 3 are present), although some of the new versions are not an improvement over the old. The iconic factory music has taken a turn for the worse. The team seems to go to great lengths to avoid making new music, even repurposing some types of music from the original game to new types of levels. What little original music is found explains why the makers steered so clear of making their own music - they suck at it. The game's original music is downright lousy. In particular, the lava world music is boring and meandering; for some reason it did not occur to them to just yank the excellent lava theme from DKC2. Overall, the overall "cool" feel of the original games is missing and the game definitely feels as though it was made in Japan.

Beyond all that, the game occasionally just gets various other stuff wrong. In one level, the weather, which progressively gets worse as you go forward, reverts if you go backward unlike in the original game where the new weather conditions remained even if you went backward. There is no ice cave level, nor are there the swimming levels that were so fun and atmospheric in the originals.

The fact is, though, that I gave Donkey Kong Country Returns four stars for a reason: it's just plain fun. The faults do drag down the experience but not so much that I wouldn't recommend getting it. It's so goddamn hard that you won't be able to play it through in a day, although admittedly some of that challenge isn't the legitimate kind but based in crappy controls. Nonetheless, it offers a lot of exploration, discovery, and adrenaline plus a whole heap of replay value due to its numerous features and side quests. Give it a try.
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on July 14, 2012
DK Country was my favorite game from the 16 bit era. I was really looking forward to playing this modernized edition, but it has unfortunately fallen well short of my hopes. This is a game that requires VERY precise platforming skills. Normally, I would embrace this challenge, but Nintendo decided they wanted to implement some goofy motion controls into the schematics, thereby ruining the experience. Even while playing with classic controller setup, a brief movement of the wiimote will accidentally send DK into a roll... right off the edge of that platform. Even in the 90s, I never experienced such poor platforming controls.

Please note that this an Amazon Verified Purchase... I tried my best to enjoy this game, but I just can't do it. Playing it only makes me want to return to the super tight controls of Rayman Origins, which has this game whipped in every conceivable category. You can't expect every game to be as good as Rayman Origins (especially since it came out one year later), but the difference in quality is downright staggering.

On the plus side, this game has very good art design. I enjoyed the weird enemies, and DK and Diddy are just as lovable as ever. But... as a platformer, this game is not in the same league as Rayman Origins.
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