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Donkey Kong Country Returns
Format: Video Game|Change
Price:$50.17+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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 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 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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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 29, 2010
First off I am just a casual gamer. Have played DK since the Super NES days and loved it - N64 game not so much though. Read the reviews and was concerned about how hard this game may be so I also ordered the DKCR Guide at the same time. Just a note on the guide - it is helpful to find all the missing puzzle pieces and the little details, but the Super Guide in the game is just as much help for getting through the level and it shows you what to do and also clears the level for you. You will have to go back and play it through on your own in order to actually "beat" it but if you get stuck on a level and want to move along it at least opens up the next level and if you are like me and "die" a lot on a particular level it gets very frustrating and you want to move ahead and come back to the one you are having trouble with later.

For me the game is difficult and I have died a lot - my reflexes are probably not as good as a younger or more experienced gamer but I am having a blast none the less (I have also used a lot of very inappropriate language while playing this game!).

There are save points in each level - at least one - and as you progress through the game there are more. This comes in handy as some are quite tricky and it is a challenge (at least for me) to get to the save point. I haven't had a problem with enough lives because when I get low or am about to start a new level, I just go back to an easy level in the first world and play through a couple of time in order to get banannas and coins so I can buy some lives from Cranky. I have also found it very helpful to get the potion from Cranky that gives you 10 extra hits from enemies - I wouldn't have been able to get through some of the levels without that EXTRA help.

The graphics and music - colors are vivid and bright, music is reminiscent of old DK and fun although it can get monotonous when you have to replay a level over and over (ergo my bad language : ) ).

I am playing with super motion controller and numchuck and haven't had a problem other than the "blowing" feature, sometimes I roll instead of blow (although my gaming blows but that is another story). Am also playing 1 player mode so cannot comment on 2 player.

All in all a fun game if you are able to walk away when you get frustrated and if you loved the old DK games I don't think you will be disappointed.

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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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on June 8, 2015
I used to play the old school Donkey Kong games on my Super Nintendo, so when I ordered this I was really excited. I haven't beaten the game yet, but the game is really fun and challenging on the Wii. Being on the Wii, this new Donkey Kong offers you some surprises, like being forced to shake the Wii remote to reveal hidden treasure behind certain flowers and rocks. I really enjoy this game and it has taken me back to my younger games of playing the original Donkey Kong. So overall, it provides the player with the comforting nostalgia of the old Kong and adds some fun and challenging twists that only a game on the Wii can provide. Pretty nice :)
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on January 2, 2014
I bought it for my 8 y/o nephew...His first introduction to the classic Nintendo character Donkey Kong.

I had never played it, but I based my purchase on gameplay I saw on youtube.

"Donkey Kong Country Returns" has some of the slickest graphics I've seen in a Wii game. There's a lot of unexpected humor, and the music will stick in your head.

After two hours of gameplay, my 8 y/o nephew announced that the game was "addicting."

Success! He loves it!

No wonder "Donkey Kong Country Returns" consistently shows up in "Top 10 Wii Games" listicles on the web.

My 6 y/o nephew found the game mechanics too difficult, though...It is a very challenging platformer...Bear that in mind if you are thinking of buying "Donkey Kong Country Returns" for younger kids.
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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 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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