Donkey Kong Country seemed to be a forgotten series of Nintendo’s until the franchise’s blockbuster comeback on the Wii with Donkey Kong Country Returns. Now just a few weeks after that sidescrolling, banana-collecting adventure was remade for the 3DS, developer Retro Studios has a brand new journey in Donkey Kong Country. However, this time the developers seem to be in a much more experimental mood for the Wii U’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
As the name suggest, DK’s newest challenge on his island paradise is an army of artic animals that are out to conquer the Kongs’ lovely landmass. The controls from the previous game are back, meaning you use the Wii Nunchuck’s analogue stick to move, the A button on the Wii Remote to jump, and waggling those two controllers to attack. Though we aren’t in love with that set-up, the update to the graphics cushioned the blow some. The Wii U’s HD graphics look fantastic on not just the characters, but on the diverse settings of the levels.
And the game takes great pains to take the camera all over the stage via the many more cinematic moments peppered through the stages we played. Run and jump platforming made up the majority of the action, but every now and then DK would hop into a cannon barrel that would blast DK all over the stage. The scenes reminded us of Sonic the Hedgehog bouncing around a stage, but we had some control of the ape during the action. After a comeback, some time off, and the reported returns of Dixie Kong and composer David Wise, the writer of many of the most iconic songs in the series. Tropical Freeze definitely seems more ambitious than simply recapturing the magic of the 1990s. We’ll have a better chance of judging when it’s released this November.\
Keep reading to learn more about the games with the accompanying annoted slides.