Review by Skipatronic
Return Of The Kongs
The Donkey Kong Country games were some of the first games I've ever played. With beautiful graphics, simplistic controls, a bunch of items to collect, and a variety of stages, it was a wonderful game series. Donkey Kong 64 brought the game to the 3D world and though it was a pretty awesome game, I felt it fell short of the legacy of the Country series. The Donkey Kong series, I felt, fell into an oblivion on the Gamecube with the bongo games such as Donkey Konga and Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat which I hear is pretty good. 16 years after the classic SNES game was released, we return to Donkey Kong's Country.
The synopsis in this Donkey Kong game is that a tribe known as the Tiki Taks have hypnotized all the animals and made them steal Kong's Legendary Banana hoard. One of the Tikis tries to hypnotize Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong but fails and thus begins our hero's journey. If your asking, there are no Kremlins or K. Rool this time around. Only the Tikis and other animals make up the enemy population in this game. Maybe if there's a sequel they'll be back! But for now we have the Tikis.
The levels are pretty much the same as the original games. Each level isn't the same as before with different level hazards such as Mine Carts, Barrel Cannons, and even a level where Tidal Waves crash on the levels and will kill you in one hit. Each part of Kong Country is a specific theme like Jungles, Beaches, Ruins, and even the difficult factory levels return. Each level has either one or two bonus levels which the objective is to collect all the bananas, kong letters, coins, and after you do that, you receive a puzzle piece. Each level has anywhere from 5-9 Puzzle pieces hidden in them and if you find them all, you get a picture. Like in all Kong games, you get Kong Letters which in previous entries, only gave you an extra life, this time around, you get something special if you find them all. So...Good Luck!
Diddy Kong returns in this game with an entirely different feature. Instead of following Donkey Kong and selecting him to play as, he rides on Donkey Kong and gives him a boost with his jet pack, similar to the one from DK64. The only way you can play as him is in 2 Player mode. Also, this time around you get a health bar which is 2 hearts, get hit twice with Diddy, he's gone. Get hit two times as just Donkey Kong, you die. Like in all Donkey Kong Country Games, there are barrels, bananas, and animal buddies. In this game, there are only 2 and those are Rambi who pretty much plows everything in his path and Squawks who points out where puzzle pieces are. Cranky Kong returns as a shop keeper who sells lives, hidden levels, and other items that will help you.
It has some new features like if you die a certain number of times in a level, you can get the powers of Super Kong who shows you how to beat the level and anything he collects doesn't go to your total. I find this function to be for people who are absolutely stumped and don't know what to do. The addition of motion controls to pound in place, blow away ragweeds and other plants, and roll while moving are nice but they make the controls very hard to pick up. I honestly played the first level for about half an hour just to get a grasp on the controls. Overall, here's my break down of Donkey Kong Country Returns!
Story and Concept - 5/5 - Return Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong to the island and help them get their bananas back from the Tikis in this much need reboot
Graphics - 5/5 - Beautiful and very detailed, just like all the Donkey Kong Country games
Sound - 5/5 - Familiar tunes make a return as well as some new ones that add their own little charm to each level.
Controls - 3/5 - Probably the worst thing about this game. They take a long time to get used to and with the motion controls, you may end up rolling to your death a couple of times.
Overall - 9/10 - It Pushes Kong in the right direction. All it needs is better Controls and it's golden.
Replay - Moderate to High
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Donkey Kong Country Returns (US, 11/21/10)
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