[Wii] [Retro Studios]
Today I'll be reviewing one of last year's greatest hits on the Wii - An amazing platformer that I shockingly missed out on when it was released many, many moons ago. A classic game that I finally picked up (or borrowed off my friend, rather) about a month ago, and what is quite possibly one of the greatest games on the Wii and of its genre. I'm talking of course, about Super Mario Ga... Wait, Donkey Kong Country Returns! Phew, that was a close one. Anyway, I'm pretty ashamed to admit that I didn't even get this game when I should have back when it was released late 2010, because it's one brilliant title that any Wii owner shouldn't miss out on. Donkey Kong's fantastic return was revealed back at Nintendo's E3 2010 conference just over a year ago as a part of the biggest name in gaming's stunning range of retro revivals, which also included GoldenEye's Wii iteration and Kirby's Epic Yarn among many others. Of course, out of all the revived Nintendo heroes that came out of last year's big E3 conference, Donkey Kong was one that hadn't been in the glorious spotlight for quite a long amount of time. Sure, we've seen plenty of re-released DK classics over the past few years and we've also seen a number of spin-offs, yet the big ape just hasn't starred in a truly excellent game since Donkey Kong 64 and the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy on the SNES. Thanks to one of Nintendo's number one developers however, Donkey Kong Country made a spectacular 'Return' on Wii last year and the game still stands as one of the very best titles you can pick up on the platform, and I really can't see that statement changing anytime soon.
Retro Studios, the same lovely folks who developed the epic Metroid Prime trilogy and are currently working on Mario Kart 7 for 3DS took charge of the Donkey Kong Country Returns project. It wasn't long before E3 2010 where the game was first revealed to the shock of hundreds of gamers when Retro stated that Nintendo asked them to work on a new Donkey Kong title. Well, all I can say is it seems that the big N picked the perfect developer to work on the hairy ape's retro revival. They don't call them 'Retro' Studios for nothing, you know - These guys did revive the potentially dead Metroid franchise with Prime, of course. As I mentioned, Donkey Kong hadn't really seen a true full-on adventure since the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy which was developed by the now Microsoft-owned and long dead Rare for the SNES. This trilogy was received extremely well by fans back in the day, offering the first true experience that starred Donkey Kong as the main ape in a full-on platformer after doing very little other than trying to stop Mario by chucking barrels all over the place in his previous arcade games. Not only were these games critically acclaimed for their excellent platforming antics, but they were also some of the first games to make use of a polygon rendering technique that made sprites appear 3D, somewhat of a revolutionary breakthrough in graphics. Back then Donkey Kong Country was actually in some ways a revival for Nintendo's number one hairy ape, just as the Retro-developed Donkey Kong Country Returns is today. Returns borrows many ideas from the previous three titles, only with the addition of Retro Studios' charm and excellent game development skills mixed in which in fact make the Wii title the very best of the lot, in my opinion at least. Why is this you ask? Well, read on and I'll explain...
|A load of stuff happens in the foreground and background to the extent where I reckon this was originally a 3DS game. Just some ridiculous speculation!|
|The Sunset Shore stage is beautiful and original, as are various other stages later on that make use of the same clever effects.|
|There are a ton of easter eggs in Donkey Kong Country Returns. Just check out the tie on this statue - It's the same one that an ex-Donkey Kong Arcade record holder wore.|
|The Mine Cart sections from the original titles return in DKCR and are somehow more brutal than ever.|