News Article

First Impressions: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Posted by Anthony John Agnello

Frozen in time?

If there is a rule that Nintendo lives by, it’s that one good turn deserves another. Hence why the E3 2013 revelation that the game Austin, Texas’ Retro Studios has been slaving away on for the past three years is none other than a sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns isn’t much of a revelation at all. Donkey Kong Country Returns was a huge success, one of the stars of the Nintendo Wii, and its recent double dip on the Nintendo 3DS only reinforced that success. Now here’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Nintendo Wii U. There’s much to like about Donkey, Diddy, and now Dixie Kong’s first foray into high definition, but there’s also something missing as well. It lacks that hook, that particular distinction that made each of the original Donkey Kong Country games feel so unique compared to one another.

Part of the problem is that Dixie Kong, the pony-tailed lass that partnered up with Diddy Kong back in Donkey Kong Country 2 and starred in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble, wasn't playable in Nintendo’s E3 demo. There were five levels on hand, and all five started with Donkey Kong trundling out into the jungle, finding his pal Diddy in a barrel as usual, and then hopping and bopping his way through the levels. The introduction of a new character like Dixie presumably means that the traversal would feel different. Back when, Dixie changed things up because she could helicopter her ponytail about, slowing your descent. Of course, Diddy does that now with his jetpack, and the levels with him feel just like those from Donkey Kong Country Returns, albeit with a new coat of paint.

But even that new coat of paint feels somewhat paltry and thin. Up close, when you’re looking at your results for collecting bananas, K-O-N-G letters, and puzzle pieces in any given level, Donkey’s fur bristles and shines like he just went to the most stylish groomer in town. (Eat your heart out, Star Fox Adventures fur!) Out in the jungle, though, the HD presentation doesn't paint a more vivid and wild portrait of Kong Island. In the first standard run-and-jump stage, the little waddling mynah birds from Returns are still causing trouble, a bit bigger, a bit shinier, but largely the same.

In the mine cart level that follows, the overwhelming familiarity grows. In Donkey Kong Country Returns, Donkey had to jump the cart to dodge falling chunks of ice. This time, it’s flaming airplane wings and rotors. The whole sequence begs the question of why Donkey doesn’t fix the brakes on these accursed carts, but also why Retro Studios didn’t want to shake up the formula for Tropical Freeze’s debut. At least the below-par motion controls of Returns have been removed for playing Tropical Freeze on the Wii U’s GamePad. For those that actually took a liking to the imprecise shaking of the Wii Remote to do Donkey’s crucial roll move – essential for finding collectibles and making those oh so tricky jumps – you can still use the old set up, but the GamePad supports traditional controls.

There’s no denying it all feels smooth. Taking on the demo’s one boss, a fat, tubular walrus who’s one of the band of Viking animals trying to take over Kong’s home, is the same sort of slow, steady exercise in careful dodging as in Returns, but it’s no less fun. It does drag on a long time. The walrus takes many hits rather than the three that used to fell classic Country bosses, which makes it feel a bit tedious, but it works all the same.

That it works is the problem with Tropical Freeze. The last time Retro Studios made its first sequel in a growing franchise, it made something dangerous, something feral. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was an insane gamble that took the formula of its predecessor, which itself was based on Super Metroid, and twisted into something wholly new. The game has its detractors, saying that the light and dark worlds are too confused and muddled, that the fights against the game’s dark enemies are needlessly drawn out, but they can’t say it wasn’t beautifully risky and it remains a beacon of originality in Nintendo’s catalog of the past fifteen years.

Metroid Prime 2 was the work of studio unafraid of shattering convention. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the work of a studio and publisher that is dead set on playing it safe and avoiding risk. Is it great to see Donkey Kong Country composer David Wise writing the tunes for this game (which were sadly drowned out by the noise the E3 show floor)? Of course! But why not have something new? This is a new game, a new riff on an old idea, and it should feel that way. It's a smart commercial choice, of course — the Wii original sold very well indeed — but we can't help but feel that something is missing; perhaps that unique hook is waiting further in the game.

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User Comments (113)



MAB said:

I never ended up getting DKCR on Wii or 3DS but I will download this mofo for sure



MilesVor said:

My post on gaf (sorry, too lazy to rewrite):

"I know I'm really grasping here, and this is not a genuine convinction, but...

Retro didn't say what you said.
Retro said that working on 2 major projects would be hard.
They never specified if DKC:TF was a big project
Honestly, as much as I absolutely love DKCR and I'm sure DKC:TF will make my jaw drop as often, it kinda looks like DKCR assets at a higher res (it looks absolutely based on the same engine. The technical quality isn't on par with MK8 or even SM3DW, it's on par with Pikmin 3) , with plenty of flourishes, and SOME new music.

Honestly it wouldn't surprise me if:
1) DKC:TF is a side-project
2) Even if DKC:TF IS the main project, they already have a considerable team working on their next big project, laying out the blueprints and starting on the art, assets, and most importantly, the engine.
So instead of having to wait 3 years from the minute DKC:TF is finished, perhaps it will only take 1.5-2 years at the very most.

Again, I acknowledge that this is wishful thinking, BUT not unrealistic.

Even Nintendo didn't say DKC:TF was Retro's only project, Iwata I think it was only said that this project was the "big surprise".
My job is that of Account Manager for businesses (glorified/higher level customer service), so I have to deal with "cautious" and "ambiguous" language every minute of my days.
Nintendo's language has always been a lot more deliberate and subtle than most companies, and they never say anything without a reason.
HOW they say it is as important as WHAT they say. I mean, there's even a theory going around that the banana's Iwata was holding during his Direct, etc was a reference to Retro's project, not the 3DS port.
If you want a really silly and obvious example:
Nintendo never said they weren't going to cut the price of the Wii U like so many "garme jurnalizms" reported, they just said there wasn't any planned price-cut.
That could even mean that they already decided to cut the price and even by how much, but they just didn't set a date yet."



Grubdog said:

How can something drag on if it's fun? Sounds to me like you're too tired to enjoy it.



OPLink said:

I understand why Nintendo is Releasing this game. DKCR was a succes so it's only smart to release the next entry of the franchise as soon as posbible. Because honestly, i think that after DKCTF people will have had enough of DK for a long while ( unless it'sa full 3d game).

I'm sure this game will appeal to allot of youngsters and sell systems , wich is a good thing. But as i look at this game now, it really doesn't look impressive at all visually. I think a 2d side scroller should look gorgeous. If i compare this to Rayman Legends, it really doesn't come close visually.

I hope this game sells allot of systems to boost the WiiU sales. But to me this game is just like how NSMBU is an updated version of NSMBWii. Its not a game u need to work on for 3 years. Yes, i know retro prob helped nintendo with other projects during that time. But C'mon Ninty, get some new staff and let Retro work on a New franchise. Ur not telling me you hired someone from Naughty dog and Vigil to work on this game.



Katzii said:

Sounds like someone's sad that Retro chose to work with DK again instead of a new Metroid game.

Less bias next time please.



OPLink said:

@MilesVor I was thinking the same thing. DKCTF being Retro's 2nd project is not a far stretch at all.
I think their strategy is lock down Some good games at E3 this year and in 2 or 3 month's we'll get another Nintendo direct, just like las year, where they reveal Retro's true project, and a WiiU price cut or some special bundle.



DreamOn said:

These impressions are depressing to read due to utter dissapointment the author isn't hiding for what Nintendo is releasing for Wii U this year.



DreamyViridi said:

Question: Did Metroid Prime 2 get this much undeserved backlash during its development process? The game's not finished and can still have many tricks up its sleeve. Also Metroid's had 3 Retro titles, this is just DK's second one.
Don't be so greedy...



zip said:

@MilesVor It seems that Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D was Retro's side project and the new Donkey Kong their main project. I have the strong feeling that retro will do a Donkey Kong Trilogy similar to what they did with Metroid. So this means that more waiting time is required for the next Metroid release.



Haxonberik said:

I haven't played the original yet (Im gonna lend it from a friend and play it on my new console without paying, you know, because I CAN), but it does feel like you're being a bit too harsh from what you saw on the E3



NintyMan said:

Nice try in hiding your Metroid disappointment. It's as obvious as Donkey Kong's HD fur!

I agree that this game is playing it safe as far as the feel of the gameplay, but Donkey Kong can now pull things like Mario did in SMB2, which eliminates blowing, a mechanic some people didn't like in Returns. Also, the environments are utterly gorgeous, so this is no slouch job by Retro. Underwater levels are also finally back, an absence that felt weird in Returns.

And I completely disagree with the boss battle being tedious. I played it at a Best Buy demo with my sister, and it was intense. I like that it was long. The rock music David Wise composed for it also sounded really cool. It made me think that the later boss battles will be a good challenge.

You just need to be patient and wait for what Retro has up their sleeves for this game. Judging a game by just four early levels is not wise.



WebHead said:

I can't be the only one that smells bias in the DKC and 3D World impressions because they weren't Metroid and Galaxy 3 am I?



WebHead said:

Still, these impressions ooze of disappointment bias like the 3D World one.



theneongod90 said:

Don't get me wrong, this looks great in every way but to me it feels like this should be the last we see of dk for a while. Unless they release a 3D platformer or if the next one includes the kremlings.



R00bot said:

I love the way you can see donkey kong's every hair. It's so... it's so.... it's just so technology lol.
Too bad the camera will be zoomed out too far most of the time to notice it. Oh well.



Bulbousaur said:

I honestly didn't mind the motion controls in the Wii version of Returns, which I've been playing lately. All it takes is a small moment of the Wii Remote, haven't missed a jump so far on this current playthough due to them.

Anyway, I am slightly disappointed that it isn't a Metroid or Star Fox game, but the game still looks like a lot of fun and I'll definitely still buy it. Anything Retro makes is pure gold, this is just a very similar vein to what we had before.



Adam said:

Maybe the two new characters do shake things up. It is odd that Nintendo chose not to showcase that. But it certainly looks better than Prime 2. Comparing the two does nothing to make me wish they had taken some huge gamble mixing up he entire formula.



Warbeard said:

NintendoLife have been really annoying during this E3 - firstly, the discussion of the NintendoDirect was nothing more than sad and depressing, and the fact that they cannot abstract from their own unfulfilled expectations is just unprofessional. A lot of us are very excited about DKTF and 3DWorld, so this is an annoying read.
If I want negativity I'll go to WiiUDaily - don't go down that road!



C-Olimar said:

@Warbeard And a lot of us are disappointed with unambitious sequels. The staff say what they feel, not what is going to please their readership; I prefer it that way.



Warbeard said:

@C-Olimar - does that justify unprofessionalism? Additionally, it's interesting you already know that it's unambitious - if anything, I think the new way of showing the maps is exceedingly ambitious



Mortenb said:

I´m getting this for one reason. David Wise. But the Donkey Kong character sucks in these new games. Back on SNES he was stylish and cool, now he´s kind of silly like Goofy. He should have been left out for this game.



Mk_II said:

let's face it guys... a new Metroid game does not shift consoles like good old Donkey Kong can. Nintendo needs a couple of sure fire big hits like right now and there's plenty of time for a Metroid for this generation.



C-Olimar said:

@Warbeard It's not unprofessional to give your opinion on a game, you know, if that's your job.
In the article, Metroid Prime 2 is mentioned, and that shook things up a bit.
Do I even need to mention how ambitious Super Mario 64, Sunshine and Galaxy were?



Kirk said:

I genuinely think if Retro had simply announced one other big game alongside this title that everyone would have been completely satisfied with their offering's this E3.

This game absolutely looks like a really solid, highly polished return to Donkey Kong's world, that does actually add a few new and/or requested gameplay elements (proper dynamic 3D camera sections and water levels for example) and even addresses the one or two complaints about the controls raised with the original, but it isn't a game that is going to blow away or even surprise the majority of the core Nintendo fans at this point.

It's basically a pretty safe and by the number sequel, to a certain degree, that will obviously sell a lot of copies.

I don't mean that in a bad way but it also not really mind blowing or genuinely exciting either.

What I think most of us ideally wanted was maybe a game like this, great, along with say a new Metroid, or maybe even a new F-Zero or Star Fox from Retro to really just leave us all floored and completely and utter content with what they've brought to the table.

So, the reality is that no one can say this isn't going to be another great platformer from Retro, it clearly will be, but I just think we all thought we'd maybe get a little bit more than just a sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns and nothing else.

I just thought there was going to be at least one hitherto announcement big franchise game reveal from either Nintendo or Retro at this E3 is all.



Captain_Balko said:

Well, the new water levels and 'dynamic' camera angles look like they're going to 'shake things up' a bit. Plus, I'm sure Dixie Kong will play differently from Diddy, which will be cool.

Is it more of the same? Probably. But when the same is tons of fun, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I was disappointed that Retro wasn't working on Metroid (or Starfox, for that matter), yes, but I guess that maybe we'll have something along those lines to look forward to at the next E3. Maybe.



Yoshi3DS said:

i don't understand why people moan when a sequel is 'the same'. last time i checked most zelda games have a lot in common but there still amazing. the new super mario bros. games are one of my favourites. if the first ones good then why should people complain if they make another. i mean, if they made a sequel to super mario 64 and it was exactly the same but with different course, i would be over the moon. just because its the same it doesn't mean that its a bad thing. different isn't always better.



Nintomdo64 said:

First off, I love NL and have been visiting for several years. You guys are awesome!

It's really a shame the negative turn I'm reading in recent articles. Maybe, if you guys can put down your PS4/Xbone envy and stop bellyacheing, you would see that Nintendo has a pretty sweet lineup on the horizon. No, it's not what everyone expected and yes, Nintendo seems to be playing it safe. This doesn't mean these games aren't going to be a blast to play. I was disappointed for about five minutes, until I realized that I really want to play all of these games.



WebHead said:

@Skjia I agree. Peeps have to accept the fact that DK makes more money than Metroid. Up until at least E3 2014, Nintendo is going to go with what makes the green and sells boxes.



andregurov said:

I'll agree that the investment in DKC:TF appears predictable and unexciting, and the game may very well re-use assets from his Wii entry, but it still looks GOOD. One significant advantage over other publishers that Nintendo consistently generates is solid gameplay and re-playability. DKC:TF doesn't have to be mind-blowingly creative to achieve that. We may be wanting a bit too much from Retro (even Naughty Dog spit out three Uncharteds that were pretty similar!) to expect mind-blowing innovation from every title; we may want more, sometimes what we want and what we need are two very different things.



C-Olimar said:

@Warbeard And all the reviews on this site are impartial. NSMB2 was criticised for being too similair to its predecessors, yet that still scored a 9. When DKCTF is reviewed I'm sure that will get a high score.
This is an impressions article. If the writer got the impression that the game was too similair to Returns, that's what he will will write about.



Ducutzu said:

This seems like a very fun and polished game. I'm inclined to be distrustful of this article. Especially since its author tries too hard to be artful.



ZidanU said:

People just automatically hate this game because it wasn't what they wanted and expecting, everyone wanted Metroid or Star Fox. If Retro knew those games would be best for now they would've made those games. And what if DKCTF isn't so different from DKCR? That game was amazing and with the inclusion of 3D, 2 new characters, HD graphics and new unannounced mechanics in Tropical Freeze the game will be awesome, if you don't like it don't hate on it and keep on sayin how stupid Retro was, just don't buy it



Chunky_Droid said:

I personally thought this game looked pretty epic, Retro won't disappoint, trust me. This is honestly the first negative impression I've read so far, so I'll take it with a grain of salt, DKCR doesn't seem to be the author's cup of tea, and that's fine. I gave Velocity Ultra three out of five stars on the website I write for, and that gets rave reviews elsewhere.



BXXL said:

My main issue with the Wii U lineup (and thus this game also) isn't the lack of quality, but the lack of variety: too many platformers, and not enough "epic" action/adventure or rpgs...

And dont get me wrong: i enjoyed DKCR on Wii... but THREE years? Three years for a 2d platformer, and nothing else developped, as stated by Retro's big boss? C'mon, most "epic" action/adventure or rpgs found on any console take two or three years to be made...

So my perception is (and i think it's shared by many) that the HUGE talent of Retro is wasted, because Nintendo doesn't want to please the actual Nintendo fans who're into "epic" games, or attract any other core gamer who's into "epic" stuff... they just keep rehashing the good ol' fun of their platforming IP's, add Kart and Smash Bros, and think we will all be satisfied... and sorry, but that's not my case, and i'm not the only one...



Samus06 said:

There is nothing wrong with this article. If he was praising the heck out of this game, I guarantee there wouldn't be a single person saying he just is a blind fanboy of DKC. What's wrong with being critical of a game? I'm sure this game will turn out great, but like the article is saying, you can't help but feel a bit disappointed that Retro wasn't working on something bigger and more ambitious.

After getting over my initial disappointment of no Metroid, Star Fox, or new IP from Retro, I can say I am actually very excited for this game now. I love DKCR and this game looks really good as well.



GearsOfWarU said:

I agree with most ... I think both Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze & Super Mario 3D World look Awesome... I can't wait to get my hands on both these Amazing games !!!!! Everyone who wants Metroid Prime U ... Chill Out ... I'm sure it's Retro's next game... Probably for next November.... Be excited and Happy for the Incredible Hames were getting on Wii U.. Stop complaining about what didn't happen... It's annoying... Anyways... Thank You Nintendo for showing me all these great games for my Wii U ... E3 has me excited for the Future of Wii U & Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze & Super Mario 3D World are @ the Top of that List!!!!



SanderEvers said:

Short summary of this article:

"Boohooo it isn't metroid! I want metroid! I want metroid! Metroid is awesome! Donkey Kong stinks!"

Metroid Other M was a failure. Donkey Kong Country Returns was a success. So, can you see where this is going?



Beechbone said:

Yeah, what platformers on Nintendo systems need is a new take on previously made stuff just like Ubi did with Rayman Legends which is basically Origins but with so many additions, changes and improvements that it instantly feels all fresh again.



Faruko said:

In my opinion they made a great choice considering the WiiU position, they need to sell that thing, and DKCR sold A LOT MORE than Metroid games (somewhat like the 3 prime games combined) and considering that, DKC should be a good decision to push the WiiU sales. DKCR 5.5m sales, ALL Prime games combined, around 5.m

I would love a new Metroid game, but as of now, Nintendo needs to grow a base

And besides, not since the SNES DK has been on the spotlight, im happy with this, we had 4 METROID games BEFORE a REAL DK game, let DK shine a few more years before "freezing it again"

All the people that want metroid games, do not understand the place where the WiiU is, im not saying that Metroid wont sell a console, but to be honest it wont have the same impact as a DKC game, this game its just about making the "all audience pack" (how i say it) even bigger, 3D World, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8 and DKC



ACK said:

Not to harp on any unpaid gaming "journalists." However, I do see aspects of these impressions that offend my journalistic sensibilities: in other words, they are reaching too far to extrapolate ethos from short show-floor demos.

Impressions really need to be focused on the specific content on display, with minor inferences and relevant, restrained inquisitiveness. I'm not here to challenge opinions, but demo impressions offer little to base concrete assertions. The risk is the further you reach the more you restrict the utility of your insight, as well as the clarity of your prose. And, of course, the audience is the primary concern.



MilesVor said:

@zip Nope, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D was ported by Monster Games (same guys who ported Pilotwings Resort). I mean, Retro provided the assets and probably some other advice, especially where the new levels are concerned.
But even in an interview with Retro, one of Retro's people said something along the lines of "I think Monster Games did a great job with the new levels. It had some really cool mechanics".



LittleIrves said:

Mr. Agnello's views are certainly stirring the pot here... and though I think DKCTF looks pretty rad, the infusion of new voices is appreciated. Those interested should check out his other stuff



Backwardsonapig said:

Not to sound harsh, but this article reeks bias. We get it, you are disappointed that it's just another DK game,and frankly, I kinda am as well, but don't let that affect the enjoyment you get from the great game that it is. Retro knows what they are doing.



sinalefa said:

I don't mind about Retro making this. As I said in another comment, it is actually better for the Metroid fans, as Retro is testing the Wii U programming waters with this one, meaning their next game will use all of their know-how. Plus after pouring out all of their DK related ideas, they can concentrate on a new project.

If someone had promised Retro would be working on Metroid or Starfox and then this showed up, I can feel that disappointment, but here most people kid themselves thinking that Retro was indeed making those.

And yes, Nintendo is playing it safe, but they should. The HD twins are back in town and most third parties are not willing to back Nintendo, so they have to lure customers somehow. I will support this hoping that when Wii U's userbase increases, more risks can be "safely" taken later on.



DerpSandwich said:

They could have tried new things and made the whole thing more exciting and dynamic. DKCR had so much potential it was staggering. But this looks like they just added a new coat of paint. "The camera turns slightly more" is literally the selling point, and that's really lame.



DualWielding said:

I love DKC, I really do, but when I see this game, it doesn't make me want to buy a Wii U it makes me angry that its not in the 3DS, there is nothing graphic wise that says yah, you cannot do that in a handheld.....



DiSTANToblivion said:

This guy even dissed David Wise returning? Saying 'time for something new'. Ohhh boy, you're disappointing bias is showing buddy.



LasermasterA said:


I don't think so. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D was a port of a Wii game and even then it managed only 30 fps (albeit with great 3D). DKC:TF is a Wii U game and they would not make a direct port as the game is coming out on a current gen console, so they don't have a reason to re-release it and the Wii U needs more games now anyways. They would have announced a 3DS version if it was in the works.



LasermasterA said:


DK's fur is much better now, realistic as well as the fact that the game is in HD. The game also has all these view changes and camera changes that the 3DS won't be able to handle in the same quality. There is a reason SSB 3DS is using very different graphics style to not show the graphical disparity if it was same in both versions.



Tony_342 said:

"At least the below-par motion controls of Returns have been removed for playing Tropical Freeze on the Wii U’s GamePad. For those that actually took a liking to the imprecise shaking of the Wii Remote to do Donkey’s crucial roll can still use the old set up..."

I will definitely be playing this game with the Remote / Nunchuck. Pounding the ground by actually mimicking pounding the ground is far more intuitive and fun than just mashing a button. People complain about imprecise controls in DKCR, but I never once had a problem with them. Not once. The controls work just fine. But it's good to know that we have options.



antdickens said:

TL;DR summary is that everyone expects this game to be great - of course it will be a very solid game - however, many, wanted Retro to step up to a new challenge, not another Donkey Kong game.



Lyndexer said:

@antdickens I have to agree with you on everyone wanting Nintendo to bring retro back. Nintendo is doing pretty darn good for bringing retro back.



MrZanctom said:

Well, I'm sure that this new DKC game will feel less repetitive and more original than all of the New Super Mario Bros Games.



hylianhalcyon said:

I love all of these comments about people not liking negativity from the site recently. Yes, we will all enjoy the games they showcased, but none of them are a killer app title that WiiU desperately needs to boost its sales. I loved DKCR, it's my favorite platformer ever, but the new one in no way entices me to go out and buy a Wiiu, and if it won't entice me, I have a feeling it won't entice many beyond the hardcore nintendo fandom.

A lot of us wanted them to unveil a game, no matter the IP, that would take full advantage of the WiiU and use it in new and fresh ways that would make people want to buy the system, and they didn't do that.



Mauhiho said:

Wow, really? Another bad written article. Only negative and barely any positives about the game. You didn't talk about the view you get when you are in one of the barrel courses and about the under water sections.. No wonder I was avoiding this site for awhile; It's because of BS like this..
I am psyched for this game though =D



Samus06 said:

yea I don't understand that. I guess poorly written= criticism of a game and well written= praising every aspect of the game. hmmm. I don't see this article as bashing the game at all. Just that Retro isn't taking on a super ambitious title like we all thought they would and that has left some disappointment.



bassoongoon said:

This will be a good game. I am looking forward to it, although I would love another 3D donkey kong platformer. Like a better DK 64. They should at least include Lanky and Chunky as well!



Sanqet said:

I have got to agree with the guys at Nintendo life bitterly disappointing e3 direct showing and I really don't know if should keep my wii u or sell it not impressed with it so far



Sanqet said:

@URAmk2 yeah I'll give them until January to convince me to keep the wii u if not ill trade it for a ps4



Ackmans said:

this game is so cool i try it today that donkey kong is better then wii version



sr388survivor said:

This article mentions Metroid Prime 2 but I have to say, if you played a demo of Metroid Prime 2, I'm sure you wouldn't think it was that different than the original. You really can't judge a game like this off of a couple of beginning levels.

Honestly, I think the only problem with this game is: a) It doesn't have the same "Wow" factor of the original because that was the return of a beloved franchise, this is a sequel. b) People over-hyped and over speculated what the new Retro game would be.



SparkOfSpirit said:

As someone who actually played all the levels at the Best Buy event, everything is improved over DKCR from tighter controls to better level design and music.

Metroid Prime 2 was not a big step forward at first glance either.

But because this is a platformer it will get talked down.



Ichiban said:

Im a huge DKC fan, and will be picking this up for sure. But i do share the same feelings as the author of this article, it was a great read.
Some of you guys really need to pull your fanboy heads outta your asses though, just because the author isnt singing this game's every praise, its a poorly written article?!
Take a minute to think about that....



RaymanFan2 said:

A problem I have with it is that, in it's current state, it really doesn't look like it couldn't be done on Wii hardware.



jakero said:

People complaining that the article is too negative are ridiculous. It'll probably be a fun game, but it does like like more of the same, which most of Nintendo's stuff seem to do these days. I think there are lots of people like me who love a lot of Nintendo games and have very fond memories of them, but are getting tired of them releasing the same games over and over again, just with less heart and new coats of paint.



KLZ said:

Retro's big project was actually Star Fox X Metroid but when the rumours started and everyone hated the idea Retro said "Ok, well, that's not going happen then, back to DK!" And that's why no Retro games were shown at E3 2012.

Called it! You saw it here first!



MeWario said:

Great read, mirrors my feelings exactly. Donkey Kong Country 2 changed things up a whole lot and I just don't feel like this game is. It's like Tropical Freeze is the game Retro think DKCR should have been, not a sequel. I wanna see new environments at least or else the tedium will set in pretty fast. Where's the amusement parks or bee hives of DKC2? This game will be a blast but hopefully there's more to it then meets the eye.



UnseatingKDawg said:

Um, I'm pretty sure the "ice chunks" were crystals in DKCR's mine cart stages.

Aside from that, it looks pretty good - there's new ice environments that weren't in Returns, and they have air as a requirement under water - that would add to the tension when air bubbles are few and far between. I don't care if they're "playing it safe" - I'm getting it rip shoot or bust.



logan2419 said:

Not saying that this game wont be awesome. Its just bad timing. I feel like we have been donkey kong'd out for the moment and it was time to bring something fresh to the table like metroid or even star fox. I am sure this was a business decision to sell more units but could you imagine a new innovative star fox? That could possibly have done so well it would have taken us all back to N64 days. . Guess we will have to wait until next year to find out what they are planning.



Gameboy123 said:

My mom saw the trailer for this, and she hates next gen games, and SHE said that this looked fun! In my (and my mother's) opinion, it looks like a better, prettier, tweaked version of DCKR. Super excited!



GTWarrior77 said:

I'm very interested in this and will definitely pick it up.
I never owned the wii version but borrowed it from a friend back when it was released, over a weekend and finished it (not 100%). It's a great game to say the least.
I'm also not bothered with the 3DS version, too small. This type of game is meant for the big screen imo.
Can't wait to pick this up.



JaxonH said:

Wow. The spite for Retro's Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is now bleeding through Nintendo Life articles. DKC Returns was elevated from a great game to legendary status by one of the best soundtracks I've heard in the last 10 years, and yet NL wants to criticize the sequel for using David Wise? Why not have something new? That's like saying game A was developed by the best studio in the world, but let's find someone new for the sequel just for the sake of being different. That's garbage. You don't mess with perfection. Period. And the composers of both the original trilogy and Returns are doing this sequel as a collab if I remember correctly... we couldn't ask for more! It seems Tropical Freeze is going to get steamrolled by all the Metroid fanatics who ONLY WANT RETRO TO MAKE METROID GAMES, God forbid they make another classic for the DKC series, which in my opinion was just as entertaining as Prime 1-3. Look, I love Metroid as much as the next guy and yes I'm thrilled at the mere thought of a Metroid by Retro, but that doesn't detract from Tropical Freeze, which will most likely turn out to be one of THE best games on the U the entire generation. My goodness I never thought we'd see the day a sequel can be made for one of the best games on the Wii, by THE top developer in the business, on THE best console Nintendo's ever made, and everyone is put off by it. I'm a fan of many Nintendo franchises, not just one. Yes Metroid is great, but are you denying DKC is any less? Before you go spewing discontent and leveling unfair bias against anymore amazing titles on NL, I suggest you go take a long, hard look at why you're a Nintendo fan, and not just a Metroid fan.



dumedum said:

I've never seen these kinds of 3D angles before. It looks like something super original and first ever, and pretty heavy on horsepower to pull off.



citizenerased said:

This'll be a ton of fun to play, but let's face it, the Wii U has a myriad of (multiplayer) platformers. Would've liked Retro to do something that isn't that. Where's the deep single player experiences, Nintendo?



OorWullie said:

@CasuallyDressed I'm glad you brought that up,I was just about to.It seems to be a growing trend on here recently the misuse of "bias".There is also a ton of posters who regularly say "could care less",and it annoys me no end.Kids and adults alike,if your'e going to regularly use a common word or phrase,please get it right or not say it all,cheers!



CasuallyDressed said:

We might be a Nintendo site, but we're not under any obligation to only post positive impressions. That would be ridiculous; we're reviewers, not marketing execs.

If you know you're going to enjoy this game, then why does it affect you if Anthony didn't?



CapnKael said:

Very excited about this. The DKC games were some of my favourite on the SNES and I absolutely loved Returns when it came out (as well as the new play control version of Jungle Beat, to mention it.) I would say that it's obviously going to have questionable moments right now, as it is the first playable demo. I have faith in Retro that they're going to pull it off once again.

EDIT - Obviously, if i were able to play the demo I'd give a better view, as I'm only speaking from my excitement at the moment.



JJtheTexan said:

I'm in 100 percent agreement with Anthony. This game looks very good, and it will probably sell fairly well (by Wii U standards, anyway), but it is not a system-seller itself. It's unlikely anyone who was on the fence about getting a Wii U before E3 was convinced by yet another Donkey Kong Country title. They could have at least tried to make it an open-world 3D platformer along the lines of DK64 or something, but instead it feels like we're just getting Donkey Kong Country Returns 2: The Return of Returnance.



Delima009 said:

Can't wait for another Donkey Kong.

My overall thought with this game was... It felt way too similar to the WII DKCR. Did their creative team go out of town on this one? A lot fo the levels and themes look identical. I agree with the author when he mentions this game missing " the hook ".

The old DK games for SNES had some very neat style levels. From carnival cart rides, to inside a bee hive ( DK:2 ) It was all over with A LOT to see. I feel like this series is missing that all together. It's great to see HD graphics and a " 3D feel world " to the game, but I want to see some creativity in style of levels. Not more " Jungle " levels.




Bias bias bias, why didn't he say he loved the game in his first impressions and rate it a 10/10? I mean I obviously went all the way to E3 and played it myself and I would have rated it great in my first impressions! This Nintendo site is so biased because in every article they don't say how awesome Nintendo's games are! /end sarcasm

Good First Impressions, pretty much what I was expecting from the game when I heard it announce. Was the DKCR for Wii game great? Absolutely! And considering this is more of the same it's going to be great too! Should they have done something different? Probably, but that doesn't make the game bad because they chose to play it safe. Anyways, still want to hear what Retros other project is all about



hylianhalcyon said:

@SparkOfSpirit: Perhaps (even though I'm not really talking metroid prime specifically, but just anything that has fresh ideas and attracts people outside hardcore nintendo fans), but I'm willing to bet a new metroid game that really showcases the WiiU as a next gen console would attract more new people to the wiiu than this Donkey Kong game will.

And that's the problem, it's a safe bet sure, but a safe bet isn't going to get people to buy the console that were on the fence. It'll sell good to the people that already own a wiiu, but it won't make many more people go out and buy one.



cdawg said:

Was only going to buy the console if Retro made a Metroid for it.

Retro is following orders of course and DKC is a good title, but Im fed up with nintendos kiddie style.



Araknie said:

Can i ignore this fanboy who wrote the article?

@cdawg: sure Kiddish, it's colorful so it's kiddish.
Go away.



RandomNerds said:

I will say that this game coming out means I'm not going to by the remake of DK Returns for the 3DS. Why own both when you can have the HD updated version that is not a remake? I think this was a bad move personally.



Shadowkiller97 said:

I played this at the Best Buy event on Saturday. It is quite stunning visually. Yes, the levels feel similar to DKCR but that is not that bad a thing. And the new camera angles for the barrel blasts are pretty awesome. That alone changes things enough to make this a worthwhile sequel. Also the new enemies are way cooler than the Tikis.

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