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Kensuke Tanabe: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is "Kind of a Road Movie"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Dynamic camera, furriness and an unnamed additional character discussed

In one of a series of developer videos recently released by Nintendo, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze producer Kensuke Tanabe took some time to discuss some of the design choices and priorities that he shared with primary developers Retro Studios. Some are fundamental to the gameplay experience, while others are there simply to add those extra touches so typical of Nintendo releases.

The storyline has been clarified, with the "Vikings" described during today's Nintendo Direct broadcast arriving and pushing DK and his friends off their island. The game sees the group adventuring across five islands, taking out Viking bosses as they go, to get closer and closer to reclaiming their homeland.

Some time is taken to emphasize the changes to the camera in this entry. Though the original game had plenty of shifts in depth — with DK going between layers — this title will utilise sweeping camera angles to exaggerate the 3D aspect of the graphics engine. Though some areas shown will still have a flat perspective, this looks to be a big part of stages with explosive barrels and mine karts.

In addition, Tanabe explains that there'll be another playable character, which will join the returning Dixie Kong; Dixie will give DK extra elevation in his jumps. In a fairly fresh approach for this rebooted series, there'll be hidden items and areas that will only be accessible with specific character's abilities, a step beyond the equivalent areas in Returns.

In the lighter parts of this video we're told that Retro Studios was tasked specifically with making Donkey Kong appear extra furry, and Tanabe also shares a view that the storyline is similar to a road movie in structure. The Viking bosses, consisting of creatures such as polar bears and penguins, also look like colourful new characters for the series.

You can check out the developer video and the accompanying footage below, with the release date given as November in North America; we expect the European release to be around the same time.

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User Comments (49)

DarkLloyd

#1

DarkLloyd said:

getting this day one, still hoping for something like donkey kong 64 someday though lol

DRLAdmin

#3

DRL said:

Stop it, Tom! Stop! I'm too excited about this game, I just can't handle anymore information today. ;)

rjejr

#5

rjejr said:

I'm so glad Nintendo doesn't milk it's franchises like EA does. ;-)

Kirby Mass Attack, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Kirby Return to Dreamland
DKCR, DKCR 3DS, DKC:TR

Sorry, all the rabid hateful posts the past few days have taken their toll.

SkywardCrowbar

#6

SkywardCrowbar said:

It's a shame that this game is being overshadowed by people's feelings of want for a new IP or a new Metroid or a new Star Fox or a new F-Zero. I'm sure this game will be amazing. I was kinda blown away during the Nintendo Direct.

SparkOfSpirit

#9

SparkOfSpirit said:

Funky is the only acceptable choice. I'd say Cranky, but I doubt it would be him.

I really hope we can have a Diddy/Dixie team.

ScorpionMG

#16

ScorpionMG said:

idk, loved all the trailers today, was a bit dissapointed for no new ip from retro but i can live with that, and DK just looks cool :D

Dreamcaster-X

#17

Dreamcaster-X said:

It looks really good in motion. As disappointed as I was not seeing a different Retro Studios game this looks great. Hopefully they return to Metroid again soon!

DestinyMan

#21

DestinyMan said:

This and Super Mario 3D World are caught in a big tussle in my mind for most anticipated Nintendo game of the year.

I like how Donkey Kong has to go back to his island to free it from the Viking animals. It's sort of like in NSMBU when Mario had to liberate Peach's Castle from Bowser.

I would like for the third mysterious character to be Kiddy Kong, but it's pretty much anyone's guess. It could be a Kong or a completely new character.

GrandSparkster

#22

GrandSparkster said:

I was gonna say I was disappointed that this is more of the same.
But now that they're not only bringing one old Kong back but a new Kong (or some other playable character), I'm gonna shut up.

Royalblues

#24

Royalblues said:

There you go, all you super fans that say "I don't want an interactive movie, I want a game" and "I don't care about the hairs on Mario's mustache."
How does that feel? You are getting an interactive movie in DKCU and they stressed the importance of each clump of fur on DK's skin.

Being one who missed the DKCR, I am actually hyped about this game somewhat. I hope it was as difficult as I remember the first 2 DKC games being on the SNES.

Gallimastro

#29

Gallimastro said:

I liked the first three games. Not really a big fan of the N64 version, and never got to play the Wii one. I'll be watching this title with anticipation.

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#31

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

Even though I would have cried tears of joy for a new IP from Retro, or even a new Star Fox, this does look pretty awesome. I was actually amazed by the fur on the Kongs. I'll be pre-ordering and picking it up on release day. I just hope Retro is working on something else a bit more ambitious for release perhaps next year.

Bingoshi

#34

Bingoshi said:

@rjejr
Kirby Mass Attack, Kirby's Epic Yarn, and Kirby's Return to Dreamland were nothing alike though. Sure, they all starred Kirby, but they all played and looked far different from each other.

dumedum

#36

dumedum said:

@Bingoshi and DKCR 3D is just a port. If we go by that logic, then CoD milks it 7 times EACH time. This is the first sequel to DKCR, and it already looks much evolved than any EA sequel.

rastamadeus

#37

rastamadeus said:

@rjejr To be fair, three games in the DKC series in, what, five years, is hardly milking it, especially when one is a port. And the Kirby games are all vastly different so you're wrong there too I'm afraid. There's examples you could have used, like New Super Mario Bros as two of them in the same year was a bit much. But then you remember Nintendo are only bringing out one of those games per console. So again it's hardly milking. So you have to ask do they milk their franchises at all? Answer you'd get is a "no." Do they rely too much on their franchises? Absolutely. But it's an odd argument, a double-ended sword even, as everyone buys a Nintendo console to play these games and then the majority have a PS3 or Xbox as well. Just complaining because you can really (not necessarily you, meaning the people who repeat the same old tripe)

Volmun

#38

Volmun said:

@rastamadeus completely agree with you there im so fed up of "all nintendo's games are stail" bla bla BS. asc you're self then... What is the point in a sequal and prequal to a game? "as i totaly buy metroid to play CoD!" (Sarcastic btw i can't stand CoD...) you buy Metroid for Metroid as you buy Kirby to play suprice suprice A KIRBY GAME! Shock Horror eh? - a good example of whiy changing a game too mutch is bad is with Ratchit and Clank.. R&C 1-4 (4 being Gladiator / Dred Zone) were practicly the same game = good. Then we had R&C Tuls of Dstruction & A Crack in Time Also = Good.... then we had All4One.... then it was Q-Force / Full Frontal Assault thay were... just awfull... dredfull games... NOT Ratchit and Clank in the slightest.. -oh and if you diss agree remmember this is MY OPINION! and the opinion of Alot of other ppl including moste of my frends.

element187

#39

element187 said:

Everyone complaining about the games Nintendo displayed yesterday doesn't have the slightest clue why Niintendo does what they do... A new console needs to build an audience. So the first batch of games are always going to be their top sellers. DKCR sold over 5 million copies. MP3 sold like poop (500k)

Ninty needs to put out the games that make people want to buy a console. 3D Mario, DKCR, Mario Kart, SSB4, LOZ (even if it is a remake). Later in then gen after they build an audience they can start making the niche titles they love doing so much....

It must suck to be Nintendo. You put ALOT of money down to develop as many big selling franchises as possible so you can deliver the creative niche titles later and you read all over the web that "fans" are poopooing your attempts to release some amazing games. The reaction to the new 3D Mario probably has them throwing their hands up going "you know what, it is impossible to please these jerks"

Volmun

#40

Volmun said:

@element187 Yep exactly! i thort the show of games was very good - i normaly dont like mario but im loveing the look on 3D World!

rjejr

#43

rjejr said:

@rastamadeus - "3 games in 5 years is hardly milking it"
So does that mean if COD only came out every other year all the Nintendo fans who have probably never even played 1 of them would shut up?

@Bingoshi - Kirby Mass Attack should have been a Pikmin game, so yes, nothing like the other 2. And Yarn and Dreamland were different as well. They all still managed to have Kirby in the title though. And to any fan of FPS they all just look like side-scrolling platformers.

You both misunderstand me. I'm not opposed to Nintendo doing what they want with their games. I happen to like all of their games. I'll play the new DKC:TR even though I'ld rather see Retro working on a new IP, I'll play Mario 3D World even though I'ld much rather have a single player Mario Unchained. What I can't stand is all the Nintendo fans defending Nintendo by saying all other companies do is put out COD over and over every year milking that franchise which is somehow bad but Nintendo only makes new games. It's just an absurd argument. And that's coming from somebody doesn't even play FPS. You can't hold up Nintendo as a bastion of superiority for putting out Zelda, Mario and Kirby games over and over again while criticizing another company for putting out a new game once every year based on their franchise. It's illogical.

Guess that's why they call them fanboys.

rastamadeus

#44

rastamadeus said:

@rjejr The problem isn't people defending them, it's people like you who can't see the difference. Releasing the same FPS year in year out with no improvements isn't the same as a sequel every two-three years with much more in way of taking the series forward. But I think you know that as you just seem to want to argue or cause an argument in every post you make on here or Push Square. Like you have to say something "controversial." You're probably not like that in any way but its how you seem a lot of the time. And in my experience its people who use the word fanboy to attack someone that turn out to be a fanboy them self. As for moi, I used to be a Nintendo-only gamer but in the last year or two I've sold my Wii and 3DS and currently own only a PS3 and Vita so I'm clearly a 'fanboy' :')

rjejr

#45

rjejr said:

@rastamadeus - No, don't consider myself a fanboy, I've owned an Atari 2600, 7800, PS1, PS2, PS3, Dreamcast, Gamecube, Wii, Gameboy Advance and a PSP. And a PC but lots of people own PCs who never play games so I don't usually put that on the list.

I consider a fanboy to be somebody who defends their own system at the expense of logic. Anybody saying the WiiU is a more powerful system than the X1 or PS4 is most likely a fanboy. That is different from a troll who I consider to be somebody who argues a point for the sake of argument even if they don't believe it themselves. I think your saying I'm a troll and I can understand how some of my posts could be perceived that way but I really don't see the point in arguing for arguments sake.

BTW - how many of those COD or MOH games have you played that you know they are the same game year in and year out? I would think by now that people would stop buying them if they really were the same game year after year. I've never played any of them but I'ld have to think they're somewhat different. There are people who keep buying Madden and The Show year after year and there are are people who don't and say they are the same game year after year so why bother, I don't play those games either but I'ld have to think they are somewhat different or again people wouldn't bother buying them.

MS fanboy - I don't play platforming games b/c they are all the same, Nintendo keeps putting out the same game over and over
Nintendo fanboy - I don't play FPS shooters b/c they are all the same, EA keeps putting out the same game over and over

So you are right about one thing, I can't see the difference.

rastamadeus

#46

rastamadeus said:

@rjejr I wasn't accusing you of being a fanboy (pathetic word for pathetic people in my opinion, just like games, who gives a damn about what it's on or who it's made by) or trolling. Just saying you do seem to like causing a bit of a ruckus. I have played a lot of FPS' as I wouldn't talk about something if I didn't know about it. My friends all love those games so I play them when with them. I also have MW2 and 3 as I have a soft spot for Special Ops mode and enjoy Survival with my cousin. The games though are so identical that if you hadn't played them you wouldn't know which is 2 or 3. Like Battlefield. And Medal Of Honor. And Halo. And etc, etc, etc. When a "massive" change to the next COD is you can play as a dog you know a genre is in trouble.
Sports games you can let off as it makes a HUGE difference if you're playing as you favourite sports team using last seasons players or kit. It may sound stupid to people who don't play them but it really does make it better. I don't want Pepe Reina to throw it out to Steven Gerrard who releases Fernando Torres in on goal. I want Sexy Teeth himself (Luis Suarez) being put through on goal.
Back to fanboys though, why care? It seems to annoy you that people are fanboys but just get over it (to be frank). There's idiots in every way of life. If some diehard Nintendo fan doesn't want to play COD, fine. If some COD diehard doesn't want to experience the unadulterated joy of a new 3D Mario, fine. Just relax and move on. That seems to be what it boils down to, you not understanding how they can say that but why do you care? It really isn't important to anyone. Let them miss out on games.
Anyway, I won't be replying any further as I'm away to Legoland, taking my nephew. And despite being 29 I am more excited than him. Toodleloo.

rjejr

#47

rjejr said:

@rastamadeus Thanks, your right, I need to chill.

And I wasnt going to reply again either but I'm taking my kids to Lego Discovery Center next Friday and that was too much of a coincidence for me to let slide.

rastamadeus

#48

rastamadeus said:

@rjejr Haha, that is an odd coincidence! We went the other week and my nephew loved it so much we've got tickets for Windsor this weekend. So much fun. Treated myself, I mean him, to a Minecraft set and now debating whether to get a Wii U or Lego Imperial Star Destroyer. Decisions, decisions...

rjejr

#49

rjejr said:

@rastamadeus - Windsor Resort? You like your nephew a lot more than I like my sons, we're just going to the Legoland Discovery Center in Westchester. I did tell them we'ld get a WiiU for my birthday Aug 4th (Pikmin 3 date) after we get back from Busch Gardens, I'm not a complete ogre.

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