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.