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Preview: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Dat HD fur

The E3 event can be a strange beast, as the unveiling of a sequel to one of the Wii's finest platformers was met with wails of despair in some corners. A number of fans, including this writer, wanted a fresh project from Retro that was either Metroid or something new, and instead we received Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. It's perhaps also peculiar that this has been argued by some as a lazy choice, considering the studio made three Metroid Prime games in a row; in those stakes, good old DK is still one game behind.

In any case, Tropical Freeze faces a challenge to both match and surpass the excellent Donkey Kong Country Returns, and in our time with the game so far it's on its way to achieving just that. What made the Wii game memorable was its continuing ability to ramp up spectacle and challenge in later stages, which we can't judge in a preview, but in around half a dozen hours we've seen plenty of familiarity and clever touches to suggest another strong showing from the ever-popular Retro Studios.

The foundations of the Wii title remain in place, with Donkey Kong having a suitably hefty sense of weight and presence on screen; this new title also runs at 60 frames-per-second, and the familiar animations appear as smooth as ever. We believe the developers when they say that the extra resources of the Wii U have also allowed improved animation, as DK has never looked or felt better when gambolling through stages. As before Diddy Kong is a buddy that gives him a little extra distance in his jump due to his jet pack, while Dixie and Cranky Kong are newcomers. Dixie's ability to add a little extra height to a jump proves useful, while Cranky's DuckTales-style cane / pogo is also particularly helpful for easily traversing spiked pits or taking out horned enemies — some levels give you specific buddies, though in others there's a rotating barrel that lets you choose. Having a buddy also gives you the KONG POW move when you collect 100 bananas — when the meter is full you tap a shoulder button and all enemies on screen are turned into useful items; each buddy prompts different items from this move.

The buddy's qualities vary underwater, too, and that's one of the most important changes in this title; in fact, it wastes no time in throwing you into water to make that very point. Dixie, for her part, gives a quick and smooth stroke, while Cranky amusingly swings his cane as a weapon; the swimming works well, avoiding many of the flaws of underwater sections in other games. It works on an instinctive level, which is perhaps the greatest praise that it can be afforded.

Other changes come in various sizes, but even the small tweaks are noticeable; puzzle side-rooms that require the hasty collection of bananas have been shaken up, for example. Cranky, now that he's 'out in the field', is replaced by Funky Kong in shop duties, and his items represent a fine balancing act between maintaining a good level of challenge and helping newcomers through the experience. Coins can now be spent on green and blue balloons — which save you from (most) pitfalls and give you extra time underwater — while other favourites return to boost your resilience. Mine cart and rocket barrel stages — for they are back — now allow two hits by default, while extra hearts and the puzzle piece-seeking parrot return. You can also purchase barrels for each of the companions, so you can always enter a level fully reinforced, while capsule toys will cater to those with collect 'em all instincts.

It's clear that Retro Studios has sought a solution for all-comers here, as in the early running we've been lavished with lives, coins and resources so that the Game Over screen never seems likely — in single player, at least — yet we feel as challenged as we did on Wii, in some cases more so. Additional levels, for example, are no longer simply accessed from buying a key of collecting all KONG letters, but in some cases are actually hidden in alternate exits, some of which still have us scratching our heads. Boss battles are also a step up, with more detailed attack patterns and, it seems, they're taking a good time longer to defeat. Levels in general can take up to ten minutes on a first run — longer if you die frequently — if you're exploring and trying to find secrets; the stage design hasn't let us down so far.

In fact, we will say that Retro's lost none of its creativity, and this title does surprise on multiple occasions. It takes advantage of new environments — the windmill-populated second world and Savannah world three stand out so far — to try fresh tricks or expand on those of Returns. The dynamic 3D camera — which rotates to give a wow factor to some set-pieces — is utilised surprisingly often, and there are tweaks beyond standard platforming that demonstrate the playfulness expected as standard from a first-party title. You'll find yourself engaging in plenty of play from new camera angles, taking the 2.5D aspect of Returns beyond simplistic depth of field to a perspective far more notable. The plot is fluff, though it rarely matters beyond "DK must defeat such-and-such", but the winter-themed Viking animals appear in various enjoyable guises, again helping Tropical Freeze to establish its own identity.

Retro's been busy in other ways too, and a feature sure to excite speedrunners, and those that simply like to watch masters in action, is the updated Time Attack option. While you can still chase medals in all completed levels, you can also set the game to automatically record your gameplay; when you set a new record you can upload your time. What's exciting is that when you view the online leaderboards, those that recorded their time when connected have replays to view; you simply click the entry and, within seconds, the replay is temporarily downloaded for you to watch. This will likely add a serious amount of replay value and, in our early runs with only a few entries on the boards, admittedly, it's worked perfectly.

As before, two player local multiplayer is a feature and, in our time with the co-op to date, works in much the same way as before. It still doesn't feel like a particularly essential part of the experience, though player two can choose from any of the companions — this can oddly be a disadvantage in early levels catered to specific companions — but losing lives and progressing more with chaotic abandon is standard for this mode. Multiple control schemes are available again, either mimicking the Wii original or, with the GamePad and Wii U Pro Controller, matching the 3DS Returns port's waggle-free alternatives. You still roll and pound as before, meanwhile, though the blowing mechanic — used so frequently in the Wii title — has been ditched; instead we have a new move where the characters can pull items out of the ground. This is actually used a little less than the blowing in Returns, so those than felt stopping to blow every dandelion killed momentum should be pleased.

It's also worth noting that, so far, the GamePad has only been notable for off-TV play, with no other mechanics that we've seen — as a result our pad of choice has been the Pro Controller.

Our early impressions are extremely positive for Tropical Freeze, and we're eager to see how the whole experience stacks up when many more hours and levels are down. It's a natural evolution from Returns with its new features and outstanding visuals — the Wii title was no slouch — while we should also give a shout-out to the music, in which the original composer David Wise is involved; it's outstanding. To date we've enjoyed nostalgic moments — charging through a level with Rambi never gets old — and been charmed by fresh touches and ideas. The lack of GamePad implementation beyond off-TV play is an early surprise, but nevertheless we're full of optimism for the remainder of this title.

If you'll excuse us, we now have more evil wintry animals to face-off against.


Below is a highlights reel of World 1, with Damien (Diddy) and Tom (DK) playing in co-op. More highlights videos for other worlds will be posted in the coming days.

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User Comments (161)

IxnayontheCK

#3

IxnayontheCK said:

Looks so good, can't wait. That said, the speed run thing seems to be N's go to thing -Mario, Rayman, god knows what else. Not my cup of tea speed runs, but doesn't hurt either. What's the price on this? I feel wii u sweet spot should be 39.99 personally...

cookiex

#4

cookiex said:

Buying this digitally day one. Kinda wish they hadn't delayed it but the recent gameplay videos are simply stunning.

PvtOttobot

#5

PvtOttobot said:

"Dat HD Fur" should be reserved for SSB: Wii U!
Edit: After watching the video, I take that back; it's so... beautiful...

rjejr

#6

rjejr said:

I really wasn't interested in this but as time goes buy it's getting closer to a must buy. We rented the first and it only stayed in our house about a week but the easier game play and "watchable" speed run videos seems like there will be enough to keep us busy for awhile.

It does help that it's coming out in Feb as there is currently nothing else on the horizon until MK8 in April, May or June.

Is the Gamepad screen completely useless? I liked the "map" in Sonic Lost World. They should have added a FP view for the mine kart levels that was switchable w/ the tv. That would be fun for after you've figured it out and just want others around you to watch. They could have added tapping for pulling stuff out of the ground. About as useless as blowing. Just throwing stuff out that for a game made only for the Wii U.

Does the mine cart look slower to anybody else? Seemed almost leisurely to me.

Ryo_Hazuki-san

#7

Ryo_Hazuki-san said:

ok not gonna lie looks pretty good lol can not wait for a online multiplayer metroid ! that the wii u desperately needs ! they need a good solid shooter that has online and a good racing game MK8! and the wii u will sell!

Knux

#8

Knux said:

Playing Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D to hype up for this. Looks amazing, so I can't wait to play this baby! :D

unrandomsam

#10

unrandomsam said:

I seriously hope the gameplay is of the same difficulty. (Only game that has been just right for me in a long time on a Nintendo system excluding VC). It sold ok last time. If they have nerfed it then I won't be getting a Wii U for the foreseeable future.

Sceptic

#11

Sceptic said:

The graphics look absolutely hideous. For a $75 game they must be joking.

Goginho

#12

Goginho said:

@Sceptic Yep, what were they thinking?! I mean, I can barely recognize what's on the screen, what is that?! They should have done it like DK Country 1 :P

Einherjar

#13

Einherjar said:

If youre a fan of high quality 2D Platformers, theres simply no way around the WiiU. After initially not being that interested in this game, i now can hardly wait for it :)

Einherjar

#14

Einherjar said:

@Sceptic Please tell me that youre joking O.o
First that is most definitly NOT the retail price and second: Have you watched a different video than me ? Something from an old atari game or something ?

Nintenjoe64

#15

Nintenjoe64 said:

Nintendo have been clever with this game. It's £32 online and in a worryingly quiet time for new releases. Still can't justify buying it until I finish my VC backlog (SMB:LL, SMB2, SMB3, Castlevania and Contra 3), own a few more non-platformers on Wii U and complete the crown world of SM3DW.

@Sceptic yeah terrible, looks like a youtube video.... oh wait!

Dark-Luigi

#16

Dark-Luigi said:

@Sceptic You obviously don't know what you're talking about. Please, how does this gorgeous platformer look like crap to you, hm?

WaveyChristmas

#17

WaveyChristmas said:

What's up with the Metal rock music during the boss battle? Doesn't exactly fit in me thinks'

Anyways, looks nice. Nothing to really go ape sh** over. Looks like a DKCReturns expansion pack with prettier HD visuals. not that that's a bad thing, it's just that this doesn't look to be breaking any new grounds in terms of gameplay or innovation.. same ol' winning formula. Either way, I'm getting this day one. :P

But yup, in which ways does this game utlize the Game Pad?

Bass_X0

#18

Bass_X0 said:

A number of fans, including this writer, wanted a fresh project from Retro that was either Metroid or something new, and instead we received Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. It's perhaps also peculiar that this has been argued by some as a lazy choice,

I want and expect a new game for each of the major series and spin-offs on each platform, excluding ports like DKC Returns 3D. One per platform would do. So not another New Super Mario Bros. game until Nintendo's next console or handheld. I'd quite like to see a new Donkey Kong Land 4 for 3DS even if it does reuse the same graphics as Returns or Tropical Freeze. A port of the Wii game doesn't fulfill the 3DS for Donkey Kong Country games.

The graphics look absolutely hideous.

No they don't. Its not a game I'd pay $75 for either but when it comes down in price, it would be a much more appealing purchase.

Obito_Tennyson

#20

Obito_Tennyson said:

DKC has some of the best soundtracks ever, and the SNES / Game Boy trilogy was absolutely beautiful. The second best 2D Platformer franchise / game ever after Super Mario Bros. Probably just nostalgia, but when I first played it, it blew my mind when compared to most other games that I played during my youth.

SuperiorTech

#21

SuperiorTech said:

@Fazermint
"Multiple control schemes are available again, either mimicking the Wii original or, with the GamePad and Wii U Pro Controller, matching the 3DS Returns port's waggle-free alternatives"

WaveyChristmas

#23

WaveyChristmas said:

@Sceptic

I wouldn't say they're horrid by any means, but they're not amazing or anything. Tropical Freeze seems to be slightly suffering from the NSMB 'simple' syndrome. Things at times seem to be too neatly in place, plastic and wall-paper like.

K-Gamer

#24

K-Gamer said:

Getting this Day One. I don't get Nintendo with all these Platformers though. In N64 and even GameCube days, all the games were 3d.

brewsky

#25

brewsky said:

Wait a moment. They said that you can BUY barrels before you enter a level? So Funky is holding the Kongs hostage?

gatorboi352

#26

gatorboi352 said:

"It's also worth noting that, so far, the GamePad has only been notable for off-TV play, with no other mechanics that we've seen — as a result our pad of choice has been the Pro Controller."

Could you imagine playing Goldeneye on N64 without that iconic 3 prong controller? Or playing Galaxy on Wii without the wonders of the nunchuck/wiimote set up?

Such an irrelevant device, that Wii U GamePad.

NintyMan

#28

NintyMan said:

I have no doubt that this is going to be a fantastic game and a very strong start to 2014. February 21st can't come soon enough!

Also, a little detail that I've read from Nintendo Everything is that if you play for a while without using the GamePad, the GamePad screen will go dark. Retro did this to save battery energy.

I don't mind the GamePad not being used much. There's not a lot you could do with one in a 2D platformer.

Bolt_Strike

#29

Bolt_Strike said:

I'm still not seeing the appeal of this game. @WaveBoy is right about this having a NSMB feel, but not because of the graphics, because of the gameplay. There's no new, next gen gameplay mechanic that really warrants this game's existence, and what little changes they did made don't really make the game any better than it was in DKCR. Tom is missing the point when he says that DK is less lazy because they've done Metroid 3 times already. It's because Metroid has more next gen gameplay potential than DK, and nothing they've shown of this game really makes up for that. At this stage in the game, a samey 2D platformer is the last thing Nintendo needs, they need to start showing what the Wii U can do that other consoles cannot.

19Robb92

#31

19Robb92 said:

Man, this sounds & looks outstanding. Definitely a GOTY contender, DKC:R was my favorite 2D platformer last gen! :D David Wise doing amazing music, gorgeous HD visuals, awesome level design etc. etc. etc.

My fingers are itching to play this!!

WaveyChristmas

#32

WaveyChristmas said:

@Bolt_Strike
I really don't see the appeal either unless you are a die hard DKC fan. DKCR was refreshing, because we had not seen a traditional DKC sequel in quite some time, but Tropical Freeze is the perfect example of playing it safe, it's a typical by the numbers sequel and clearly suffers from NSMB-itus.lol

I don't know about you guys but I'm MUCH more excited and interested how Yoshi's Yarn turns out....even so, that's going to be borrowing heavily from Epic Yarn's art style. See the trend here? Nintendo's visual creativity for the Wii U is at an all time low. :P same art style yet in HD with more visual pizzaz.

They need to start messing with 'clay' ;)

I'm still dieing for a StarTropics 3, or something entirely new, a brand NEW franchise with innovative winning game design combined with a all new nintendo mascot that can contend with Mario, Link, Samus, Kirby ect ect. But we all know that wouldn't sell well, like every other awesome new franchise that has paved the way on the Wii & Wii U....Zack & Wiki, Elebits, The Wonderful 101, The Munchables ect ect.
I find these hidden gems to be even more enjoyable than a lot of these popular renowned franchises with sequel after sequel.

emayer

#33

emayer said:

Am I the only one who's glad that Retro isn't shoehorning in some unnecessary Gamepad-specific functionality just because it's there? The Gamepad should be a tool that's there for the developers if they want to use it. It shouldn't be something that every developer feels obligated to integrate. That's the mode of thinking that gave us waggle controls in so many games on the Wii.

There's off-TV play. That's really all Retro needed to do when it comes to the Gamepad.

Meaty-cheeky

#34

Meaty-cheeky said:

@Sceptic I wouldn't say the graphics are horrid, but I do agree that they can be better! If Rare was working on this game they would be pushing the Wii U to its limits in graphical power. Retro has done a great job gameplay wise with DKCTF, but are pulling a half-@ss plastic New Super Mario bros look to the game which is a little bit disappointing. I will still buy this game day one since I'm a huge Donkey Kong Country Fan.

Bolt_Strike

#35

Bolt_Strike said:

@WaveBoy I don't really care how the graphics look that much, there really aren't that many games that look visually bad to me anymore (Crimson Dragon I guess).

As for new IPs, Miyamoto's still got one up his sleeve, and if there's anyone who can make a new Nintendo IP popular, it'd be him.

@emayer True, but this just has me questioning why Retro decided on DK in the first place. They keep talking as if they had more ideas for DK, and considering how safe this game looks and how immediately the Gamepad would benefit Metroid (especially in a Prime style game), I'm starting to doubt that that's true.

GearsOfWarU

#36

GearsOfWarU said:

Super Stoked to play this one of my most wanted games of 2014 !!!!! Never owned a Wii so never played Donkey Kong Country Returns .... This looks Better ... Love the Frozen Viking Animal Boss Touches... Also excited to Ride Rambi the Rhino (huge fan of Rhinos) . Can't wait looks Awesome !!!!!!

LUIGITORNADO

#37

LUIGITORNADO said:

@emayer
I agree. Sadly with Wii and motion controls and critics likening the gamepad to the Wii remotes, we're going to keep on hearing, "does not demonstrate gamepad usefulness."

I find it obnoxious.

brewsky

#38

brewsky said:

@gatorboi352 So you wanted Retro to give the Gamepad a more specific use, thus limiting this game to single player, instead of two player? I think Off-TV play is great, as it's a godsend for me.

emayer

#39

emayer said:

@Bolt_Strike I'm not seeing how this game looks safe or lazy or anything like that. Every single level they've shown so far has been completely unique from the next. They're all individually crafted, fully detailed 3D worlds. There's virtually no crossover at all in terms of archetypes from DKCR. This isn't something like NSMBU, which used the same exact level themes from the previous three games in its series.

There's a reason this game has been in development for 3 years...

Bolt_Strike

#41

Bolt_Strike said:

@emayer IDK which game you're looking at, but I'm seeing a lot of the same archetypes from previous games, like jungle levels, minecart levels, and underwater levels. Also, new gameplay mechanics are much more important to me than new level archetypes, and the gameplay aspect of this game is quite lacking. They've got what, two additional characters (one of which isn't a new character) and generic throwing mechanics? Lame.

WaveyChristmas

#42

WaveyChristmas said:

@Bolt_Strike

They also stole the Pogo Mechanics from DuckTales. :P
Retro should of went with an odd ball prerendered trippier look like what they did with the SNES games. It made the Country series stand out, but they've resorted to a genric 3D look just for the sake of mass appeal. Soccer moms won't stand for no weirdness, then again...Soccer moms have moved onto I-Phones. ;)

Anyhoo, Shovel Knight looks 10x better, can't wait for that little Yacht club Masterpiece. lol

Bolt_Strike

#43

Bolt_Strike said:

@WaveBoy I don't have as much of a problem with them ripping off DuckTales because it's an older game that most of the younger gamers probably wouldn't recognize (unless they played the remake). The throwing mechanics, though? That's been done a zillion times in other games, not really interesting at all. I think it would've been better (and they could still do this in a future game) if they went further in the direction of beat em up gameplay while still sticking to DK's platforming roots, expanding on DK's brute force platforming style seems like a good way to make the series stand out gameplay wise. Kind of like the Werehog in Sonic Unleashed without the levels being crammed with mandatory arena sections (because older fans would complain if they went that far).

emayer

#44

emayer said:

@Bolt_Strike Mangroves, European Mountains, Savannahs, Underwater, Snow — none of these broad world themes were in DKCR. And the levels within these worlds contain tons of variety, even moreso than in DKCR from the looks of it.

With as solid a gameplay base as DKCR had, they didn't have to reinvent the wheel. They've expanded on it with new helper Kongs with unique abilities, added swimming into the mix, and replaced one of DKCR's less exciting features (blowing) with something a bit more practical (pulling/throwing). I would've liked to see some new Animal Buddies as well, so that's kind of a bummer, but with how interesting all the locales look, I can't complain too much.

alex167

#46

alex167 said:

Thomas, on DKCR 3D three items from Cranky's shop could be selected at a time for any level, on this game is the same or just one item can be selected for level?

Bolt_Strike

#47

Bolt_Strike said:

@emayer I totally forgot the Animal Buddies even existed, they downplayed them in DKCR. But yeah, more Animal Buddies is another thing they could do to spice things up.

minotaurgamer

#49

minotaurgamer said:

Take note ubisoft: THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE A FUN PLATFORMER. No artsy-fartst stuff, nor whimsycal humor. Just well-polishen arcade gameplay with lots of content and real challenge. That's why your Rayman sleeping pills fail to sell. Content and gameplay will always yrump over "creativity" and "art".

minotaurgamer

#50

minotaurgamer said:

@K-Gamer 3D platformers are a failure. Seriously, all platformers that have turn to 3D had bad reception and mediocre sales, not counting that thet destroy the mechanics and resort to puzzle-solving tediousness and collectathons. Not all genres fit on 3D. Platformers and fighters work much better and are better accepted than 3D ones.

minotaurgamer

#51

minotaurgamer said:

@WaveBoy "Retro should of went with an odd ball prerendered trippier look like what they did with the SNES games. It made the Country series stand out, but they've resorted to a genric 3D look just for the sake of mass appeal. Soccer moms won't stand for no weirdness, then again...Soccer moms have moved onto I-Phones. "

Ok, that's the most stupid thing i have read in this page.

WaveyChristmas

#52

WaveyChristmas said:

@minotaurgamer

How so, it's true. Nintendo can't be bothered to take bold risks at this point. Even their big hitter franchises are barely selling(3d World rings a bell) Sure us gamers would eat that different visual approach up in a heart beat, but for the casual gamer in mind(including the soccer moms), a lot of them want a squeaky clean bubble gum image like NSMB. Retro's doing the same thing with Tropical freeze. Plastic, minimal, squeeky clean wall-paper game design it tis. ;)

Also, i agree with you on Rayman. They're terrible platformers, with sloppy platforming and floaty controls. Ubi was clearly more focused on artsy fartsy visuals and just dazzling the player with eye candy. quite frankly, i prefer the look of DKC Tropical freeze over the latest 2 rayman games.

Origins was one of the worst platformers i've played in YEARS. I forced myself to finish that tedious snore fest with it's chipmunk-experimental artsy soundtrack and ear melting SFX. It's laughably bad at the core-game design wise compared to something like NSMB.

NintyMan

#53

NintyMan said:

Interesting how Tropical Freeze is going to be like Super Mario 3D World; a game that got mixed reactions and disappointment at first but turns out to be absolutely amazing in the end when people actually get to see more of it and play it.

Sceptic

#54

Sceptic said:

$75 is the retail price where I live. Yes, I agree. It's ridiculous.

Graphics look only slightly better than on my three year old Android tablet.

Maybe because it's only 720p natively.

On the up side, it makes Rayman, Giana Sisters and Trine 2 look like they're next gen or something.

unrandomsam

#55

unrandomsam said:

@WaveBoy I agree 100% about Rayman. DKCR though for me was just right (Other than the motion controls that it didn't need) the checkpoints were far enough apart that you didn't get to fluke it. Shovel Knight might be either good or great. They mentioned modern conveniences (Which I take to mean more like the 2nd Shantae than the 1st). The look of Shovel Knight is nothing to write home about either for me. (Gold Standard for pixel art for me is stuff like Astal or Clockwork Knight or Saturn Megaman X4 or Neo Geo. Even newer indie stuff like Gunlord or Pier Solar is of a higher quality I think).

AdanVC

#56

AdanVC said:

@DestinyMan Totally agree with you! This game is Super Mario 3D World all over in those aspects, most people expecting something new or different but in the end, the result is a top-notch quality awesome game that everyone even those with doubts at the beginning end up enjoying so much. I can't freaking wait to play this game it looks it would have non-stop action from beginning to end. I love that, plus dat David Wise soundtrack! I'm in media blackout so I haven't listened any new tracks yet but I'm sure is going to be outstanding.

unrandomsam

#57

unrandomsam said:

@Sceptic Rayman is just rubbish overall - always has been - but the rest are 30fps which is a waste of time. (Wii U versions anyway).

WaveyChristmas

#59

WaveyChristmas said:

@unrandomsam
But Shovel Knight is 8-bit. Astal was 32-bit, so you can't compare since Yacht Club purposely aimed for NES-like visuals.. I think Shovel Knight looks pretty nice! The gameplay looks tight! I for one am extremely excited for it, much more so than Tropical Freeze.

Anyhoo, Astal was a pretty neat platformer that i'm sure 90% of the people on this site have never even played. I owned a saturn day one and i was fortunate enough to have experienced it during it's release. Great visuals and soundtrack too! Probably my favorite saturn game as well, followed by Panzer Dragoon. :P

Untitled

Sceptic

#60

Sceptic said:

@unrandomsam: Never had a problem with 30fps if it's stable at that rate.

But upscaling a game from 720p you're marketing as 'full HD' just sounds like more corner cutting. Like they ran into the performance wall kind of early there.

An upscaled DVD isn't Bluray.

WaveyChristmas

#61

WaveyChristmas said:

@Sceptic...30fps can be a big problem on HDTV's....since it creates a frame juttering effect whenever the screen movies....it's a disaster imo. 30fps is pure BS for sidescrollers....Giena sisters, Trine 2 and the Castle of Illusion remake are perfect examples. I can't stand playing either of them soley because of this reason. Even on an SDTV, 30fps for a sidescroller just doesn't look right...

Xiao_Pai

#63

Xiao_Pai said:

Funny how people said they wanted more in Returns, underwater levels...and all that. We get a sequel with underwater and so much, then everyone complains. Not to mention Retro "losing their creativity" because of a "lazy sequel", we forget about the 3 Primes or something? lol

Anyways planning on preordering soon.

Sceptic

#64

Sceptic said:

@WaveBoy: probably depends on the response time of the TV in question. I have no such issues anywhere.

But yeah, the necessary tradeoff seems to be either 30fps or 720p.

WaveyChristmas

#65

WaveyChristmas said:

@Sceptic
I'm pretty sure it doesn't, it's just how HDTV's handle 30fps. LCD/LED's hide the frame doubling effect better though, since they both have sucktastic motion smearing. :P it's more noticeable on a plasma since the motion resolution is a lot better. I'm still baffled that 60fps isn't the standard on the PS4 & One....heck 1080p still isn't. it's all gotten rather sloppy.

Here i am sitting 11 feet away from a 60" 1080p plasma. They say you want to be sitting 12 feet away for 720p content(WiiU) on a 60" and i'm 1 foot too close for the optimal viewing distance....which kind of irks me. :P sigh, i just wish all games were 1080p at this point.

unrandomsam

#66

unrandomsam said:

@WaveBoy How is it possible to get the Wii U connected to an HDTV below 2 frames of input lag. (If I understand it correctly then it means you need one with 16ms or less latency). My plasma is 30ms which is ok and it looks brilliant but if I understand it right then that will put it up to 3 frames which I can notice.
The only things suitable I can see are digital signage monitors. (There is a super high end Sony but that is only 19ms).
Castle of Illusion I thought I was ok with (PC version) on a 2ms monitor at 30fps until it got the 60fps update then i realised I was deceiving myself.

WaveyChristmas

#67

WaveyChristmas said:

@unrandomsam

Some Samsung Plasma's can dish out 16ms/1 frame through an HDMI 'pc' labeling trick, but the big downside is that it knocks out half of the picture conrols including color. Count me out. :P However, i owned the Panasonic S30 1080p plasma a couple of years ago and it DID whip out 16ms using a 'compont cables' and 2 frames via HDMI.

the current s60 which i have now does 35ms for both inputs. I also owned the LGLK450 which also did 1 frame of lag with component. The downside to all of this is that it's always the lower tier-mid range sets with the least amount of processing have the least amount of lag...I'd rather fork out the cash and get the best plasma i can get, but that typically comes with an enormous pile of lag, so it's out of the question. :P

The Sony 900A 2013 LED can do 19ms of lag....It's pretty damn expensive, but i personally can't deal with it's motion blur...Which is why i settled for the S60. It's not as bright, but it boasts better motion and deeper blacks without dimming the picture down in order to achieve them. :P

jord91

#68

jord91 said:

You guys are insane, how can u slam the rayman games when they have universal praise,there mechanics are not wrong they are just different from marios! I own both and i think they are both incredible platformers especially legends,which gives 3d world a good run for its money in my opinion

unrandomsam

#69

unrandomsam said:

@WaveBoy So on yours at the moment on the Wii U is it the equivalent of just adding about another 16ms onto it ? (Real sticking point for me because I got my Panasonic plasma (Don't remember the model number but I checked before hand it was going to be less than 2 frames. It was chosen for that reason and because of its discount) for 1/3 of its RRP. If I can just get a Wii U and use either the TV and a Pro Controller or the Gamepad off tv that would be not really an issue. (Or I could put up with it).

Aozz101x

#70

Aozz101x said:

i take back everything that said to this game
this games looks like a blast to play and i will be pre order this game next month

JaxonH

#71

JaxonH said:

@IxnayontheCK

$39.99? You can get the port of DKC Returns on the 3DS for that price, but you're not gonna get a brand new Wii U game- one of Nintendo's largest franchises they own, for $40.

Not sure where you've been the last few years, but games now cost $60. The only exception to that rule is usually when it's a remake, late port, or party game. Having said that, Nintendo was kind enough to lower the price $10 to $49.99, presumably to appease us over the delay.

But even if this did cost $60, this is one game that would be worth every last cent, and then some. DKC Returns was one of the finest games on the Wii, and this one looks to far surpass it. I can almost certainly guarantee this will be on par with Super Mario 3D World- DKC is just that good. And for the record, this game is 3-4x the size of Zelda Windwaker HD, NSMBU, Pikmin 3 or Super Mario 3D World.

jayclayx

#72

jayclayx said:

this game will be nice indeed but I dunno it has something but don't appeal to me yet, its feels like an upgrade from the wii version to hd and some extra characters, maybe because I was expecting more from retrostudios, dck for snes was a revelation, dkcr for wii was an awesome achievement for the wii, just saying,,,

IxnayontheCK

#73

IxnayontheCK said:

@JaxonH No no, I'm well aware how much games cost and this will no doubt be a great game, but given the Wii U's "situation" having their games be cheaper than those of the PS4 and Xbone would be a good decision. Obviously what I want to pay and what the price will actually be will be drastically different but one can dream...

JaxonH

#75

JaxonH said:

@WaveBoy

Wow... that was unprecedented. DKC Tropical Freeze is anything but "in place, bubble gum image". I really don't know what to say to that. It's just so absurd I'm actually stunned. The game looks phenomenal. Graphics are crisp and clean (that's a GOOD thing, mind you), the artstyle is amazing, the environments are a living, breathing thing and anything but sedentary, and the the game just looks flawless in every way. Beauty is all in the eye of the beholder I suppose, but I think I speak for most people here when I say I strongly disagree.

And by the way, Idk what makes you think Nintendo's franchises aren't selling. New Super Mario Bros U has sold 3.5 million copies. Nintendoland has sold 2.8 million copies. Super Mario 3D World has sold 1.7 million copies. New Super Luigi U has sold 1.2 million copies. Even Wii Party U has broke 1 million sold. Heck, even Zelda Windwaker HD, a REMAKE, is approaching 1 million sold. Mind you there are only 5 million Wii U owners. I don't mean to call you out but, well, I guess I do. You're just plain wrong.

electrolite77

#76

electrolite77 said:

All looks a bit uninspired TBH. Decent but unspectacular graphics, a retread of the Wii game. Hope it's a bit more inspired than NSMBU but it looks like there'll be nothing Wii U-related troubling my wallet until Mario Kart....whenever that may be....

ricklongo

#78

ricklongo said:

By far my most anticipated game right now. I think only Monolith's X comes close to it in my hype levels. As a huge fan of well-done sidescrollers (and as someone who ranks DKC2: Diddy's Kong Quest among his top 5 games of all time), I hope Tropical Freeze shows the naysayers just how relevant the format can still be these days.

rumple88

#79

rumple88 said:

One of the reasons I bought my Wii U, these games have a special place in my heart. I bet this does 125k+ the first few days of release.

King_Johobo

#80

King_Johobo said:

I'm not watching the video..i'm not watching the video..i'm not.....so damn hard to resist!!

Shadowflash

#81

Shadowflash said:

@Meaty-cheeky You do realize that (1) Rare is definitely not what it used to be, and (2) DKC2 wasn't that much of a difference in terms of "graphics" from DKC1.

rumple88

#82

rumple88 said:

@JaxonH @WaveBoy Further more those numbers don't include digital purchases. And I know for a fact allot of people prefer downloads to physical discs. So add hundreds of thousands to those totals.

Ren

#83

Ren said:

This does look like a small downloadable quality game (when you look at the content of competing machines). Sure if you're a super fan you'll be excited but how is this pushing the limits of... anything? I would not pay full retail for a game like this much less run out and buy a WiiU.
It's too bad Nintendo can't get their heads out of thier #%*es and see that this is the BASE standard of what HD gaming is now so if your flagship IP's are proudly owning 2008 then saving the ailing WiiU will take some truly new approach and hiring some developers that can deliver more than HD rendered content that looks like Gamecube games.

rumple88

#84

rumple88 said:

@Ren Interesting assessment on a game you haven't played, youtube videos really are just all you need to fully judge a game huh? I never knew Ren was such a seasoned analyst and strategist for the video game industry.

unrandomsam

#85

unrandomsam said:

@Ren The last Donkey Kong Country is the only game this century that is at the same level as quality as the best the genre had to offer in the 90's period.

gatorboi352

#86

gatorboi352 said:

@ntabruzzo "thus limiting this game to single player, instead of two player?"

Perhaps thats another underlying fundamental flaw with the GamePad and Wii U right there.

unrandomsam

#87

unrandomsam said:

@JaxonH I am expecting from this more variety better graphics but worse overall because I think they will nerf the difficulty (Which I think was pretty much perfect last time). They will possibly add a hard mode but not test it to the same extent meaning overall it won't be as good. (I really want to be wrong - if nobody complains about the difficulty on Metacritic then I will think I am right).

unrandomsam

#88

unrandomsam said:

@gatorboi352 It has always been stated that 2 gamepad's can be used but potentially at 30fps. (Nothing has though). They could have just offered using a wire as an option.

rumple88

#89

rumple88 said:

@unrandomsam Don't really see that happening that's the core of DK games the challenge. Retro realizes that and Nintendo. Also don't see it having any benefits marketing/sales wise if it were nerfed.

brewsky

#90

brewsky said:

@gatorboi352 Just because there is one Gamepad doesn't mean it's flawed. The Gamepad could be another controller (3D World) or could be used as other functions (Pikmin 3/Wii Fit U). Or you could be creative and use it as a second TV screen and play multiplayer using Pro controllers or Wiimotes. I do it all the time with Mario/Luigi U and 3D World. Truly is a handy device.

xThomas

#91

xThomas said:

a lot of you guys and saying it's bad that there's a new DKC. I'm concerned that you want the 2D games stop being released. It has been a few years since I played DKCR.. The SNES had three donkey kongs, the Playstation had three Crash Bandicoots. In a few years up you will buy games like dKC:tf because it is there and it is different.
Also, Nintendo is just transitioning into HD. how much they spend to make simpler games like this happen first?

WaveyChristmas

#92

WaveyChristmas said:

@rumple88

I'm not too familiar with Wii U sales, but i thought i heard that Super Mario 3D World didn't do 'that' well, or sold a lot less than nintendo hoped for. Heck, 3D World looks to be a total blast, it's mind boggling how piss poor many gamers tastes are these days. It should of been a smash hit.

ricklongo

#93

ricklongo said:

@Ren Which limites was Battlefield 4 pushing? How about Knack? Ryse probably pushed the limits on how to turn your launch title into a soulless QTE slugfest.

I want good gaming experiences. If it's groundbreaking (and still good), great, but that's definitely not necessary to make a great game.

xThomas

#95

xThomas said:

@Waveboy
I think it is partly Mario fatigue. More importantly 3D World, from watching YouTube videos, seems too simplistic. They did four player, which is cool, but the environment isn't lively enough.
Also some gamers will avoid because it isn't native 1080p. I'm not saying 3D World looks bad, it actually looks pretty good, but I'm saying it doesn't impress anywhere like Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario 64. That's the whole problem with the Wii U really. Tablet controllers are not impressive to many people like the wiimote. Think "wii would like to play" vs the best spin you can put on Wii U.

unrandomsam

#96

unrandomsam said:

I played through 3D World at Christmas with two children (Age 10 and 12) very quickly. (Rushing through it to be fair but I was playing it not them even though they had characters on the screen they were doing the equivalent of playing Tales on Sonic 2). Probably works better with people of the same skill level.

Compare with Sonic Generations (PC 1080p/60fps) which is much more fun once you get better at it.

(3D World I don't think I will even be bothered about playing it again - Maybe the special worlds are great but it is not a fair deal for me I want all the game like that - which coincidently Donkey Kong Country Returns was last time even better than Sonic Generations).

rumple88

#97

rumple88 said:

@WaveBoy Sure mario 3d world didn't move 1mil units it's first week but it is currently the best selling Wii U game that wasn't bundled with the system. Even taking into account the bundled games it's in third place overall after only being out for a little over a couple months. But your right there was allot of click bait doom and gloom articles comparing numbers from past marios but the install base for the Wii U is still growing and incrementally so have to mario 3d sales. Much like DK, mario 3d is really making the Wii U worth having and it will sell a sh!t load for years to come. These games are masterpeices in my eyes.

JaxonH

#98

JaxonH said:

@unrandomsam

I don't think so. GameXplain played the first 4 worlds, and says the difficulty is right on par with Returns. Retro themselves came out and stated they retained the classic difficulty. The EASY mode from Returns 3D was retained to appease the gamers who lack the skill necessary to play on standard difficulty, so there really isn't a reason to make the game easier. And I see no evidence whatsoever to the contrary.

TruenoGT

#100

TruenoGT said:

This looks really solid, but it's disappointing there's nothing that screams "only possible on Wii U!!" on the release calendar yet for 2014. Aside from graphic detail, I fail to see how this couldn't be a Wii or even Gamecube game.

Ren

#101

Ren said:

This does look fun don't get me wrong, it just doesn't wow on the technical side and also offers nothing new and exciting to draw people in if they care to do that. Maybe it's not meant to move consoles, that's fine, but anything from Nintendo right now really needs to be moving consoles (get with online multi-player/ really do something interesting with textures rather than just the added shading to the same tired models). If you only have a Nintendo this can't come soon enough, but if you have anything else it's not really enough to make you drop it and run back to Nintendo (last gen really, theres nothing fresh on the new consoles either, I get that).
I'm only saying they've had so much time to prepare for this dive into HD and it's really sad that they've mis-managed getting it together for so long now that it's sacrificed the success of the WiiU entirely. I really wanted to be proven wrong but a game like this, this late is just not turning heads besides die hards like the N fans here.

JaxonH

#102

JaxonH said:

@TruenoGT

Games don't have to only be possible on the system. They just have to only be on the system. Doesn't matter if DKC Tropical Freeze could've been done on the Wii (aside from gorgeous HD graphics). Most games could have. But they're not on other systems- they're on Wii U. Which to me, makes the Wii U worth having. If nothing else, dual analogue controls for this game and off screen play make it stand out from what it would have been if on the Wii.

Pikmin 3, now that's a game that really shines from a combination of both motion controls and a second screen. Sure, it could've been done on Wii, or even Gamecube for that matter, but it wouldn't have been as exquisite as on the Wii U, because no other console in history has offered traditional dual analogue controls, motion controls, and a second screen all at the developer's disposal.

Wii Sports Club, particularly Golf, is another game that shines from the added benefit of the Wii U. I really do love that game. Wonderful 101 is another game that, while sure, could have been modified for a single screen only, really shines from the 2nd screen's purposeful integration. The 2 screen puzzles and touch-based interface for Unite Morphs are what really make that game special.

As for 2014, I do agree that most games don't scream "only possible on Wii U", but I'm actually thankful for that. The Wii had some great games, BUT, many great games were hindered by forcing aspects upon them which screamed "only on Wii". With the Wii U, it seems they're taking a more conservative approach, only blending 2nd screen and motion where it's a natural fit.

JaxonH

#103

JaxonH said:

@Ren

There is more to gaming than just "wowing on the technical side". That's a common strategy for 3rd parties- that's their number one method of garnering interest. The bigger, the more impressive visually, the more their customers salivate. That's not for everyone though. There are millions of people, myself included, that just want to play fun games. And you'd have to be really nitpicking to say this game doesn't look aesthetically appealing.

That's all we want is fun games. Technical wowing is great and all, but it's very expensive, and has shown itself to be the root cause of the recent influx of bankrupt developers. This game looks fun. If you're a pop-gamer, and spend all your time counting polygons, then you're only gonna care about games like Battlefield 4, Titanfall, Destiny, and the like. But if you're a gamer that actually plays games for entertainment, then you're not going to care if DKC Tropical Freeze isn't on par with AAA 3rd party blockbusters, although I would argue the game holds its own. It's DKC, what more do you expect for a 2D platformer? It looks as good as it possibly can.

The game looks really crisp and clean, and you already know it's gonna be funner than 99% of the garbage released nowadays. DKC games are top shelf. I don't know what more people want... If visual wowing is what's most important to you, then the Wii U probably isn't for you. Don't worry though- you're not alone. Tens of millions of other gamers have prioritized visuals over fun. So you'd be in good company. But there are still tens of millions of people who just want really fun games that looks decent visually, and that's where Wii U shines.

Don't make the mistake of thinking the Wii U's rough 1st year is due to not having visually wowing games. The people who only care about that stuff hate Nintendo anyways- doesn't matter how many polygons you squeeze into a Nintendo game. Those people choose to ignore Nintendo because it's the "cool" thing to do. Makes em feel like they're special for the games they choose to play. You can't reason with insanity. But the large majority of people who buy consoles are not going to see DKC and think "it's not visually impressive enough". They're going to remember how much fun the previous games in the franchise were, and how great the game looks now that it's in HD.

rumple88

#104

rumple88 said:

@Ren DK is a huge series and the pre-orders alone for this game should tell you this is indeed a head turner. With a month away it's nearing 100k day one sales. I can tell you this game is one of the reasons I bought the Wii U in the first place.

divinelite

#105

divinelite said:

Well the SNES donkey Kong is spectacular for having "3d" when everything didn't have

That being said, I can never finish a DK... It's different beast with Mario

divinelite

#106

divinelite said:

@JaxonH well each for their own
I would say I like tales of symphonia unison pack in ps3 more than this but that because I like the battle system more than any platformer

So, dk surely have their own fans. And so others, we play games because it's fun no matter how colorful or even colorless the game itself

JaxonH

#107

JaxonH said:

@divinelite

Right. I'm jealous you get to play that Tales of Symphonia HD Collection. I sold my PS3 thinking the PS4 would have streaming backwards compatibility, which it doesn't.

But yeah, this game here is my most hyped up game of the last 5 years. The last time I was THIS excited for a game was DKC Returns, and before that, Metroid Prime 3 and Zelda Twilight Princess.

divinelite

#108

divinelite said:

@JaxonH no, sadly I cannot play it. One of my biggest dilema skipping ps3, may play on friends house though. Tales is not a game with greatstory but symphonia 1 is the best for me (ggame cube I miss u) while symphonia 2 is kinda good (played on wii) but not as good as first

Well anyway I wish Good luck too for this game. Hope there will be Xenoblade Next announcement in short time... I need that for deciding factor on wii u

JaxonH

#109

JaxonH said:

@divinelite
It's coming, don't worry. In the meantime New Super Mario Bros U, Pikmin 3, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Zelda Windwaker HD, Super Mario 3D World, Wonderful 101, Wii Sports Club, Rayman Legends and very soon, DKC Tropical Freeze are all excellent choices.

And 2014 in general is going to be a slam dunk games-wise. There are probably quite a few releases we'll see this year that are as-of-yet unannounced, but looking at just the ones we know about there's DKC Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, Watch Dogs, Super Smash Bros 4, Monolith Soft's X, Bayonetta 2, SMT x Fire Emblem (hopefully), Hyrule Warriors, Yoshi's Yarn (hopefully not too easy), Fast Racing NEO (for that F-Zero itch), and, I predict, Zelda U for a holiday 2014 release. They said they were further along in development than people think, and ALMOST revealed the game at E3 2013. So by the time they reveal it this year at E3, it should be near completion. Fingers crossed.

divinelite

#110

divinelite said:

@JaxonH pikmin is the one I take note from that list but yeah I really loved Xenogears so Xeno universe is special for me. I trade my wii before Xenoblade released in english, one of my biggest regret though

JaxonH

#112

JaxonH said:

@divinelite

That sucks. Well, you can always play it on Wii U. My brother is playing the game on Wii U- nice to have that slight resolution upgrade. Looks splendid on the Gamepad too, although it's not ideal due to still needing a Wii Controller Pro (hoping they patch off TV Wii Play to recognize gamepad as Pro Controller for games that use one).

Pikmin 3 is a blast. It's one of my most memorable experiences on the Wii U. I know NSMBU gets knocks for being a generic series and all, but in actuality, it's a really solid game and very fun. And it's so much better than the other entries are. As for Super Mario 3D World, it's just a really, really fun game. Same for Windwaker HD. I own that game for the Cube, but to this day I've never played it. I did, however, watch my brother play the entirety of the game, so after I finish up Link Between Worlds, I'm planning to dive into WW... I hear it's exceptional.

Shambo

#113

Shambo said:

@Mizore Gamers nowadays do complain quite a lot, don't they... Something changes? Worst thing ever! Something remains the same? Well... ALSO worst thing ever! I remember when Wind Waker was first shown... Or RE4. Two of the best games ever, yet evertyone complained at first. Okay, RE5 & 6 were bad imho...

Diddy_kong

#114

Diddy_kong said:

Yay for "waggle-free alternatives!!" I only enjoyed Donkey Kong Country Returns when I was able to play the 3DS port as I found that the motion controls completely ruined the game on the Wii. I am so happy that I will be able to use my Pro Controller here.

This game is going to be great!

ZyroXZ2

#120

ZyroXZ2 said:

Oh man, this game is going to be amazing. This is the kind of game that reminds us why Nintendo is the master of gameplay design, and why Nintendo doesn't NEED the best graphics technology or most powerful hardware. As long as the hardware and graphics are sufficient, the rest is all about gameplay!

MadAdam81

#121

MadAdam81 said:

Can't wait for this game. Another Nintendo classic that is a great game that uses fancy graphics as icing on the cake, not the actual meal itself.

Bolt_Strike

#122

Bolt_Strike said:

@JaxonH Thing is though, games stop being fun if they don't do anything new. Mario is having this problem right now (especially with the NSMB series, but the entire franchise has pretty much stagnated since Galaxy), and DK is starting to get there. This is especially worrying for a company that prides itself in creating new, innovative experiences as they did last gen with the DS and Wii, it ruins part of the appeal. That's why it's important that they start showing "head turning" games that have the "only on Wii U" feel, they're going to have a harder time selling a console that fails to provide games that are new and next gen, especially against competition that has better third party support, better features (such as online), and better graphics.

JaxonH

#124

JaxonH said:

@Bolt_Strike

I have to disagree. Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, Madden, Fifa... these games are the same thing and come out every single year, and they sell by the tens of millions. 3D Mario games come once per console per generation. That's not enough to get old. 2D Mario comes out once per console per generation. That's it. That's not enough to get old, unless you own all four systems they release on and buy them all close together. Even so, we won't see another one until the 9th gen, somewhere around 2018.

I see no possible way DKC is getting old. There hasn't been games in 15+ years, until we FINALLY got DKC Returns in 2010. That was almost 4 years ago. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it. Over 15 years before we got the reboot of the franchise, and another 4 years and console generation before we get a sequel. If THAT'S enough to get sick of a game, I don't know how you play anything nowadays.

I hear people say this stuff all the time, but I just don't buy it. You've got annual franchises that have seen 7 games released in 7 years on ONE platform, and people are still buying them. But when it comes to Nintendo, once per console per generation is all of a sudden stagnation? No, I don't buy it.

I was thrilled to see the release of NSMBU. I had just bought a Wii U, and being a new console, if I'm going to play a sidescrolling Mario Nintendo had to make a new one. Same for 3D Mario. 3D World was anything but stale. Last time I played a 3D Mario game was in the Wii era, several years ago. That's LONG ENOUGH. Nintendo does a great job maintaining their franchises and keeping them alive and well, and they're great games, which is why they continue to sell. But they don't over release games like people say they do. I waited 4 long years since the last DKC game. What, are we supposed to wait a decade between releases? At that rate I may only play 3 or 4 more DKC games in my entire life! It's a huge double standard. People eat up literal roster updates on a yearly basis, but complain about DKC being stale after 4 years and an entire leap in generational hardware? Doesn't make sense.

Idk man- 3D World, Pikmin 3, DKC Tropical Freeze... I didn't even get so much as a whiff of stagnation from any of these games. I mean, a DKC game is going to resemble DKC. That's what makes it DKC. A Mario game is going to resemble past Mario games, that's why it's a Mario game. But that doesn't mean it's stale. In fact, I don't think it's possible for these games to have been any more creative than they were. Every stage in 3D World was different- some of THE most unique stages I've ever played in my life. And DKC- these aren't your ordinary fire, ice, and forest themes. They really went all out to make the worlds stand out as unique and creative.

You say Nintendo games need to not be stale, but then cite better graphics and online as the things which make 3rd party games stand out? That's not creativity, and that doesn't keep a game from being stale. Graphics are just graphics. They used to matter, alot, but now not so much. Once we hit the HD era, and games started looking rather appealing, the power of graphics has greatly diminished. People still have the same old "graphics matters" mindset, but reality has outlived the common wisdom. Fact is, Wii U games look pretty amazing, whether they're as good as PS4 games or not. It's to the point that lesser graphics are no longer a turn off.

And as for online- many Wii U games do have online, and will have online. I don't understand the argument that platformers such as 3D World should be online. Platformers are a genre that have never been mainstays of online play. Even major 3rd party platformers, like Rayman Legends, did not have online. It's just not the online type of game. It's a single player/local co-op genre, and that's the way it will most likely stay. Nintendo DOES do online, when it suits the game in question. You don't just patch online play into every title- as evidenced by Infamous Second Son NOT having online, which btw no one seems to have a problem with- only Nintendo. Games like Super Smash Bros 4, games like Mario Kart 8, games like Monolith Soft's X- THESE games will have online. Because these are games that online is appropriate.

Nintendo is doing everything right. They have a very unique console that brings something new, and of value, to the table, and they're making fantastic games. That's all they need to do. This dialogue I've been hearing about Nintendo needing to "westernize", or become more like the western 3rd parties (immense budgets, uber-realistic graphics, same gritty male anti-hero themes) doesn't pan out. Nintendo is special BECAUSE they're not like western 3rd parties. What works for Sony and MS does not necessarily work for Nintendo. There are two kinds of gamer- the kind that only plays what their friends play (the kind that won't even consider a game unless it's got a 20 million dollar budget), and the kind that plays whatever's the funnest, regardless if it doesn't have cinematic spectacle.

I know the Wii U had a rough 1st year, and as a result everyone concludes that it must be because something's wrong with their games, or wrong with their console, or whatever. Nothing is wrong with their games, or their console. They just need to get more people to play the games for themselves so they can realize how amazing they are. THAT'S the challenge. The Wii had so much shovelware, that all the good games were hidden and buried to those who owned one (except the hardcore fans like us). As a result, the new gamers thought Nintendo was all about Carnival 30 Great Party Games and Guitar Hero. They never experienced the core games like Metroid or Zelda. And that's Nintendo's fault for not pushing their own games to the forefront. But it is what it is. The Wii U is reaping the whirlwind of that mistake. Nintendo has to gradually introduce these great games to people, and prove themselves worthy. I know they are, but the average gamer doesn't. The Wii U is a great console, and the games they are making are top shelf. It's just a matter of getting people to realize that.

KryptoKrunch

#127

KryptoKrunch said:

@JaxonH

Excellent post. All I care about is the fun factor/good gameplay and I don't need ultra realistic graphics or a high powered machine to Wow me. I was wowed by A Link Between Worlds not because of the graphics but because of the music and gameplay(among other things).

Anyway, TF is looking stellar. The additions of Cranky and Dixie have me the most excited.

Artwark

#128

Artwark said:

No doubt this game will be great though I hope its doesn't have those temples.........those were frustratingly hard to beat.......

AdanVC

#129

AdanVC said:

Really this preview seems that this game would easily score a 9 (even a 10??? :) ) I can't wait!!!

JaxonH

#130

JaxonH said:

@Artwark

Ahh, the temples lol... yeah I remember those. As much as they proved to be the bane of my existence, I was somehow strangely drawn to the challenge. One of those "I hate my archenemy but don't want to be in a world without him" kind of things. I hate them, but I love them. I hope they return?

Bolt_Strike

#131

Bolt_Strike said:

@JaxonH Again, Nintendo's created this environment where they thrive on innovation and new experiences. Fans have come to expect more from them than Sony and Microsoft. So it's more damaging for a Nintendo console to fail to deliver new experiences. And the Wii U doesn't for the most part. The console can't do much gameplay wise that the Wii and DS couldn't. And they're not even trying to do that, the Gamepad has been mainly useless in the gameplay except for Off TV play. The games have gotten too safe, barely making any improvements to the gameplay and just recycling old gameplay mechanics. I don't care if the levels are different, it doesn't matter if the gameplay stays the same. It gets boring if they don't add new gameplay mechanics. The Wii and DS were very good at that, touch screen/dual screen gameplay and motion controls were brilliant innovations that brought plenty of fresh and creative gameplay styles. And for Nintendo to claim to still be innovating and to put out an uninteresting console with tons of rehashes is nothing short of failure. Nintendo fans deserve better.

As for the graphics and online thing, TBH I don't care about graphics either, but many people do, and they'll use that as a reason to skip this console. My point was that it's a combination of uninspired games and inferiority to the competition in areas such as graphics and online that is turning people off to the console. And since they can't improve those other aspects, they should focus on improving the quality of their games.

AyeHaley

#132

AyeHaley said:

@IxnayontheCK Probably 60 euros on the eShop like 3D World and TWW HD...not too pleased about that. Especially as I love buying my games digitally. At least make it 50..but 40 would be even better. Wii U games should be somewhat cheaper like Wii games are. People expect it by now, I think.

electrolite77

#134

electrolite77 said:

@TruenoGT

There's very little on the machine that couldn't be done in the 'Cube or the 3DS with slightly less shiny graphics. Even the machines best games-Pikmin 3 works best with the Wiimote, Mario 3D World is great but no big step forward from Galaxy, Zelda is a direct remake. Though to be fair, all three current machines are offering little more than higher-res copies of the games on their last machine.

With the Gamepad* completely failing to act as a USP the way the Wiimote did, it seems people are happy to get their Nintendo fix from the 3DS. Working towards a combination handheld/home console would make sense.

  • Though I personally am happy when games don't try to shoehorn in pointless features using the gamepad (using the touchscreen or blowing on the microphone when a button press will suffice) for the sake of it. Off TV Play is easily the best thing about the pad.
ghosto

#135

ghosto said:

This game looks fantastic, interesting choice to roll with viking folklore I just hope the game shows some mercy because of the lag from HDTV.

Jamester0722

#136

Jamester0722 said:

I really want to get this game, but at the same time I am trying to save for a next-gen console. What to do? What to do?

MoonKnight7

#139

MoonKnight7 said:

I remember seeing the mine cart level at the E3 best buy event. That's when I said out loud, "I'm getting a Wii U today."

TruenoGT

#140

TruenoGT said:

@JaxonH Yeah, I hear you, I'm a massive Wii U fan as well, it's had incredible games so far and doesn't deserve it's lack of sales success IMO. I'm truly looking forward to everything they've got coming out, but hope they've got some more trail blazing releases as well... I think about when games like the original Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. came out, and how incredibly new they felt, taking advantage of the hardware in unexpected ways, and in the case of the latter two, practically created two new genres. Whether they leverage the gamepad significantly or not, I want to see them display that type of boldness on Wii U and show us experiences we couldn't have predicted. That's asking a lot, but Nintendo has set the bar pretty darn high for themselves! :)

Meaty-cheeky

#143

Meaty-cheeky said:

@Shadowflash Rare pushed the Super Nintendo to its limits in power with DonkeyKong Country, Retro on the other hand is playing it safe on the Wii U by recycling DKCR Wii and just brushing some HD glitter over the game. The Wii U is a powerful system and Retro should be utilizing the Wii U's hardware to produce a ground breaking DonkeyKong Country.

The Wii U needs games that make people say "OMG look at that game I got to have it!!" Not recycled junk like New Super Mario bros series, Nintendo / Retro need to stop playing it safe and start pushing the envelope if they want to sell systems and games.

citizenerased

#144

citizenerased said:

Fact is the Wii U has a ton of excellent platformers and is lacking in a lot of other genres. Would've preferred to see Retro do something with those.

Of course, this'll be an excellent titles regardless. But I do think it's lacking in innovations. Where's the catch? New secondary characters and dynamic camera angles? =/

farore311

#146

farore311 said:

@Goginho I don't know if you saw other trailers on youtube in 1080p. But this might be due to the poor resolution of the video in this article :-)

JaxonH

#148

JaxonH said:

@XFsWorld

Think that has nothing to do with it. That's just a crossover game they decided to make. Windwaker HD was our title to hold us over.

JaxonH

#149

JaxonH said:

@Bolt_Strike

I can't argue about the fact many games aren't using the Gamepad for much more than basic off-tv play, but, in all fairness many have used it well.

Here's the thing: it's easy to SAY they need to innovate more, how Wii and DS did. But if you really think about it, what else can they do? It's video games- there's only so many controller configurations and input methods available. In the abstract, it's very easy to say "well they should be doing more". But think specifically- what more can be done? They've pretty much taken gaming to it's limits, with the exception of VR. They've perfected the traditional dual analogue controller, they've perfected motion, they've turned dual screen gaming into a Nintendo mainstay.... there really isn't anything else that CAN be done, that's practical.

Yes, they are known for innovating, but that doesn't mean games that don't use the gamepad for some crazy use are dull. Every single game on other consoles lacks dual screen mechanics. Every one. At least some Wii U games use it well. Remember the Wiimote? How every game shoehorned it in where it wasn't welcome? And people complained? They said, "Nintendo should only use it when it's a natural fit, instead of forcing it into games that it doesn't belong". Well, that's what they're doing now with the Gamepad. You can't have it both ways. It's only been a year, and already we have games like Wii Sports Club, Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3 and Zelda Windwaker HD. All of which use the gamepad naturally to enhance the experience.

I just don't see Wii U games as "uninspired". I feel the opposite. I feel they're the only games that are inspired. The Wii U library defines inspiration imo. It's like calling a sunset a horrid, dull moment. It just doesn't make sense. I'm not sure if you're just misjudging because you haven't actually played the games, or if you have some crazy standard by which you're judging them. But I look at DKC Tropical Freeze, and that's as precious a gem as they come. I don't think that game could look better even in my wildest imaginations.

So I guess we have a fundamental difference in beliefs there. I mean, I don't see how someone could look at games like Pikmin 3, or Wonderful 101, or Super Mario 3D World, and say they're uninspired. If those games are uninspired, then there's NO hope for 3rd party games whatsoever.

I think the problem is, you're trying to compare Wii U to the other consoles. You can't do that. It's not meant to be THAT experience. It's not intended to provide THAT kind of gaming. It's a completely different console, completely different games, completely different philosophy. PS4/X1 is meant to appease the adolescent teenage crowd, and the gamers who find the most enjoyment from resolutions and polygons. And that's fine, I like those consoles too, but that is not what Nintendo does. Online and graphics would matter to Wii U IF it were a 3rd party console, thriving on the same 3rd party games (because those games depend on spectacle and graphics), but it's not.

If the Wii U's library was like that of PS4/X1, then sure, I'd agree wholeheartedly. But it's different games- games that use artstyle over polygons. Games that value fun over spectacle. Games that aren't MEANT to be played online. Platformers have never been online games. Even Rayman Legends didn't have online. It's not fair to criticize Nintendo for not shoehorning online into genres that aren't meant for online play. Sure, I can think of one or two games that should've had online, but then again, I can think of dozens on other platforms that should've had it also.

I don't think anyone who is actually interested in playing Nintendo games is turned off by the fact another console exists with better graphics. The fact PC exists with better graphics doesn't stop people from playing PS4/X1. So why would it stop people from playing Wii U? And I don't think anyone who is actually interested in playing Nintendo games actually cares that platformers aren't online. Because they're not online on PS or Xbox either. The people who use these excuses are just, well, making excuses. They're probably too insecure to admit "I'm a sucker for peer pressure, and all my friends play AAA 3rd party games, and I don't wanna look like a dork to all my friends by buying a Wii U". THAT'S probably the number one reason younger gamers make these excuses.

Keep in mind, the VAST majority of folks who will end up buying gaming consoles this gen are what I like to call "non-committed gamers". They're the people that don't know squat about gaming, they just like to have some fun from time to time. Those people couldn't care less if Wii U has slightly worse graphics, or no online in a Mario game. They just wanna play some fun games. If I'm bored, I find something to do that's fun. It could be working out, disc golf, going to the movies, or playing some video games. Video games are just a distraction to life- their purpose it to provide enjoyment. And you don't need "head turning graphics" or online as a prerequesite to have some fun. You can play checkers or chess and have fun. You can play card games and have fun. Wii U is SO much more advanced than all of those things. And so much more fun. People forget, it's all about the fun. If the games are really fun, who cares about anything else. You don't need to play Mario online to have fun. Play it single player. That's how it's meant to be enjoyed anyways.

JaxonH

#150

JaxonH said:

Just read a comment saying this game looks like recycled garbage lol... Yeah, ok.

The insecure are always upset when a shamelessly bold game is made instead of something flashy along the lines of western 3rd parties. Case in point- Bayonetta 2 and X. People were REAL happy about those, cause they just want Nintendo games they can flaunt in the faces of Sony and MS fanboys and say "See, Nintendo DOES make cool games". These people don't care about fun, they just care about impressing their peers. I've heard some really ignorant statements in my day, but THIS... this one takes the cake.

JaxonH

#151

JaxonH said:

@citizenerased Not sure where this new-age belief came from that says all games MUST have some unprecedented innovation to be legit. Sometimes, innovation is bad. If you've already hit the mark on the head, deviating from that can ruin the experience. If you had Colonel Sander's recipe, would you "innovate" and change it up? Or would you serve award-winning chicken that's proven to be excellent?

Innovation can be great, FROM TIME TO TIME. But not every game has to have some game-changing innovation. Sometimes, games should just be, well, fun games. Innovation doesn't make a game fun. In fact, I've seen many games in which innovation ruined the game. Innovation for the sake of innovation can be disastrous. Innovate where you see fit- if nothing fits, don't do it. This game takes a proven formula, and expands upon it. It's perfect.

Funny_Moblin

#152

Funny_Moblin said:

@JaxonH I completely agree. People keep bashing Nintendo about how they don't have innovation with the Wii U. But Xbox One and PS4 had no innovation imo. So why are people bashing Nintendo? Also, I don't understand the ranting with the graphics. I remember when playing Nintendo Land, I would stand beside a metal object in the main theme park and admire it from every angle because I couldn't believe how good the graphics were on the Wii U. So, again, the big fuss around graphics don't make sense to me. Unless, of course, Nintendo or other third party publishers are not making a big effort with the graphics.

I don't really complain about graphics, but judging from screenshots, Smash Bros. for the Wii U is looking a bit poor with its polygons. It's going to be the definitive Smash Bros. and this is a big exception where this game NEEDS to look great. Again, don't get me wrong, it looks great so far, but some polygons in screenshots need some work. Hopefully it's just because it's still in development.

Back to the Wii U innovation, I honestly could not think of better innovation. Off-TV has become my way of gaming, even when the T.V isn't in use many times, and drawing pictures on Miiverse Nintendo actually cares about gushing their minds out until they get the best innovation. Microsoft and Sony make the smallest effort in bringing something new because of their fan base, and it's not fair.

I look at Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Nintendo Land and all other Nintendo first party games and I am shocked by gamers. I can't believe people are ignoring the most creative, best quality games ever made. Heck, I see myself enjoying Luigi's Mansion game in Nintendo Land for years to come!!! Best, and most innovative use for a game ever. It seems like magic to be able to be the ghost and have your own screen, while others can't see you. And Pikmin!!!! How original is that?

I'm sorry if my words seems to go everywhere, but it's hard to explain how special the Wii U and it's games are. If I worked at Nintendo and came up with the idea of the Wii U and its games, I would be sure that it would sell so much.

JaxonH

#154

JaxonH said:

@XFsWorld

No, I'm not getting my hopes up. But I wouldn't be surprised is all I'm saying. It wouldn't surprise me one bit. They announced DKC Tropical Freeze at E3 and originally planned a November release, only 5 months after reveal. Considering they almost revealed Zelda U LAST E3, and quote "are further along than people think", imagine how much further they'll be by next E3. A 2014 E3 reveal with holiday release is entirely in the cards.

If not, no worries- there's plenty other goodies coming this year. It'll be great nomatter when it comes. I say a good game can never be late. A good game is always right on time, whenever it comes, because it's never too late for a good game. I know we all have that "I want it now, now, now, I want it right NOW" mentality, but we're going to want great games to come not just this year, but next year, and the year after, and the year after, and so on. So MH4U in 2015, awesome. Least I know next year is already lining some goodies up for us. Zelda U, could be this holiday season. If not, a 2015 release with MH4U sounds like dynamite to me!

jayclayx

#155

jayclayx said:

@JaxonH you look a bit obsessed with this game, since I don't mean this game sucks in any way but for many people include myself the game just don't look revolutionary like it did in 80-s era in arcades, in snes back in 1994 and in some way in the 64, there is no doubt this game will include many new features but unfortunately the game look like an hd upgrade from the wii version which retrostudios could make something more impressive for the wii U.

JaxonH

#156

JaxonH said:

@jayclayx

Ya, I am kind of obsessed with this one. I haven't been this excited for a game in years. I see your point, but, I would point out that DKC2 was VERY similar to DKC, because it was a sequel. It was supposed to be similar. DKC3 was very similar, because it was a sequel. That's the nature of sequels. They're intentionally supposed to be similar to the previous games. All three original DKC games were very similar, no major differences. Different worlds, switched up characters, new game. They even had the same Kremlings all three games.

So naturally, we want this game to be similar to Returns. We want it to follow in it's footsteps. Because we like DKC. We like the established formula. But working within those confines, this game stands out considerably. Again, not your typical fire, ice, forest, etc. They've got sprawling African savannah, frozen tropics, mountainous sky cities, etc... Huge character switch up, new enemies, new mechanics... I mean, that's exactly what we want, to the tee. Keep it DKC, make it new, make it fun.

I think it's expected with Nintendo games that people use their intellect to judge for themselves a good game from a bad one. It doesn't have to be dressed up with a thousand bells and whistles to garner attention. We're smarter than that. That's why we're Nintendo fans. We are wise in our discernment. We know the difference between a genuinely amazing, fun game, and something just dressed to impress, lacking anything of substance.

There's alot of games coming out in 2014 for consoles I own- whether it's Witcher 3, Mario Kart 8, Final Fantasy 15, Bravely Default, X, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze... etc. But the only game I absolutely, positively MUST play day one is DKC. Such is the power of a truly remarkable franchise. There has never been an entry in the series that wasn't a game of the generation experience. And this one is looking to be no different- in fact, it looks much better. DKC is a game you really have to play to appreciate- gameplay vids don't do platformers any justice

Bolt_Strike

#157

Bolt_Strike said:

@JaxonH Fact of the matter is, as much as Nintendo is trying to be different from the competition, it's still a competition. Which is why things like graphics and online become factors, people are inevitably going to compare the Wii U to other consoles when they decide to buy one. So if you had to choose, which console would you rather have, a console with inferior internet and poor third party support or the one with up to date internet and decent third party support? If you don't like the game offerings the Wii U has, you're probably going to choose to skip it, as the PS4 and One will offer you more in other areas. That's why things such as online support and third party lineup become important factors, it helps keep the console afloat when the games fail to impress.

As far as Gamepad innovation goes, the Gamepad is the defining feature of the Wii U. So naturally if Nintendo wants to sell Wii U's, they have a responsibility to deliver content that highlights its benefits. And as neat as Off TV Play is, I don't think that in and of itself is enough, as it's only a useful feature in scenarios where your other family members require the TV. They need to make games where the Gamepad is useful in the gameplay. If they can't think of a way to use it in their flagship franchises, that's fine, but then they need to come up with something that does. And if there's nothing the Gamepad can add, they should at least try to do something different conceptually that fits the series. Introduce a new gameplay mechanic, something from a unique idea that hasn't been done before. Even when the Gamecube added nothing new, we still got games like Super Mario Sunshine and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker which introduced some different gameplay mechanics. What happened to those kinds of games? Why can't we get something like that instead of Generic Sequel #5 with the same gameplay, same settings, and same plot? That's what makes these games uninspired, and if they want to expand the Wii U's userbase, this needs to stop. If they want to sell a next gen console, they need a next gen gaming experience, simple as that. This is especially important for a next gen gaming console, if the games simply feel like a continuation of what was done last gen, there's not much motivation to buy the next gen console. You're simply getting more of the same. There needs to be a reason to buy this console over the PS4 or Xbox One, or even the DS, Wii, and 3DS because that's simply how economics works, a product simply has to have some advantage over another in order to sell, and the Wii U struggles at that.

And more to the point, what exactly do you see in the gameplay mechanics of this game that makes it feel new and improved? I don't see anything that truly creates that feeling.

JaxonH

#159

JaxonH said:

@Bolt_Strike

Well first of all, the Wii U's online is not inferior. It's just not. It's fully capable- I played Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate online every day for months, full voice chat through the Gamepad and everything. And I didn't have to pay a dime for it. That sounds like a pretty decent online experience to me. Not to mention, there's Miiverse, online social integration centered around GAMING, instead of just slapping a FB app on the menu screen like my PS4 has. The only argument that could be leveled against it is lack of party chat, but hey, since you're not paying $300-400 in online subscription fees, I say that trade off is more than fair. Besides, many online games have chat, and if they don't, use Skype. So I really don't see online as being this huge downfall of Wii U. It's up to scratch and it's free.

DKC Tropical Freeze isn't generic sequel number 5. It is a sequel, yes, but generic? You're reaching. Go watch the gameplay vids on GameXplain, about 4 world's worth, and I guarantee you'll retract that viewpoint.

Now, I own a PS4. You wanna talk about generic sequels? Killzone is generic sequel. THAT'S a game I regret buying. Infamous is a generic sequel. And here's the kicker- they're generic sequels of mediocre games. At least with DKC, it's a sequel to one of the funnest games ever made, and probably WILL end up being one of the funnest games ever made. That counts for quite a bit. It's DKC. What else can they do with it? It's that "never satisfied" mentality back in full force. I couldn't imagine a DKC game being more beatiful, more enthralling, more creative...

And as for other consoles, don't kid yourself. I own a PS4, and I feel like I bought a slightly souped up PS3 with paywalls. That's not bias, that's the truth. That's how I really feel. The console does NOTHING special. NOTHING different. Everything's the same down the controller. But, I'm ok with that, and I'm ok with the generic sequels, because I'll cherry pick the good games over the years. It's about the GAMES, and how fun they are. Anything else is a distraction.

What's new and improved? The fact Dixie and Cranky are now in the game and can ride your back, allowing you to use new hair twirl lift moves, cane bounces, and new water levels with spin attacks, jet bursts, cane attacks, there's new ground pull mechanics for secrets... yeah, there' s quite a bit of new mechanics in the game.

Fact is, if I look at this game, it looks every bit as good as platformers like Rayman Legends will on PS4. The graphics are FINE. And the best part, is this is going to be one of the funnest games ever made. If THIS is a generic sequel (only 2nd game in over 20 years), there is no hope for the other platforms. None whatsoever. Might as well write every game off then. And fun? Forget about it. Who cares about playing the funnest games ever made? Let's just reduce them to nothing more than sequels, lablel them generic, and complain about the graphics?

Nintendo isn't about what PS4 is about. All PS4 has is graphics. That's it's only draw. And that works on teenagers, but there ARE millions of others that would rather play a game ten times funner with slightly less graphics, free online, lower console price. You do what you want. But me, I know a great game when I see one.

JaxonH

#160

JaxonH said:

@Bolt_Strike And btw, most games in the industry are sequels. At least this is a sequel to one of THE funnest games of all time. It's DKC, what more do you want? Have you even played DKC before? I've got guys at my job that only play Call of Duty, Battlefield and GTA who want to play this game. Showed em the trailer and they're like I love DKC, and are amazed how far this game has come from the SNES.

And it's really not a competition.Nintendo makes different kinds of games. You can't get games like that on other consoles. Just like you can't get most 3rd party games on Nintendo. You either like one, like the other, our like both. But Nintendo games can never replace games on other consoles, just like games on other consoles can never replace Nintendo games. It's two different experiences.

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