Time to go ape

It's always encouraging to see anticipated games make it to retail before the Christmas period as it can obviously be a helpful boost for sales, and we're glad that Retro Studios' upcoming Donkey Kong Country Returns will be launching before the holidays on both sides of the Atlantic.

Nintendo has announced that return of the Donkey Kong franchise will be released in Europe on 3rd December. Utilising the Wii's motion control, players will be able to play side by side, thanks to the new two-player mode. Old and classic moves can be performed, as well as new ones like Diddy Kong's hovering ability courtesy of the Barrel Jet, and Donkey Kong's ground pound by shaking the remote.

Gamers in the United States who pre-order their copies of the game ahead of its 21st November release at Gamestop can get a soft banana pouch to keep Wii Remotes nice and safe.

Donkey Kong™ Country Returns – a rip-roaring, banana-scoring treat

27th September 2010 – Two of the best-loved – and certainly the hairiest – video game characters on the planet are set to make a roaring return this Christmas in Donkey Kong™ Country Returns. And, for the first time ever in the series, the primate pals can now face their foes side-by-side, courtesy of a new two-player mode.

Launching across Europe exclusively for the Wii console on 3rd December, Donkey Kong Country Returns offers the popular side-scrolling experience the series is known for, together with new levels, spectacular graphics and added depth to gameplay, courtesy of fully 3D environments – all of which are sure to delight both fans and series newcomers alike.

In this latest instalment from Nintendo, in association with Retro Studios, you’ll find yourself immersed in dynamic duo, Donkey Kong™ and Diddy Kong’s™, quest across jungle, beach and ruins to rescue Donkey Kong’s precious banana hoard from an array of enemies.

Key features such as barrel cannons and mine carts, which made the original series so popular, have been faithfully restored to provide series fans with a nostalgic thrill. But now, as well as the customary single player function, fans can enjoy a simultaneous, two player co-op experience – a revolutionary new element in the Donkey Kong series.

This new feature enables players to navigate the levels separately, or as one unit. Diddy Kong™ can now also hitch a ride by hopping on and off Donkey Kong’s™ back whenever he likes – an ability which can be utilised by less experienced players to navigate more challenging areas of the game. Furthermore - if one player loses, they can rejoin the action by popping out of a DK barrel floating on a balloon, to continue the game.

While seeing a return of the characters’ traditional moves, Donkey Kong Country Returns offers some new additions; most notably in the form of a Barrel Jet for Diddy Kong™ which offers hovering abilities. Players can also shake the Wii Remote to make Donkey Kong pound the ground, roll on enemies and blow air. Diddy Kong can even shoot his Peanut Popgun whilst in two player mode.

As if all that wasn’t enough, a host of hidden items, puzzle pieces and other surprises are hidden in each level just waiting to be discovered. Hidden throughout each level are bonus objects to collect in the form of the letters K‑O‑N‑G. If players manage to spell out K‑O‑N‑G by the end of each level, the fruits of their labour will be rewarded with something special. Those looking for an extra challenge will find the Time Attack mode puts them through their paces by challenging the players to beat their time record on each stage.

[source nintendo.co.uk]