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Donkey Kong Country Returns E3 2010 Preview

by Raymond Padilla, Jun 21, 2010 3:10pm PDT
Related Topics – Preview, Nintendo Wii, E3 2010

Quick Take: Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are set to attack the Wii in a platformer that feels familiar and new at the same time. Retaining the classic elements of the original SNES game, DKC Returns also has a promising cooperative mode.

While most E3 2010 show goers flocked to Nintendo's 3DS and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword lines, the people that actually spent time with Donkey Kong Country Returns were extremely happy with what they played. The gameplay was tight and satisfying, even at this early stage. The developers at Retro Studio have done a fine job at maintaining the sharp game mechanics of the original and adding some new twists. The end result should be another excellent game in Nintendo's 2010 holiday lineup.

Donkey Kong Country Returns is a side-scrolling platform game with the traditional DK elements of running, jumping, and climbing trees. Adding some variety are railed driving missions where the Kongs ride a mine cart. In single-player mode, you alternate between controlling Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. They play just how they look; Donkey Kong is stronger but slower while Diddy Kong is faster but weaker. Donkey Kong can blow powerful gusts of air and make the ground rumble. Diddy Kong has a jet pack and his trusty peanut popgun.

Although I didn't get to try it, I'm really excited for the game's cooperative mode. With different characters, clever levels, and classic gameplay mechanics, Donkey Kong Country Returns' cooperative mode should be a fine throwback to the days when cooperative games were a living room experience and not an online one. If it works the way I imagine it to in my head (and it should, despite my minor brain damage), this game will be a blast to play with a friend.

To be completely honest, I'm surprised that this game played as well as it did. That's not a knock on Retro at all, but rather a compliment. Rare did an outstanding job with the original game, giving Retro some really large shoes to fill (about size 21). The demo at E3 2010 shows that Retro is more than up for the challenge. Donkey Kong Country Returns brings all the classic platforming elements of the original and adds enough twists to keep things fresh.




Comments

4 Threads | 9 Comments*
  • All the previews I've read state that DKCR contains elements of the original game. I hope this means the original series as a whole, because as a hardcore DKC fan, even I will admit that the first game was generic: cut-and-dry platforming that offered no innovation for the genre at the time, arbitrary secrets that required players to hop in pits in the hope that a secret was hidden at the bottom or throw barrels against every wall on the off chance a cave would open.

    DKC2, however, is one of the best platformers ever made (aside from Diddy being useless due to Dixie's uber-useful hover technique). Each world had a theme that carried over into unique gameplay; the platforming was tighter and the animals more useful; and the secrets did not feel as randomly placed. If DKCR is to emulate any of the classic entries in the series, it should be 2. DKC3 was also excellent, but it went on a little too long. DKC2 was the apex of the series.