Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback Heather Kiley
When Donkey Kong Country Returns hit the shelves in 2010, we brought you a review of 5/5 MF’s. A score we at Playlegit.Net take seriously, and only award to titles that have gone above and beyond. Donkey Kong has always been a favorite Nintendo title in the minds of its fans. Can Tropical Freeze outdo it’s predecessor and claim its place in a classic series?
Starting out without even touching a button the visuals are out of this world. Crisp clean textures fall over the characters and backdrops and create an ever moving and interesting to look at a landscape that is hard to take your eyes off of. Donkey Kong and his surroundings have never been so alive, which is hard to believe considering how wonderful the Wii version looked. Exotic jungles and beautiful islands pull you into the game.
The scale of the game is once again incredible. Huge twisting vines shoot out of the ground with their bases becoming nearly as big as the entire screen. Twirling railways seem to never end while gravity takes you along in your runaway cart. This alone keeps it in a league all its own when it comes to 2-D platformers.
For the pro-gamers that have stuck with Nintendo for ages you won’t be disappointed in the challenge. This gameplay is not easy, but difficult in the best way possible. Two characters have been added with unique abilities. Trixie Kong’s helicopter hair, helps the player reach places that might be a bit too high for the heavy Donkey Kong. She also has the benefit of helping you correct small mistakes before you go plummeting into the abyss. Cranky Kong also joins us as a playable character this time. (Begging the question, Super Smash Brothers playable character anyone?) Cranky has a cane bounce that can help the player navigate spiked underground areas. These two characters combined are very useful and by the end of the game I was grateful that they gave me some sort of head up on the extreme challenges of the title.
The length of each stage is something that adds to the challenge. The timed run-throughs of Mario would be near impossible for Tropical Freeze. Each level forces you to stop and think about direction, timing, secrets, and physics of the character, making this game have a healthy difference from other titles. Novice players having a bit of trouble can visit the shops on each island to purchase power ups for their upcoming adventure. A welcomed attribute as the game progresses.
The multiplayer aspect of the game is also well revised. Again, this isn’t something one would want to take lightly when choosing someone to play with. The challenge doesn’t get any easier and unlike our friend Mario, the success of both players depends highly on how well the other is doing.
If you’re someone who has grown away from Mario because you believe it’s a “kid’s game”, you might come to find something completely different about Donkey Kong and his crew in Tropical Freeze. It is distinctly different in it’s challenge and handling, and as many 2-D platformers as I have played in my lifetime, I can safely say that I have never played anything like this and it was incredibly fun, an instant classic and a truly wonderful art piece.
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze Gets
Out of five
+Smooth Classic/New gameplay
+Excellent level design
+New Playable Characters
-No online (again)
-Player 2 must drop completely out to switch characters