E3 2010: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hands-on

E3 2010: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hands-on

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Donkey Kong Country was one of those games that made the Super NES console a "mom please buy for me" in my household. Except that by the time it was in wide release, mom wasn't paying my bills any longer, so I had to do without. I did play the game, however, eventually, on a friend's SNES, and the experience was everything I'd hoped it would be.

DK Country was a platformer in which you jump, run and bash your way through various jungle-themed obstacles, utilizing barrel-shaped power-ups and occasionally partnering with Diddy Kong to tackle unique challenges. Donkey Kong Country Returns ... is exactly the same. But newer. And, one assumes, better.

Utilizing the slightly-better-than-the-SNES graphics muscle of the Nintendo Wii, DK Country Returns takes you back to the jungle for more jumping, swinging and bashing mayhem. I was able to spend about 15 minutes with it on the E3 show floor, which was just enough time to watch one person play through a level, and to play through another on my own.

In true Nintendo style, the platforming gameplay is excellent, and the Wii controls handle the experience gracefully. DK Country Returns is expert level platforming, though, so be warned. This is not Kirby. With the difficulty set to "easy" there was still plenty of dying, yelling, controller gnashing and threats to toss the Wii Remote into the next booth. As hard as it is, though, it makes sense and is fun. It's a satisfying play experience if you have the patience and skill to tackle it.

Donkey Kong glides with the grace you'd expect of an 800+ lb. gorilla, but rocket barrels and Diddy Kong's helicopter backpack mix up the gameplay a bit, and the return of the runaway mine car levels will delight casual fans and series veterans alike. Plus, you get to bash things. Expect the game to release sometime this holiday season.

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I really hope the soundtrack is as badass as the original's was. I still find myself humming it to myself, and it's been 8 years since I played it.

Oh wow. Finally a new DK Country.

I've been waiting for one of these for so long now.

Maybe this will be the game to finally dust off my Wii (that sounded weird) and play something off it.

That sentence sounded weird. >_>

Yay! First time I ever played Donkey Kong was on the Game boy and I couldn't put that sucker down. Now my (insert Nintendo console here) Has meaning again

Wewt! been a while since I have played as everyones favourite ape, so, will be something to distract myself on my handheld for a little!

Damn WoW, whenever I read "DK" I think Death Knight now T_T"

it's a terrible game to put on the wii, and i doubt the studio will be able to match rare's quality.

Looking foward to it, if it captures what I really loved about the classic Snes series I'm in.
The 64 3d ones were a bit disapointing experience for me.

I was disappointed Rare wasn't developing this, but this preview brings my hopes up just a little bit. The difficulty was what I was most concerned about. The original three DKCs were incredibly challenging games, especially the later levels. As long as this game delivers the same challenging experience, in a way (like the previous titles) that is unique and never feels like the game is cheating, then I will love it.

Fantastic! This was one of my favorite games growing up. I'm a bit sad that Rare isn't the developer though, but I'm hoping they'll still be able to do a good job with it.

I hope it's extremely difficult, but the health bar on the top left of the screen is not very assuring. Also, DKC2 has my favorite soundtrack on SNES, beating out MegamanX, Kirby Superstar, and Link to the Past, so I hope Retro's up to the task.

 

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