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Donkey Kong Country Returns

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Anyone else pick this up? It's supposed to be Nintendo's big holiday release, but I haven't heard much chatter online about it...

I'm about halfway through World 3 now, and though it took me longer than I thought to get into it, I'm enjoying it a lot now. There are some questionable design decisions (a movement as integral as rolling should NOT be mapped to motion controls), and the controls and physics overall take a bit more getting used to than they should. Graphics are awesome, though some of the character designs lack well, character, and the soundtrack can lack a bit too--World 1 is all awesome remixes of the classic DKC theme, but World 2 is practically ambient noise (which is pretty inappropriate for a zippy platformer). The game is also, as you've probably heard, pretty hard--not Megaman 9 hard, but definitely harder than NSMBW--be prepared to die a lot even in World 1.

It sounds like I'm really down on the game, but I'm just listing the negatives--it's still a super-solid, fun platformer, it's just that it does have some flaws that keep it from true AAA status. To me, it feels distinctly like a really good third-party platformer, rather than a first-party Nintendo platformer, if you know what I mean.
post #2 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

Anyone else pick this up? It's supposed to be Nintendo's big holiday release, but I haven't heard much chatter online about it...

I'm about halfway through World 3 now, and though it took me longer than I thought to get into it, I'm enjoying it a lot now. There are some questionable design decisions (a movement as integral as rolling should NOT be mapped to motion controls), and the controls and physics overall take a bit more getting used to than they should. Graphics are awesome, though some of the character designs lack well, character, and the soundtrack can lack a bit too--World 1 is all awesome remixes of the classic DKC theme, but World 2 is practically ambient noise (which is pretty inappropriate for a zippy platformer). The game is also, as you've probably heard, pretty hard--not Megaman 9 hard, but definitely harder than NSMBW--be prepared to die a lot even in World 1.

It sounds like I'm really down on the game, but I'm just listing the negatives--it's still a super-solid, fun platformer, it's just that it does have some flaws that keep it from true AAA status. To me, it feels distinctly like a really good third-party platformer, rather than a first-party Nintendo platformer, if you know what I mean.

Well, Retro did develop it for Ninty....so..."2nd party?"

Seriously, though - my local Target had DKCR up on their demo Wii the other day. Spent a few minutes checking it out - dug what I saw. I plan on grabbing this one eventually.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
After putting some more time into the game, I like the game even more. The thing is the controls do take some getting used to--or more accurately, the physics, as Donkey Kong (being a giant ape, I guess) has some real weight behind him, and you don't have quite as much control over him in the air as you do, say, Mario. I still think the soundtrack could stand to be a lot more peppy, but the level design is so creative and fun. That said, I'm on World 5 now, and the game REALLY started to ramp up in difficulty by World 4.

World 4, by the way, is ENTIRELY minecart levels, and whoever thought that was a good idea is among the most evil mother****ers on the planet. I lost over 20 lives on the final segment of a certain level (luckily the game does throw plenty of opportunities for extra lives at you throughout), and I'm becoming convinced this may be one of those few games I don't end up completing.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

After putting some more time into the game, I like the game even more. The thing is the controls do take some getting used to--or more accurately, the physics, as Donkey Kong (being a giant ape, I guess) has some real weight behind him, and you don't have quite as much control over him in the air as you do, say, Mario. I still think the soundtrack could stand to be a lot more peppy, but the level design is so creative and fun. That said, I'm on World 5 now, and the game REALLY started to ramp up in difficulty by World 4.

World 4, by the way, is ENTIRELY minecart levels, and whoever thought that was a good idea is among the most evil mother****ers on the planet. I lost over 20 lives on the final segment of a certain level (luckily the game does throw plenty of opportunities for extra lives at you throughout), and I'm becoming convinced this may be one of those few games I don't end up completing.

Nice. I just got to World 4, but haven't played it yet. I love the minecarts. My daughter played it first and my first question was are there minecarts?

I'm suprised how tough the game is. I've been playing it through with my wife and we die a lot. I spend all my coins on balloons. I'm enjoying it though.
post #5 of 20
I have been playing through with my 4 year old. He basically shoots the banana gun while I do the timing based jumps.

The "waves" stage on level 2 proved to be a real challange, so I can't even imagine how hard it will get towards the end.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Halfway through World 7 now. There have been some pretty tough parts (I've been given the option for "Super Kong" to play through a level for me a few times now, though I've steadfastly refused), but after trying to conquer the secret level in World 1 for half an hour--and failing--the rest of the game doesn't seem quite so intimidating anymore. The music finally kicks up a notch in World 7, and cranks out some catchy, moody, memorable tunes.

Man, this really is a brilliant platformer. At least once a world now I've caught myself with a big stupid smile on my face, just purely delighted with the innovative stuff that's happening onscreen. I haven't felt like that since Mario Galaxy 2.
post #7 of 20
I got this through GameFly and beat the first two worlds before sending it back. However, I guarantee I will be buying it soon. This is a great platformer. It would be a perfect platformer if I could use the classic controller complete with a button for a roll.

Just to get on a soapbox, I wish more games like this were made today. DKCR is a great statement for the effectiveness of 2D in gaming.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the rolling is a shame, though it hasn't been as much an issue as I was afraid it might be. I'm just REAL CAREFUL making sure I'm at a complete stop when I want to ground-slap instead, and in all I've probably only had two deaths (out of probably near 100 at this point) due to accidental-roll. So it's not so hard to work around, but of course, I shouldn't HAVE to work around it.

And I'd actually add to your statement and say that this game is a great statement for the effectiveness of 3D graphics in 2D gaming. There is often neat and/or crazy **** going on in the background/foreground of each level, stuff that couldn't be done with sprites, and I'm surprised no one has attempted something like it before. Compared to every other platformer that came before, DKCR's levels feel so dynamic and alive.
post #9 of 20
I really need to get this game......
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb1970 View Post

I really need to get this game......

Yes, you do. Everyone should.

It always kind of sucked that 2D games basically stopped evolving after Yoshi's Island (the best game ever), but DKCR kind of feels like what would have happened had they not.
post #11 of 20
I rented it over New Years and played it for a few hours and got to world 3 or 4. Nice game. I may have to buy it.
post #12 of 20
the wife impulse bought this one and I have to say, its just as good as what I played on SNES. Nothing like a lil nostalgia to keep me feeling young.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonstiller View Post

the wife impulse bought this one and I have to say, its just as good as what I played on SNES. Nothing like a lil nostalgia to keep me feeling young.

Agreed. This game is truly epic!
post #14 of 20
What controller options you guys using? the one controller or controller + nunchuck?
post #15 of 20
Controller + nunchuck. Feels real natural to me.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Wiimote on its side. Just feels right for a 2D platformer.
post #17 of 20
I finally got around to picking this up, 6 months late. I am about halfway through the game but I am ready to crown it. WOW is it good - for me, it is SMB3 or SMW good.

This is what 2D platforming in a 3D age is meant to be. The level design is just fantastic. Big level elements, big enemies, multiple 2D planes, full 3D backgrounds, pans, zooms, everything, it's amazing. So many of the hidden puzzle pieces are just plain fun to find due to the dynamic levels and animations.

I love the fact that they incorporated speed runs into the game - this was always fun with Mario games, getting in-game times and medals for it seems so obvious now. Making levles that are equally fun to fly through as slowly pick and crawl through is really an art, and they've pulled it off.

The physics did take some getting used to coming from Mario, but it feels right. For all the complaining about using motion for the roll, I went in concerned, but I haven't had a problem with it at all. Well-timed rolls are critical for the speed runs and the controls have worked fine for me - similar to the "spin" in NSMBW, you just have to get used to the timing of it and it becomes second nature.

Last night I spent several hours just to get gold on a few of the speed runs, and beat level 1-K ("Platform Panic", I think), and I enjoyed every minute of it. 1-K was a doozy, I shudder to think what the later hidden levels are like.

So far the only problem I have had with the game is the boss battles have been a bit underwhelming. Not bad or anything, just not as memorable or innovative as the "real" levels.

Finally, this game's visuals continue to impress me on an HD screen. Who knew 480p could look so good? If Retro's best work can look this good in SD, I can't wait to get my hands on their first HD title.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattydr View Post

Finally, this game's visuals continue to impress me on an HD screen. Who knew 480p could look so good? If Retro's best work can look this good in SD, I can't wait to get my hands on their first HD title.

Hell, Retro's 2 Metroid Prime GC titles look better that a good 70% of Wii games! Same could be said for Factor 5's Rogue Squadron II (still the best looking Star Wars game, IMO, one can play on Wii)
post #19 of 20
70%?

I'd say that percentage was even higher. Rogue Squadron 2 (A GCN launch title) still looks better than 95%+ of the Wii library. Very few games pushed the hardware at all, and most of those that did were 1st party games (Both Super Mario Galaxies immediately spring to mind as some of the very few games that looked like a step up from GCN efforts).

Sadly, the average Wii game pales graphically to the average GameCube game. Developers aren't even working the more powerful Wii as hard as they were the GameCube a better part of a decade ago.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post

70%?

I'd say that percentage was even higher. Rogue Squadron 2 (A GCN launch title) still looks better than 95%+ of the Wii library. Very few games pushed the hardware at all, and most of those that did were 1st party games (Both Super Mario Galaxies immediately spring to mind as some of the very few games that looked like a step up from GCN efforts).

70% - I was being generous, Leo . But you are 100% correct. SMG 1&2 certainly are the tentpoles when it comes to Wii graphics. Same could be said for Metroid Prime 3, although it was mostly a continuation of what Retro did on the 1st two MP GCN titles.

Most recent 3rd party title to really push the console IMO was Black Ops - not so much graphically (game looks slightly better than a PS2/XBOX 1 version if they existed - although still impressive considering how much is going on @ any given time), but being basically neck & neck in most all features certainly has pushed the hardware.....so much so that BlOps has even taken down a few aging Wii disc drives due to "streaming" those big maps from the disc while playing instead of loading them entirely into memory (not enough in Wii to do that). BlOps Wii will make your drive spin like crazy!!
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