I am not a big fan of the Donkey Kong Country series of games. I didn’t like the SNES ones, I didn’t like the Game Boy ones, and although Donkey Kong 64 started well, the collecting killed it for me.
As a result, I didn’t even have a slight interest in the Wii game “Donkey Kong Country Returns”, of which this is a 3D “remix”. So why then did I play it? Firstly, curiosity. Secondly, it was free. And thirdly? Lots of people raving about it.
And today, I completed it. And it was hard.
Oh boy was it hard. I don’t think I’ve played such an unrelentingly difficult game in ages. Certainly not to completion, anyway (and Cloudberry Kingdom and VVVVVV don’t count due to unlimited lives and instant, nearby, respawn points). Somehow, though, it’s the difficulty that I enjoyed. The satisfaction of finally beating one of the hard-as-nails barrel rocket levels. Or besting that robot chicken boss even though it seemed impossible for the first 27 lives.
And not once did I resort to using the Super Guide flag-waving pig thing. Woo!
My impressions of the game besides the difficulty, then. Well, it’s pretty. So very pretty, especially in 3D. It plays really well too, and I’m not really understanding the control problems people have had with it. Sure, “grab” on R is a bit odd, but you get used to it. The timing for “bouncing on a baddie to boost jump” is tricky, especially on the later levels where it’s essential, but not really a control issue. From the comments people have made, it seems lots of players seem to be randomly rolling off cliffs and dying. Not really sure how they’re doing that.
I’ve said that the game was free (it was part of the “So Many Games” promotion a few months back), so would I, with hindsight, have bought it? Yes. Probably. Not for the full price, but maybe £15. Will I be going back and 100%ing the game? No. Some of the levels are too stressful to complete normally, let alone grabbing jigsaw pieces and KONG letters. I think it’ll go back on the virtual shelf with a 3/5 sticker, and I’ll be happy it’s done, but not sad to see it gathering dust.