DONKEY KONG COUNTRY RETURNS
something rotten in DK Country, and it’s not that secret banana
stash Diddy left decomposing in his schoolbag over the summer break.
Donkey Kong, Nintendo’s original big bad, has been reduced to an
inanity-grunting, tie-donning corporate wuss, shilling lacklustre
games in a haze of emasculation.
Rejoice, DK acolytes. Kong’s returned, in style!
No more shitty racing games or half-arsed 3D ventures, for Donkey
Kong Country Returns harks back to the SNES glory days – when
apes were apes and the jungle was nervous.
Equal parts homage and evolution, DKCR maintains one aspect
of those amazing SNES adventures – it’s really fucking
challenging. That’s using ‘challenging’ in all its simile glory for
“I wanna hurl my Wiimote, kick the plasma in and hug Mum.” Yep, this
sucker’s hard – and we say “yay!”.
New baddies descend into DK’s domain in the form of bizarre
ooga-booga, voodoo-eyed thingies that hypnotise local denizens into
purloining the great ape’s banana stash. Naturally DK doesn’t fall
for this shit and sets out on a rampage – ably assisted by the ape-ular
equivalent of Batman’s Robin, Diddy Kong (in single or two-player
mode – nice).
Those familiar with the ’90s DKC series will instantly be at
home, but things soon evolve. Silhouetted levels (a la
Limbo), platforms jammed into
deeper 3D space that you rocket-barrel to and fro between, effects
like waves crashing out of your screen... all saying “yeah, this is
classic, but it’s also 15 years on”.
Obsessive completists may as well lock themselves away for the next
few years, as obtaining every collectible letter and puzzle piece is
a hellish challenge.
You wanted the best, you got the best. The banana’s in your court –
vote 1 the emancipation of Donkey Kong.