DONKEY KONG COUNTRY: TROPICAL FREEZE
Jeopardy! time! This videogame character is blue, collects
rings, and goes fast.
The answer? “Who is Donkey Kong?” Huh?
Well, horny anima- erm, sorry, we’ll type that again. Well, horned
animals of an Antarctic bent called ‘Snomads’ invade Donkey Kong and
friends’ island. He gets really bloody cold, he pulls rings in the
ground everywhere, and jam him into a barrel and just watch that
crazy ape zoom!
It all starts at the big lug’s birthday.
Possibly after unwrapping more corporate shill neckties, DK’s about
to get all blowy-outty with his candle when a snowflake done does
douse it. Guess who’s unimpressed? He’s even less chuffed when
huffed and puffed to a far-off island. So, with help variously from
Kongs Diddy, Dixie and Cranky, DK does what he does best when not
chucking barrels at plumbers and gets seriously platformy.
Ignoring the added ‘ly’, ‘serious’ is an apt word. Ever since the
first, back on the SNES, DKC games have been challenging.
Tropical Freeze is no exception. It may throw lives at you
like they’re poisoned, but you’ll need them. From finicky jumps to
pernickety assaults both to and from Snomadic enemies to elongated
boss battles requiring the pixel-perfect painstaking patience of a
particularly persistent pontiff, this is unforgiving and often
...and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But the thing
with many Nintendo games is that they look like kids games, even
though they’re not. Give this to a youngish kid and there’ll be
tears and tanties. Actually, we did, and there were. OK, the kid was
DKC:TF’s a gorgeous, clever, charming
and (again) challenging platformer. Yet it lacks the flow of the
recently-crowned genre king,
Rayman Legends. Everything you intend just happens in the
latter, whereas in DKC:TF hesitation and all-too-frequent
deaths jar, making the fun factor sometimes questionable...