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POSTED 26/2/14


DONKEY KONG COUNTRY: TROPICAL FREEZE

Nintendo
Wii U

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 incredibly hard.

...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 actually us...

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...

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.