games / Previews

E3 2010: Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii) Preview

June 29, 2010 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

One of Nintendo’s awesome new demo previews at E3 this year was for the new side-scrolling action/adventure platform game Donkey Kong Country Returns. Donkey Kong Country was an awesome and fan favorite series back in the SNES days. IMHO, the series ultimately took a turn for the decline when we got Donkey Kong Country 64 on the N64. I don’t think it was a bad or horrible game at all, but it feels like it degenerated the Donkey Kong series into a collectathon type of game. With Donkey Kong Country Returns, Retro Studios has returned the franchise back to its classic action platform roots.

Like many new games at E3 this year, Donkey Kong Country had a very old school look and feel but still using modern technology and graphics. This is a 2D side scroller action and adventure game make no mistake. But it’s still awesome. Of course there are some more elaborate backgrounds and environments that Diddy and Donkey will be traveling through. So the game does have a creative use of 3D environments and actually being blasted through barrels into the background and foreground of the screen. The classic theme music from the original games intact and still sounds great. The graphics and environments look fantastic even for a 2D platform game. Even though is is a 2D platform game, the environments and backgrounds are fully 3D.

The game incorporates the Wii Nunchuk and Motion Control. Using the motion control with a circular wave you can do Donkey’s roll attack. By making a downward motion, Donkey can stop the ground with his hands which he can use to interact with objects like flowers in the background and do cool things with them. This can also momentarily stun the enemies. When Diddy is unlocked, he has a special jetpack to extend your jumps and get to those hard to reach places.

One of the new features is co-op 2 player game-play. You can finally play as Diddy and Donkey onscreen working together for the first time ever. The Retro Studios developers at the booth would not reveal if the helper animals such as Winky would not be in the game. The demo did not show any helper animals Donkey and Diddy could pick up and ride along the way. The game does look to have hidden items and bonuses you can locate.

Donkey Kong Country returns is due out on the Wii for the holiday season later this year.


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Jeffrey Harris
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