December 6th, 2010

Tall ships (porthole)

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Nintendo have done it again.

Donkey Kong Country Returns is, somehow, more awesome than the original Donkey Kong Country.

So far I've beaten the first 4 sections and they've yet to run out of awesome. There's very little repetition in the levels - the level within a world will share a theme, but they'll often have their own mechanic or design to them. For example, while there's several mine cart levels they'll differ in just how you have to play them: so far there's been one riding in the cart, one riding on the cart, one alternating between riding on the cart and hanging from a moving platform, and one riding on the cart where you also have to avoid hitting a rather low and very spiky ceiling.

It's also got a very good tutorial system, in that there isn't one. Instead the tutorial pig will show up in the background telling you (in a speech bubble) which buttons to press. It only appears in the first couple of levels to introduce you to the controls, and then will appear during boss battles if you fail enough times. You can completely ignore the pig if you wish - it's in the background, and doesn't in any way interact with anything else in the level.

The other neat thing is the Super Kong mode: if you die enough times in a level, then the pig will show up and offer to let Super Kong show you how to complete the level. In this mode you basically watch a playthrough of the level, after which the game then unlocks the route to the next one. This means you can advance past a level that's got you stumped. At the same time, the game doesn't mark the level as completed (nor does it give you any pickups from it), so you can go back and properly complete the level.

All in all, a very good game and well worth getting.