Ever since his humble beginnings in Donkey Kong, we’ve seen Donkey Kong go on to become one of Nintendo’s most beloved characters. While most of his games received mostly mixed reactions, Nintendo found a lot of success with the Donkey Kong Country series. Considering Nintendo has always found success with the platforming genre and a lot of fans happen to love the genre, it wasn’t hard to understand why the series was successful. Since the days of Donkey Kong Country on the SNES, we’ve seen a lot of new Donkey Kong games, but none of them took us back to Country till Donkey Kong Country Returns released on the Wii. After being moderately successful on the Wii, Nintendo decided to update it for 3DS fans to enjoy. While this worked for Star Fox 64 and Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, will this ring true for Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D or was it probably better left alone?
Lets look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.
Similar to the original Donkey Kong Country games, Return also implements a number of different elements into the game. These mostly come in the form of platforming challenges, but also include moderately different mechanics too. The first are the ever popular mine cart levels, where you need to avoid obstacles to get to the end and the other is piloting a rocket barrel. While the mine cart levels require nearly perfect timing in jumping and ducking, rocket barrel stages are a little more dynamic in nature. You still have to accurately avoid obstacles, but you’re given slightly more leeway/options than the mine cart, since you can fly above or below any of the obstacles in question. In a lot of ways they can also be worse than the mine cart levels, as the more dynamic nature makes it slightly hard to get the timing right. Despite this, they do offer a nice change of pace, much like riding a rhino and getting the collectibles.
As with all newer Nintendo titles, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D has a number of collectibles to find. The first type of collectibles are the KONG letters, which is a nice callback to the original games. All four of these must be collected in the same game for them to count and are generally in open, but might require some problem solving/planning to obtain. In addition to the KONG letters, you can also collect a series of puzzle pieces to unlock an item in the gallery. Contrary to the letters, these pieces are generally in hidden locations and you don’t need to find them all in once, nor do you even need to survive to obtain them. This makes them a little more doable than the letters, but not by much. Finally for the completionist out there, you can also go for gold by attempting the time trial. While these aren’t really collectibles, they’re needed to get the final award on every stage, plus give you a little extra to strive for.
Surprisingly Good Graphics
Despite the 3DS having relatively poor graphics when compared to the Vita (and in some cases smart phones), Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D looks pretty good on the 3DS. Many of the backgrounds are vibrant and well done, plus the cutscenes are pretty good quality too. I wouldn’t say it surpasses the Wii version, but I would say it was one of the nicer looking 3DS games I’ve played.