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E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: DK's Crash Course


12:55 PM on 06.07.2012
E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: DK's Crash Course photo



This is the last in the series to preview all five of the games within Nintendo Land for the Wii U. (You can check out the other previews here, here, here, and here! Whew!) Let's talk "Donkey Kong's Crash Course!"

I am going to say it right now: Donkey Kong's Crash Course is my favorite of all five Nintendo Land minigames on display in the Nintendo booth. True, there are still a large amount of games still yet to be revealed, but they will have a tough time beating Crash Course. The game is really fun.

I mean, check out the main header image above. It is out of control! How could something that looks like that not be fun?!

The concept of the single-player Donkey Kong's Crash Course is simple: You just have to guide a rolling, triangle-shaped vehicle through a crazy, complicated obstacle course without crashing it or flipping it over.

It sounds simple, right?

It's not.

Crash Course is super-challenging, and, my God, so much fun. The only "simple" thing about it is the controls. All players have to do is tilt the Wii U GamePad back and forth to roll the vehicle left and right. Occasionally, the ZL and ZR triggers are used to activate levers and cranks, but, outside of all this, the controls are very easy to learn.

Mastering them is an entirely different story. As you can see in the screenshots, the course in Crash Course is HUGE! And these screens don't even give you the entire picture. The level actually scrolls way up, so it is much larger than the images indicate.

Everything starts out easy enough, with some hills to navigate over. Just tilt the GamePad and the vehicle rolls. If the hill is big, just tilt the GamePad even more more and the cart will roll much faster. But you don't want it to roll too fast. If it does, it could easily crash or flip over when you get to the next obstacle.

You have to be slow and meticulous. And as the obstacles get more complicated, things get tough! BUT SO MUCH FUN! The whole thing reminded me of a combination of Uniracers and The Incredible Machine -- which is kind of the best combination ever. Some of the obstacles involve navigating giant loops with cranks, riding elevators, and navigating a crazy series of steep hills.

To help you out, there are checkpoint markers every once in a while that you spawn from if you die. But with only five lives, getting through the entire course is tough. I played the game multiple times, and never made it. Is is really challenging.

To add incentive and competition to the proceedings, your time and distance is recorded on a leaderboard, making getting farther and earning high scores oh-so tempting.

I really, really loved Donkey Kong's Crash Course. It was such a breath of fresh air and a genuinely fun and surprisingly deep minigame.

I can't wait to play more and finally make it to the end of the course!

E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: DK's Crash Course photo







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