Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

PAX 10: Donkey Kong Country Returns is on the right track

1:40 PM on 09.06.2010 // Jordan Devore

It was super weird going from Kirby's Epic Yarn to Donkey Kong Country Returns at Nintendo's PAX Prime booth. While both titles can sort of be viewed as reboots of their respective franchises, the contrast in difficulty and approach is startling.

With Kirby's Epic Yarn, you are getting simpler controls -- think New Super Mario Bros. Wii -- and what has to be the least-punishing difficulty in recent memory. With DKC Returns, you're getting a swift kick to the backside. It was certainly the hardest (but never unfair) game I played at PAX.

That was the first mental notch I scratched out on my list of must-haves.

As a long-time fan of the series, I'm no longer worried about what Retro Studios is doing with Donkey Kong Country Returns. Alongside many of you, I was cautiously optimistic during the game's unveiling at E3. You see, I play Donkey Kong Country 2 to completion on a near-monthly basis.

Yeah. I'm one of those.

For someone like me, there's a lot that can go wrong with DKC Returns. Stuff that most players likely won't even pick up on or care about; that's perfectly fine. For us veterans, we have an idea -- based off of the original three Super Nintendo games -- what this series should be.

  • It should be tough enough that first-try playthroughs of a level don't automatically result in a win.
  • You ought to feel challenged -- both physically and mentally -- as a result of the level design and placement of hidden items.
  • The music should sell you on the world, and warm your heart.
  • Bosses need to be plentiful, diverse, and pose a serious threat.
  • Animal buddies. 'Nuff said.

There's more, but my brain is struggling after a week of non-stop excitement at the convention. Based on what I played and saw of DKC Returns, I think Retro Studios is on the right track here.

Talking with the Nintendo rep responsible for looking over this demonstration, I got the feeling that they -- Nintendo and Retro -- realize what made the SNES titles so beloved, and how to adapt those ideas into a Wii game for 2010. We genuinely reminisced about the golden days of platformers, and openly professed our love for the genre. Bless your heart for employing these fine people, Nintendo.

Then there's the new stuff: being able to jump between the foreground and background, simultaneous two-person co-op play, mechanics like ground slams and Diddy Kong's jetpack, etc. While all of those bullet points are things I want, it'd be silly to go after those and nothing else. We have the classic games to go back to at any time, after all.

The only thing I didn't enjoy about DKC Returns was the startling lack of kremlings. Perhaps it's best that not everything remain the same, though. Perhaps not. Also, I can't help but think Rare has those characters on lockdown in some dust-covered vault.

Whatever -- November 21 is going to be a day for Wii owners to remember; I'm positive of this.

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidJordan Tips
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Why am I hyped? Just cause :D
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
You know what Fallout 4 mod I want to see? One to fix the interior lightning. It's like the silliest thing to get fixated over, but I can't seem to ignore how white and bright some of those inside lights are.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Just wrote my first C-blog. It's me talking about the games I have played this month; I'm quite excited
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I wish the Squid Girl outfit was still a dress for boys. I want to live through my Inkling boy and be a cute girly-man, dammit. [img][/img]
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Goshdarnit...just stood in front of the camera to record an intro for the advent calender thingy and actually got stage fright >.>
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well, it seemed like for two seconds people were finally going to give Star Fox a fair shake, but nope! GameXplain's YouTube audience seem pretty insistent that it's just a Star Fox 64 clone down to the graphics. Sometimes I just don't understand peopl
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
There's something so fucking delicious about a toasted Hawaiian roll, smoked ham, Swiss, some spinach and a dollop of mustard. #FatKidPosts
Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
Lawman avatarLawman
Listening to this on a Tall Oaks level of RE: Revelations 2's Raid Mode is entrancing, for some reason.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Need a reason to support Indivisible? Shantae is in it!. Back it or spread the word, every bit of help counts.
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Sometimes I miss how hilariously janky Brawl was, and I still have a lot of fun playing it. Not sure if I could ever take it seriously as a competitive game, but I want to enter at least one Brawl tournament in the future. You know, if I can find one.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I love how on a slow news day I can always turn to Qposts for something else to read and think about. Keep up the mojo fellas!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -