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Donkey Kong Country Returns has been released on Nintendo Wii and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"Donkey Kong Country Returns is a fascinating technical achievement. It combines characters and style from the original while create an experience that is every bit as challenging..."
- Tech Gamer (Wed, 25 May 2011)
"Donkey Kong Country Returns was difficult to connect with directly, but I enjoyed playing tourist in someone else's fondly-remembered microcosm..."
- Microcosm Gamer (Wed, 20 Apr 2011)
"Donkey Kong Country Returns reunites old friends to stage one final rescue. Charming graphics and dreamy gameplay got me reminiscing about playing the original as an eclectic little girl..."
- Eclectic Gamer (Fri, 21 Jan 2011)
"Donkey Kong Country Returns reminds us of life beyond the Mario/Sonic binary. Classy production, whistleable music and high action create the perfect context of co-operative family platforming heaven..."
- Family Gamer (Mon, 29 Nov 2010)
Donkey Kong Country Returns with drop-in co-operative play and parental assist mode. Learning a trick or two from Super Mario Brothers Wii, there is plenty to celebrate in the return of this classic.
Donkey Kong Country, with its pre-rendered 2.5D visuals, was a breakthrough game on the SNES. The Wii version, (ed: the imaginativley titled) Donkey Kong Country Returns, brings back its classic side-on platforming.
Fully 3D environments this time round offer more variety and branching gameplay. Of course it's all populated with favourite's like the barrel cannons and mine carts. And throughout the levels are plenty of special items to collect - as well as hidden letters that spell K-O-N-G and reward the player with special abilities.
More exciting this time around is the two player co-op experience. Here you can work seperatley to traverse each level, or hitch a ride a work togther. This, it's hoped will be a popular way for families to play - where a younger player can jump back on Donkey Kong shoulders when they need a break. And if they loose a life they can, as in Super Mario Brothers, rejoin the action by popping out of a DK barrel floating on a balloon.
Although it sounds a little gimmicky, being carried by a parent is such a universal experience for kids it is actually quite endearing in the game.
As well as the original game's moves, on the Wii you can use a Barrel Jet and shake the Wii Remote to make Donkey Kong pound the ground, roll on enemies and blow air. There's even a Peanut Popgun in two player mode.
Donkey Kong Country Returns is released on the Wii in Europe on 3rd December.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: