Posts : 49 Join date : 2009-05-06 Age : 29 Location : Indiana, USA
Subject: Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii, Q4 2010) Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:57 pm
E3 2010 Trailer:
Donkey Kong Country Returns is a side-scrolling 3D platform game developed by Retro Studios. It is set to be released by Nintendo for the Wii console in the 2010 holiday season. It is the first new sidescrolling entry in the Donkey Kong Country series since the 1996 video game Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! released on the SNES and also the first installment not to be developed by Rare.
Under the control of a group of evil Tikis, the animals on DK Island have stolen Donkey Kong's bananas, forcing him to retrieve the hoard with the help of Diddy Kong.
Following its successful reinvention of the Metroid series with the Metroid Prime trilogy, Retro Studios were given the opportunity to reinvent the Donkey Kong platform series, which had halted following 2004's Donkey Kong Jungle Beat on the Nintendo Gamecube and chose a "traditional slant" on the "side-lined series".
Introduced at E3 2010, the game will employ updated 3D graphics. Players control Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, and the game will feature many traditional aspects of the Country series, such as mine cart levels, pirate ship levels, swinging from vines and collecting bananas.
One of the highlights of Nintendo's 2010 E3 press conference was Donkey Kong Country Returns. It's a 2D platformer in the vein of the old Donkey Kong games on the SNES, with the big ape teaming up with Diddy Kong once again. We managed to stop by the Nintendo booth for an extended play of the game, taking in two standard levels and a boss battle for the first time.
The big thing to note about DKCR is that it's being made by Retro Studios, the team behind the Metroid Prime series on GameCube and Wii. While Metroid and Donkey Kong are about as opposite as they could be, Retro's spectacular grasp of Nintendo hardware is evident in the game's spectacular graphics. From the gorgeous effects to the incredible animation, this is one of the best looking Wii games we've ever seen.
The E3 demo consisted of four levels--Jungle Hijinx, Poppin' Planks, Rickety Rails, and Mugly's Mound. We played Jungle Hijinx first, which acted as a gentle introduction to the mechanics of the game. The old Donkey Kong staples remain the same--you have to jump across platforms, destroy enemies, and collect bananas. On the Wii, Donkey Kong's powers are all based around waggles of the remote--DK pounds the ground when static, rolls along the floor when moving, and blows from his mouth when kneeling on the ground.
Donkey Kong has a lot of depth to its platforming. You're occassionally joined by Diddy Kong, who jumps on your back and gives you the ability to temporarily hover in mid-air. You can pick up barrels and toss them into multiple enemies, and pound certain sections of the ground to open up new areas. You can also pound the ground next to certain foliage to reveal bananas, or blow dandelions to reveal secret items such as hearts.
The main aim of each level is to reach the exit, but there are secondary aims too. You get bonus points for finding hidden items, which take the form of the four letters 'KONG' and jigsaw pieces. There are also bonus levels to unlock which reward you with even more bananas. In the one bonus level we played, you had to shoot Donkey Kong from one moving barrel to the other to collect all the bananas floating in between. The challenge was to avoid another moving barrel marked 'exit', which loitered dangerously along with the bananas, with a limited amount of time to collect as many as possible.
The second level we played was Poppin' Planks, which allowed us to try out co-op play. The second player joined us as Diddy Kong, who can either remain separate, or jump onto his uncle's back to become one. When this happens, the player controlling Donkey Kong controls both characters, but gains the ability to use Diddy's hover ability. There are many instances of co-op puzzles in the game, where you'll have to use both characters to balance out scales so both players can proceed. We really like the ability to combine characters though--you may be relinquishing control if you're Diddy, but it makes difficult sections much less frustrating to beat.
The last level we played was done solo once again. Mugly's Mound is a boss fight between Donkey Kong and a giant frog/lizard enemy. The idea is to avoid his spiky front and jump on his soft rear in order to kill him, but this is made difficult by the fact that he charges you, eats you up, and jumps in the air to send out shockwaves. After losing a few lives learning to avoid these attacks, we managed to kill the reptilian creature, and we were rewarded with a cool finishing animation where Donkey Kong smashed his giant fist into his enemy's bottom.
Donkey Kong Country Returns is looking fantastic, and thankfully we won't have to wait too long to play the finished game, as it will be released Q4 2010. Be sure to check out more of DKCR, as well as Nintendo's full E3 lineup, by looking at GameSpot's continuing coverage of the show.