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  1. #1
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    Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

    Destructoid's given it a 10/10 http://www.destructoid.com/review-do...e-270430.phtml

    Allow me to break the ice

    Donkey Kong Country Returns was one of my favorite platformers of the last generation. It had charm, challenge, and most importantly -- it was a ton of fun. But one of my only hang-ups with the Wii version was the lack of control options, and the forced implementation of Wiimote controls.

    With that out of the way compliments of a host of controller choices and many more improvements, Tropical Freeze is somehow even better than Returns.



    Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
    Developer: Retro Studios / Monster Games / Nintendo SPD
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Released: February 21, 2014
    MSRP: $49.99

    First things first, it must be said that the visuals look amazing in HD. All of that same visual charm is there from Returns, but the superior hardware of the Wii U accentuates basically everything that made that art style great. Backgrounds have new depth to them, enemies have even more details and nuances added to their animations, and the game just all around looks better -- to the point where it's one of the best-looking games on the console yet.

    It helps that even more care has gone in to nearly every facet of the game, which is exemplified in the carefully crafted idle animations. Donkey Kong will sit down and play actual 3DS games when standing still, and every supporting character has a different animation when riding on his back. It's hard to explain without seeing some of the more interesting levels in motion, but it's easy to see why it took Retro Studios so long to finish Tropical Freeze.

    Fans of the original Donkey Kong Country series will also no doubt recognize the vastly superior soundtrack, thanks mostly to the return of David Wise -- the original DKC composer. Tropical Freeze sports a beautiful soundtrack that easily tops the original Returns, with a healthy mix of remixes and completely original tunes. Not every track is gold but the vast majority are what I'd consider "new classics." It's that good.



    The story is still a little light this time around, but an all-new cast of villains is present in the form of the Snowmads, who I found to be a lot more interesting than the Tiki Tak Tribe from Returns. Consisting of a collection of animals from penguins to walruses, the Snowmads are as deadly as they are cute. Don't expect a whole lot more than the typical "take back your home" plot, but much like Mario, the focus is on the platforming -- which it delivers in spades.

    I really have to give it to Nintendo this time around -- they listened when it comes to offering up a host of controller options. Whereas the Wii often forced players to acclimate to one control scheme, the Wii U allows us to try out a number of different controllers, most notably the rock-solid GamePad. Of course, if you prefer the Wiimote, Wiimote+Nunchuk, or the Pro Controller, you can use those too. In one fell swoop, Retro Studios has squashed my one major complaint with Returns.

    This time around heroes Donkey and Diddy return, but with the extra addition of Dixie (who can rise vertically with her hair spin), and Cranky (who does his best Scrooge McDuck pogo impression). Just like Returns, player one can only use Donkey Kong, but with Diddy, Dixie, or Cranky on his back, he can use their special abilities, and he's granted two extra hits.



    Player two can pick from any supporting character at will, but can't take control of the main monkey. It would be nice to have the option to play as anyone other than DK while going at it solo, but given the fact that you can vicariously experience the others through group powers, it doesn't really detract from the experience.

    The controls are mostly the same, focusing on grabbing, pounding the ground, or rolling, with the addition of the brand new Kong Pow attack. By collecting bananas, you can fill a separate gold meter and unleash a screen-clearing power. It's something I rarely ever used, but it's a fun addition to the game, and especially enjoyable to use when gaming with a partner. If it sounds overpowered think again -- because Tropical Freeze is in some ways more difficult than its predecessor.

    Although one would think that the pool of level diversity would have ran dry after all of the innovative stages in Returns, Tropical Freeze manages to deliver yet again. From giant trees erupting from the ocean floor, to a few clever vehicle gimmicks, to running for your life as you're caught up in a giant Savannah tornado, the game's stages are as diverse as ever.



    No doubt influenced by the return of David Wise, a few stages are even centered around a musical theme -- much like Rayman Legends -- but a little more seamlessly integrated into the level rather than celebrated. Bosses are legitimately hard this time around -- so if you thought Returns had difficult encounters, you're going to have fun with this one. Fights can be lengthy but they're extremely rewarding, and there are a few bosses in particular that I was highly impressed with.

    Tropical Freeze also re-introduces swimming to the mix, which is tastefully done with the combination of light swimming levels and stages focused entirely around the activity. Although I was a bit worried as to how these would play out, I'm pleased to say that they not only are some of the best stages in the game, but I'm left wondering why Retro didn't include them in the first place. You'll have a dash attack and a fast swim button at your disposal, and a new layer of depth has been added by way of an air meter -- which needs to be periodically filled by grabbing bubbles in the sea.

    Like Returns, Freeze is a lengthy title with plenty of levels to explore, all filled to the brim with content. It still has K-O-N-G letters and puzzle pieces to collect, it still has an extra set of bonus levels, and there are still time trials. Freeze also sports a few extras like capsule toys, and hidden "portal" entrances that unlock new stages, not unlike Super Mario World.



    I didn't think it was possible, but Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has topped Returns. It's an incredibly crafted platformer with an HD sheen and an insane attention to detail, and any fan of the genre owes it to themselves to experience it. With the addition of control options to the already proven formula, Retro Studios' rendition of Donkey Kong is pretty much flawless.



    THE VERDICT - DONKEY KONG COUNTRY: TROPICAL FREEZE
    Reviewed by Chris Carter

    10 /10Flawless Victory: Games rated 10 aren't perfect, since nothing is, but they come as close as you could get in a given genre. The new must-have game in its sector, we're talking pure ecstasy.
    Died Wearing A Purple Jacket.


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  2. #2
    Dance Commander Anders's Avatar
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    I've never played a Donkey Kong game, but Tropical Freeze looks like a lot of fun, so it's definitely on my Wii U wishlist. I also just ordered a Pro controller, so I'll need some local multiplayer games.

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  3. #3
    I hate Nerds Rawgasm's Avatar
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    I absolutely loved Returns so I've been looking forward to this since the reveal. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

  4. #4
    GF Active Member Turnip's Avatar
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    Not played a DK game since Country on the GBC, but this has me very tempted, heard loads of praise for it and only one or two reviews with anything negative to say. Looks like the Wii U may not have the largest selection of games, but the ones it has are magnificent and i've always preferred quality over quantity.

  5. #5
    Prosecuting with style Vyse the Legend's Avatar
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    Loved DKCR, hell, all the entire series since it was first released, and I really want to play this game, as it looks super sweet. Of course though, I don't own a WiiU, and wouldn't get one for this.... or too much else currently on the console, given I'd rather have a PS4.

    Shame then that I'm unlikely to ever try it, but I'll just have to make do with watching some live streaming instead, and hope that will suffice. Either that or some huge price drop comes, but don't see that happening at all.

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    The levels are fun...... but

    The bosses and the plot sucks. The same with Returns. Is their a secret boss? The enemy designs i have no problem with, just the bosses, being over the top lame. Nice looking and silly, also all the crappy sound effects.

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    I hate Nerds Rawgasm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RegalSin View Post
    The levels are fun...... but

    The bosses and the plot sucks.
    Yes, because I'm sure we will remember Tropical Freeze, or any Donkey Kong game for that matter, for it's plot.

    I haven't played a whole lot of Tropical Freeze, but I love it. The difficulty is definitely there, especially for those who aren't expecting it. The environments look incredibly nice and diverse, which surprised me as I thought this game was just going to be Snow and Ice based levels.

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    DKC 1-3 all had great plots, enemies, and all kinds of things. The newer games barely have a decent level. Challenging, different, but not a DKC.

    DKn64 is broken. Great characters, great worlds, but the bosses, all felt like Conker, or Banjo. Even Banjo itself was a better DKC. That is what they did. They made DK64 AKA Banjo, and decided to call it Banjo, and released this lame N64 title. It was amazing but felt incomplete.

    They could have made the whole game about bees, with wasp enemies, and all sort of badniks, and call it.

    DK buddy bumble. On the count of the flying aspects of the game.

  9. #9
    I hate Nerds Rawgasm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RegalSin View Post
    DKC 1-3 all had great plots, enemies, and all kinds of things. The newer games barely have a decent level. Challenging, different, but not a DKC.
    A fat crocodile and his crocodile friends steal a Gorilla's stash of bananas, yes great plot. Also are you saying that because Returns/Tropical Freeze are challenging and different that they're not like the originals? Are you saying a challenging, different level is nothing decent? I honestly can't tell what your definition of a good level is. Because from what I can tell a good level must be nothing unique and really easy. Which perplexes me why you even like DKC in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by RegalSin View Post
    DKn64 is broken. Great characters, great worlds, but the bosses, all felt like Conker, or Banjo. Even Banjo itself was a better DKC. That is what they did. They made DK64 AKA Banjo, and decided to call it Banjo, and released this lame N64 title. It was amazing but felt incomplete.
    Wait? A lame N64 title which is also amazing? Can you make sense for at least five minutes please? Also how can you compare Banjo to DKC? Two completely different games. One's a side scrolling platformer and the other one is a 3D platformer/collectathon. It's like comparing Streets of Rage with Grand Theft Auto.

    Quote Originally Posted by RegalSin View Post
    They could have made the whole game about bees, with wasp enemies, and all sort of badniks, and call it.

    DK buddy bumble. On the count of the flying aspects of the game.
    I would have gone with DKC: Bumble in the Jungle, but that's just me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rawgasm View Post
    A fat crocodile and his crocodile friends steal a Gorilla's stash of bananas, yes great plot. Also are you saying that because Returns/Tropical Freeze are challenging and different that they're not like the originals? Are you saying a challenging, different level is nothing decent? I honestly can't tell what your definition of a good level is. Because from what I can tell a good level must be nothing unique and really easy. Which perplexes me why you even like DKC in the first place.
    King K-Rool was the beast, also he is an animal, and a reptile, that was muscle all over his body. The entire Kremling army was badarse as well. Also those are not his friends, those are his minions. The Kremlings practically owned the island, here and there waging war against the Beavers ( as cited in the games manual ). However they failed and formed Crocadile isle.
    They came back to take over, and one of the last things they did, was take DK's Banana's to show their supremacy over the island, aside taking over areas were humans were once, long ago.

    The Gameboy game ( the real sequel ) did it all over again, but I think it involved a goat, and I believed Cranky gave away his hoard to teach him a lesson. It took place on the otherside of DKC island. They had the massive, and impressive big ape city, sky levels that blew your mind, and even the mountains and snow levels. This game also introduced the hear system.

    The third ( second ) game, led you to the Crocodile core, where they still wanted revenge, against DK. I mean it was umber, badarss insane, biblical.

    The final SNES game took us down the bay area, and coral reefs of the island, AKA Bear country. So many interesting bosses, super messed up enemies, bear jokes, and even vehicles.

    DKC series was biblical, was awesome, and had all of that. I mean it. It was a beaut, a gem, crazy fantastic game. The new games ( abusing the name ) has something but not what DK has. It looks terrible compared to the real DKC games, and the game is practically unplayable and has no logic to it. The first game, they made had a bunch of masks, who brainwashed all of the animals, not to mention, somehow the masks have their own ships ( which makes no sense ). The second game is more or less the same thing, but this is no brainwashing empire. From my understanding the original DKC2, had a seal friend, and in the DKN64 game it shows that seals are living on the island, which makes sense. Made no sense for animals to come and turn the island into a winter wonderland.

    To make things short, DKC 1-3 has everything DKWii-WiiU had but did it better. The island is not the island they live on, their are animals from Africa, and not from the island. Your animal
    buddies are not even used.

    Wait? A lame N64 title which is also amazing? Can you make sense for at least five minutes please? Also how can you compare Banjo to DKC? Two completely different games. One's a side scrolling platformer and the other one is a 3D platformer/collectathon. It's like comparing Streets of Rage with Grand Theft Auto.
    DK64 had things going for it. I love how RARE tried to give the realistic experience of a whole DKC island. But they also kinda, made it incomplete. I love the Kremlings floating lair, while the lair is just as lame as the island, that is forgivable. The cut scenes was nice, but they were not needed so much, including the "Claw" voice. The bosses were terrible, in most cases, and I think "Tiny KOng" boss was probably the most original and most best boss, and even that was bad. What I am trying to say is that DK64 had and have lots of replay value, but when your ultimate ending, is you taking turns with each character, to fight K-Rool, inside a boxing arena, it kinda made the entire Kremling army look like a bad joke. If you think the Cartoon was bad, the entire army is bad. They never took the time to recreate the ZINGERS at all. They just took the dead ones, and put mechanical parts on them. That is how poor they are. Even the wind-up Kremlings were lame. Yes you had robo-Kremling, who had to keep winding itself up.

    About Banjo, if you have notice the buddy riding in DKWiiX, it is more or less reflecting Banjoa-Tooie. Same exact idea. Banjo is a great big giant game, with a bunch of potty mouth critters. The only way to get the true ending ( what bad ending, ending ), is by dying somewhere towards the end of the game. I guess they kinda hid that, otherwise it would have been edited. I mean Banjo is everything that DK64 could have been, but instead turned into that "Some random dumb, videogame with a bunch of furry, childrens TV show characters game".
    Imagine if Banjo Kazooie had a beach level, a Jungle stage, and something else. I mean it practically does have that, but. Also Rareware practically through Banjo around in the GBA and X-box game.

    You can move Banjo and DK from each others N64 game, and they would work out the same.

    I would have gone with DKC: Bumble in the Jungle, but that's just me.
    Well in the NEW NEW NEW DK whatever, you do not have team ups, but the secondary character rides around on your back. It is like we went from equality to just plain helpless. Many little things in the NEW NEW NEW DK whatever, requires this second character, and while that is not new I would prefer some freedom, instead of the two apes, riding around on each other, like little frog riding big frog.


    Which perplexes me why you even like DKC in the first place.
    I played the living daylights out of that game, when I was younger. It was like the pinnacle of all games for me, one time, before everybody started to play FF7, wearing Cloud shirts, and then Pokemon craze, I mean they were everywhere. This was before RPG games was super insane, popular among videogame system only people. Computer gaming was a completely different realm, for me. When the internet for many, was just AOL, chatrooms, and email. Still this day, I can play, look at, or even own DKC games.

    I know arseholes out their are like, "Nostaligia is rubbish" ( soft sock puppet voice ) "you have a disease it is called hoarding" or even "you need to get rid of that stuff, and buy a bunch of new stuff, because you live in a Jewdom, and Jues are not allowed to own anything that can rust or mold" ( look up the rest of the commandments ). DKC 1-3 ( especially 2 ) games are awesome, it is made out of the word awesome. Heck many things were heck of a lot better, back then compared to now, but I mean it, you put two games side to side, and compare and contrast, it is auwsome. Speaking of which.........

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