Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Nintendo has a great selection of marquee characters from Mario, Link, Yoshi, and Samus, but most people forget about poor Donkey Kong. Luigi even had his own year in 2013! It’s a shame because the Donkey Kong franchise has had some of the best Nintendo titles in the last 20 years. With Nintendo’s new title in the DK Country series, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, we have one of the best Wii U titles to date.

As the action begins, Donkey Kong and the other members of his gorilla family are celebrating the big boy’s birthday. Like any good action game, nothing goes according to plan. Poor Donkey Kong’s birthday festivities are ruined by the Snowmads that make the tropical island freeze over. It’s not exactly exciting by any kind of imagination, but the Kong family’s reactions are priceless.

Donkey Kong and his family try to reclaim their home island, fix the ice climbing, and return their tropical paradise to normal. Throughout the game, Donkey Kong travels to all areas of the world and in my experience all worlds are refreshing and unique from one another. You may be playing on an island in one setting and then jumping into a desert in another. The classic variety of levels in Mario games is present in “Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze”. The game makes the player want to see the next adventure.

As you try to make your way through the story, you will notice how simple yet extremely challenging this game is. Like the Mario franchise, Donkey Kong has a limited number of moves available to him. You can jump on enemies like the famous plumber and take part in exciting platforming challenges, there’s a swing attack that will take down enemies, and the charming brute is surprisingly agile once he climbs the branches and vines. They all sound simple, but the game offers a brutal way to force you to master Donkey Kong’s skills.

The huge increase in difficulty could really put a damper on the spirit of expert platformers alongside younger gamers. The game forces you to have pinpoint precision no matter what you are doing. Either jumping on the head of a baddie to extinguish it or timing the movements of the vine to perfection to avoid an obstacle. The game never stops, but when you manage to complete the task that has been giving you trouble, there is hardly a more rewarding experience in games. It’s not Dark souls ii frustration level but close.

Along with Donkey Kong’s difficult jumping, swinging and rolling game, you will get a chance to call his family members. Like the SNES classic Donkey Kong CountryDiddy Kong, Dixie Kong and even the wise Cranky Kong will join the adventure. Diddy Kong will help you in your vertical suspension time with his jetpack, Dixie will allow you to stay in the air longer with his pigtails. My personal favorite is Cranky Kong, which will allow you to bounce higher and longer with his Duck tales baton maneuvering style. They will only help Donkey Kong during certain parts of the game and you will have to free them from their barrels, but the opportunities are frequent.

You’ll also need your allies for the game’s outstanding boss fights. Like any premium classic Nintendo game, you will have multiple stages of the encounter. For example, one that caused me tremendous trouble was the giant owl, which threw razor-sharp feathers at Donkey Kong and his family. So much happened during the fight that every button press was a matter of life and death. I haven’t had this much trouble (or fun) in a game in quite a while. The feeling of accomplishment was better than any achievement or trophy unlocked from other systems.

One aspect of this game that didn’t shine as well as other Nintendo platformers was co-op. My friends and I just disagreed when it came to jumping, fighting, or just solving puzzles. When we were in a boss meeting, it was more successful to turn off one of the controllers and let one person handle it. There is too much action on screen and the game is simply best played with one person. However, the multiplayer option is always there in case you have a curious viewer who wants to see what the fuss is about.

This generation’s games are too easy, it’s great to see a game like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze it really challenges the players. Even for the youngest players, once they get through a portion on their own, there won’t be a bigger reward. However, it would have been nice to have real unlockable characters to work with. The Wii U desperately needs great games and with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has found one. This is one of those games more suitable for any type of gamer, and if you can resist breaking the controller, a rewarding experience awaits you.

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