Excerpt: Donkey Kong Country Returns is a fun game. It is not a nostalgic redo of the Super Nintendo era Donkey Kong games but an evolution of the series whilst maintaining the core gameplay elements that defined the original. The mine karts, the collectible KONG letters, the bananas, the balloons, and the helpful animal friends all return. It’s all here.
Excerpt: The Tiki Tak Tribe almost succeeded. They did everything that any decent villain upstart would do; they invaded the island through sheer force of numbers and strength. They set off the local volcano, sending devastating lava flows cascading down the mountain and roasting everything in their path. They even used their magical music powers to hypnotize and subjugate all the animals on the island, creating a massive army of slaves.
Summary: Donkey Kong Country Returns is yet another solid platform title on Wii, with the biggest surprise being how close in spirit the game is to its 16-bit predecessors. Retaining the same precision-based platforming that made Super NES controller flinging an under appreciated art form, Donkey Kong Country Returns offers intense, visually arresting action with a few caveats.
Pros: Vibrant visuals and foot-tapping music, Challenging, "old-school" platforming, Eight worlds and 70+ levels
Cons: Motion controls seem forced, Underwhelming co-op play, Weak list of unlockable extras
Excerpt: The most important thing to know about Donkey Kong Country Returns is that it doesn’t try to be anything more than the title implies. Under Nintendo’s supervision, Retro Studios set out to reprise the lush, intricate platforming of the Donkey Kong Country series, which breathed new life into the Super NES during the mid-’90s.
Conclusion: It’s a side of Nintendo we fear, from time to time, losing forever, which makes Retro’s outing a welcome return to the company’s hardcore roots, as well as one of this year’s finest platformers.