Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D – First Impressions

A preview of Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D I wrote for the website www.square-go.com

If there is one thing that Nintendo has got good at doing it’s getting you buying the same thing multiple games. Hands up who has bought Super Mario Bros at least three times? Be honest. Yeah most of you, thought as much. But this isn’t just re-releasing the same game emulated on various consoles, occasionally they’ll get a bit of a makeover like the recent 3D classic versions of NES games on the 3DS eShop. Then every now and then they’ll give a franchise a proper makeover, like with Donkey Country Returns (DKCR) on the Wii that took the 2D platforming of the SNES game and re-tooled it with a modern 3D engine which is now given a 3D makeover for a 3DS release.

The Wii version was warmly welcomed on it’s release; much in the same way that New Super Mario Bros invoked the nostalgia of the early Mario games so DKCR did of the classic SNES original. Tough as old banana skins and not afraid to show it’s old school roots, the game was a hit.

So where does this 3DS version of the game fit in? Well, the game itself is essentially the Wii game squeezed onto the handheld. As Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate proved, the 3DS is more than capable of this so no worries there. The game itself essentially remains the same, although the edges of the difficulty have been sanded down a little. Make no mistake, DKCR wasn’t afraid to stick the boot in everyone and then so this is welcomed for the people picking this up for the first time. WIth two copies of the game then you can bring along another player for some co-op fun which is always fun when it comes to platformers. There are also new items to help you along the way as well but, helpfully, these can all be turned off for those that really enjoy it when a game kicks you in the unmentionables.

But how many of people will be picking this up for the first time? Who exactly is this release for? The 3DS could always do with new games but the WiiU looks to be in a worse position so surely it would make more sense getting games onto that platform? Do we really need a handheld version of the game that is available on the Wii in pretty much the same form? Sometimes the decisions made by Nintendo don’t make that much sense when you try to apply logic to them which is pretty the case with this game

Nintendo is certainly making it easy for people to pick up this game; it is part of their recent promotion where if you pick up three recent releases you get a fourth free so if you’ve been picking up recent Nintendo games then you’ll probably be able to pick this up by default.

So this is probably a release best thought about without the cynical part of your mind because what we have here is another release of a top notch game on a format which means that it is even easier to play. As long as it doesn’t stray too far from the Wii original then Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D should be another required purchase for the 3DS.

Originally published May 21st 2013

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