Donkey Kong Country Returns Has Always Had "3DNA"

By Robert Ward . May 17, 2013 . 11:35am

Nintendo’s announcement of Donkey Kong Country Returns back at E3 2010 made some big waves; not only because it was a new entry in one of the video game giant’s seemingly shelved (but nevertheless beloved) franchises, but because of whom they trusted to develop it—Retro Studios, of Metroid Prime fame.


The result was something of a sentimental masterpiece, more a love letter to fans who loved the challenge of Rare’s SNES masterpieces than an open invitation for the casual crowd. Retro Studios had managed to marry the iconic subtleties of the old Donkey Kong Country games with a new, brighter world accompanied by clever level design, a stellar (and very Kenji Yamamoto-y) soundtrack, and a control scheme specially designed for the Wii (You can read more about that here, if you want).


Like Mutant Mudds on the Nintendo 3DS, Donkey Kong Country Returns utilizes both the foreground and the background, and Retro made sure that that effect never feels cheap. That’s one thing I’ve kept in mind while playing Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D for the 3DS, and the more I play it, the more I realize that the game has always had “3DNA”. It just stands out even more with stereoscopic 3D on the 3DS.


Tidal Terror has never been more terrifying, and Stormy Shore has never been more suspenseful. Threats no longer loom in the background as a passive part of the stage, but take on a new life in 3D and feel like a part of the stage. Returning players will be glad to hear that the new, non-motion based controls allow you to make more accurate maneuvers reminiscent of DKCR3D’s predecessors.


I hear that there’s a new secret world to unlock, and there’s still a lot to be said about the game’s new play mode. There are also some nasty whispers about the lowered framerate, too, but in my experience, I haven’t run into framerate issues thus far.


The key to the game’s inevitable success, though, will once again be its subtleties, and I’ll be able to elaborate on those soon in a hopefully pun-filled playtest.


Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D will be released on May 24th.


Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • malek86

    This is one game I’ll need to check out. I missed it on the Wii because by that point, I just wasn’t interested in the console anymore (and I also heard of motion controls). But on the 3DS it should be right up my alley.

  • Shane Guidaboni

    The frame rate issue had me worried, but it’s good to know you didn’t notice anything.

  • EggmaniMN

    You really don’t even notice the framerate difference. It would be more pronounced on a bigger screen I think.

    • Juan Andrés Valencia

      To be fair… unless the game runs like Peace Walker or Snake Eater 3D then it’s fine.

  • D H

    Returns was an amazing game. Now hopefully they will follow up on it with a sequel with true multiplayer. I used to enjoy the hell out of playing 1/2/3 with friends and family, but the gimped multiplayer in Returns was, in my opinion, horrible… Although, the fact that New Super Luigi U. has an almost invincible character as a default player doesn’t give me much hope with this…

  • Jirin

    I couldn’t get through DKCR. I hated the Diddy Jetpack, I would have much rather seen the return of the tag team system. IMO the best entry of the series was DKC2, and it was the best because of Dixie’s gliding and because of the amount of hidden stuff to look for.

    If I were producing a DKC game I’d use tag team and I’d have four or five different characters to build your team from all with different strengths. Choose any two out of all your choices. Donkey Kong more power, Diddy Kong more speed, Dixie kong gliding, something else for one or two other characters (Funky Kong got to be in a Mario Kart game, why not make him playable?) Few gimmick levels like most of the levels in DKC3, instead just well designed levels with a lot of hidden stuff.

  • what i most fear is that game most likely will run 30fps or lower

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos