Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (4 stars)

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

Latest instalment of the game appeals to sense of nostalgia


Back in the early 90s, platform gaming was one of the dominant genres, typified by the travails of Sega mascot Sonic the Hedgehog. Try to go back to that series today, however, and you’ll get a sharp lesson in hateful game design that’s likely to make you take off your rose-tinted spectacles and smash them in frustration.

If you’re still nostalgic for a proper challenge then this port of the 2010 Wii game could be just the tonic. As Donkey Kong, you must travel across the themed courses around an island, picking up bananas, puzzle pieces and other shiny things along your path.

For a platform character, Donkey Kong is unusually weighty, making travel slightly cumbersome, yet jumping precise. It’s only when direct control is taken away that the difficulty spikes unfairly. Some sections throw Kong around via exploding barrels or minecarts, and the tiniest of errors will set you back to the checkpoint (if you’ve yet reached it - there’s only one per course). But if you balk at quick saves and scoff at regenerating health then this is a breath of old-school rock-hard air.

Donkey Kong Country Returns Trailer - E3 2010

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