After a successful reboot on the Wii, Nintendo’s prime primates are back in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. A new set of enemies have frozen Donkey Kong Island, and its up to the Donkey, Diddy, Dixie and Cranky Kong to put a stop to their shenanigans.
My favourite part of Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii was the way in which it made use of setpieces. Taking a page from the Uncharted playbook, seemingly every level had no shortage of cool moments that broke outside of the standard platforming action. Presumably thanks to the power of the Wii U, Retro Studios ups the ante with even more bombastic moments in Tropical Freeze. However, the biggest change comes from the addition of Dixie and Cranky Kong. She has the ability to double jump while the old ape can bounce on his cane to avoid spiky ground. Donkey Kong can beat all of the levels on his own, though he’ll have to rely on his friends to explore secret territory. Dixie Kong is my favourite sidekick of the bunch because of her ability is so useful, though they all serve their purpose well.
While I appreciate the effort in the setpieces, the game’s difficulty really rubbed me the wrong way. You will die a lot in Tropical Freeze, and there’s nothing you can do about it but learn from your mistakes. Of you will make many of them. If I really wanted to, I probably could have put in the effort to beat the game, but the game stopped being fun because of all the death and repetition.
Because of that, this isn’t the Donkey Kong game for me. Dying repeatedly and progress that inches forward is not my cup of tea and this game is built around that philosophy. However, if you’re looking for a platformer that is going to push you to the limit, Tropical Freeze may be the Wii U game for you.