By MICHAEL EMERSON
Although it seems as if Nintendo is going into a financial crisis in the wake of the Wii U’s paltry sales, that doesn’t diminish the fact that it still carries some wonderful games, especially the new Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
The game sees the Kong family celebrating DK’s Birthday when an army of arctic animals called the “Snomads” attack. Using a magic alphorn, the Snomads blow the Kongs out of their home and put the tropical DK Island in a perpetual winter. The Kong’s must traverse different Islands invaded by the icy invaders to take back their home.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the latest game in the DKC franchise and employs the same 2D platform the games are known for. In single player mode, you play as Donkey Kong whose larger body feels realistically heavy but still tight to control and you can use one of his three relatives for assistance that can change up the dynamic of the controls.
Using Diddy Kong’s jet pack can get you an extra second of airtime while Cranky Kong allows you to hop with his cane to avoid spiky terrain. The most useful relative is Dixie Kong who uses her ponytail to give a lot more control during tricky platform sections. In multi-player player mode, one player controls DK, while a second player controls one of the three supports and both can still come together to perform the same actions.
The game consists of six different vibrant worlds, from Bavarian mountain tops to deep sea caverns, all with an icy coat to keep up with the game’s theme. Each level provides a surprise in terms of gameplay, with fast mine cart mini-game and sections that turn the characters into art deco silhouettes. This is all made better by the great optimization of the graphics which keeps the game at an extremely smooth frame rate. Each world is completed by defeating a boss character that pushes the player to their limits.
The music is composed by David Wise who helped compose the music for the original DKC. He returns with old remixes and new scores that will stay in your head as you play the game. The new voice acting for the Kong family is hilariously campy and will alleviate the frustration when you miss that split second jump.
DKC: Tropical Freeze is a beautiful game that keeps the hardcore, challenging platform spirit alive and makes a cool way to pass the time.