Donkey Kong Country is a franchise that unfortunately isn’t particularly well known in this country. It found its genesis on the Super Nintendo, developed by now Microsoft-owned Rare. It quickly catapulted its way in to gamers’ hearts, becoming one of the console’s hallmark titles; thanks to its venerated game play and – for the time – revolutionary visuals.
And though the franchise might not be familiar, its principal characters are, owing to their inclusion in evergreen Nintendo mascot vehicles, Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart. Donkey and Diddy Kong are back for more adventuring, this time under the helm of Retro Studios, best known for the Metroid Prime Trilogy.
What they’ve delivered is somewhat of a throwback; it’s a game designed to invoke nostalgia and return the player to those halcyon days where time and patience fostered the ability to play games that would have many of today’s gamers defenestrating their controllers out of frustration. It won’t win any innovation awards and certainly isn’t set to redefine the platform genre, but does refine it to the point of near perfection – although it may still result in broken windows, controllers and spirits.