Considering that I’ve never played a Donkey Kong game, this was quite the experience for me, but what do I think of this game? Well if you carry on reading you’ll find out! Hey guys and gals, Clarice back bringing you another review of a game series that I should’ve played long ago but didn’t… Here’s my review of Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze!
Donkey Kong Country has always been once of those games that I’ve always wanted to delve into, but never really got around to it – With Tropical Freeze releasing on the Wii U to begin with, I felt as if I just couldn’t be bothered to play it on the failed console; but now with its’ port onto the Nintendo Switch and my love of said console, I felt obliged to give it a shot. Looking at the game itself, it is a beautifully crafted game with astounding environments and gorgeous colours that fill you with awe and wonder. Each level you delve into looks and feels fluent and easy to navigate, to even what the characters do in the background making this game feel alive. Numerous times I’ve had to stop and just stare at each level due to how amazing they look – So far in my playthrough of the game I haven’t come across any framedrops or stutters that ruin my time with the game, making it a very enjoyable and stable game.
Although I am not new to the world of platforming games, I am new to the world of Donkey Kong Country, and I am not going to lie it did take me a little bit of time to get used to how to best manoeuvre around and avoid enemies – That being said, finding the secret areas was a breeze for me; maybe sometimes it was too obvious but the mechanics of the game feel sound and kind of easy to control (Well that is until you hit the water levels, but everyone hates water levels). Once you get the knack of it, however, the controls become a breeze, but the amount of times I have flung myself of into the abyss by simply pressing the wrong button is kind of embarrassing. That being said, however the game’s levels can be very challenging, trying to gather all the puzzle pieces without dying to what seems to be a simple jump here or there turns into a raging mess of constant dying and screaming; despite that I’ve noticed, even if the game proves to be a challenge I’ve had no issues with lives as I just seem to gather so many it feels like I will never run out (The Mario effect, in a way). Not once has there been a game over and it is quite disappointing, as what seems to be a challenge just turns into “Try and try again…” until you get bored because there will never be a game over. It feels somewhat unbalanced with the balloon to death ratio, as part of me thinks is this a safety net for young children or for those who just need to ‘git gud’… Or maybe I’m just too pro (No not really, I’m actually quite crap at this to be fair).
Another point I would like to make is regarding Funky’s Shop, or as it’s called, “Funky’s Fly ‘n’ Buy” – In my eyes, it’s not worth it; out of all the hours I have spent playing this game I never really needed to buy anything – I felt as if I could beat this whole game without any help, and to be honest the only item you really would want is Squawks… And even then that’s only to gather the puzzle pieces. It feels that what could of been a good way for players to stock up on items and buy some handy Kong’s feels unnecessary and pointless when the frequency of finding Kong Barrels (Is it Kong Barrels, or is there another name for them? Seriously I don’t know what to call them) is so frequent you really don’t need to buy the extra characters.
For me the gameplay in on itself is a lot of great fun and can sink countless hours into it but what makes this port better than the original? Well with the switch version you have the option to play as the one and only Funky Kong (I am saying that like I know anything about the characters). To be honest it’s not really a selling point for me as I am not invested enough in the backstories of the characters but at least they have added something new into the mix as this is the first game you can play as Funky in any of the games. Although geared towards beginner players, his ability are a bit of a mix of each of the Kongs like jumping on spikes to hovering for a short period and even the ability to swim without the use of air bubbles, Funky does it all with 5 hearts and does it alone as you cannot get help from the other Kongs unless you are in multiplayer. Speaking of multiplayer, me and Joe have played around a little bit with the multiplayer option and I’ve got to say, it is way more challenging to play with another person than it is to play solo. This is mainly due to having to coordinate between the two of you and learn when you need to team up or go your separate ways, its great fun watching the pair of you fumble around with the controls, trying to even complete the first level, yeah you can kind of tell we was pretty bad at it.
One last point I feel that I have to make is regarding the bosses in this game – Too often there are times where you’re facing a large (Or even small), epic boss… And you’ll be sat there doing nothing. Bosses unfortunately don’t feel very threatening unless you mess up a lot, as they telegraph their attacks like a car slowly revving up… It’s slightly disappointing as I feel that there was a lot of potential with the bosses in this game (Especially if you were to be forced to use a certain Kong to evade their arsenal of attacks), but it feels limited and squandered.
Overall Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze has given me more reason to try the previous instalments and to devote myself into the world of Donkey Kong. This game is one of my personally favourite switch games so far due to countless hours of fun and replayabilitiy so for that reason, I proudly score this a whopping 9/10.