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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Review

No Monkeying Around



Back in the era of the Snes, Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest were among my favourite games and; even now, they still are.

Fast forward to 2014 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is as humble to it's roots than any other. Sure, the 2010 Wii game Donkey Kong Country: Returns was good, but Tropical Freeze is pure oldschool. And you know what? I fucking love it.

The game's story focuses on the Snomads, a group of Viking creatures, such as walruses, owls and penguins, that invade Donkey Kong Island, forcing Donkey Kong to go against them with the help of his friends Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, and Cranky Kong. Yes, you heard that right, for the first time ever, Cranky Kong is a playable character! The Grandfather Kong can use his cane to bounce on dangerous surfaces such as spiky thorns and reach higher areas and defeat certain enemies the other Kongs cannot.

Whilst my favourite Kong, Diddie will always be my go-to-guy, it's a refreshing twist to have a new character to play with, even if said character has been in the series from the beginning (albeit previously non-playable).

Although Tropical Freeze is a blast into the oldschool gaming era, the graphics are most certainly not. The game is simply gorgeous and whilst the Wii U is a lot less powerful than the PS4 or Xbox One, Nintendo has gone the extra mile to prove that through graphical tricks and great aesthetics, the Wii U can produce jaw dropping visuals. From the fur on the Kongs bodies, or the lush trees and fluid water, Tropical Freeze is a simply beautiful game, that does not falter on any part of the scenery.


"But" you may ask "how does it play?" And that my friends, is a very simple question, with a very simple answer; IT'S FUCKING HARD!

Yes, Tropical Freeze is ridiculously hard, and the game has no time for fuck ups. A miss timed jumped is instant death and whilst various other platformers will have certain safety nets, Tropical Freeze is never forgiving, While it can be discouraging to die so often, I never got bored or frustrated to the point I didn't want to play. But, whilst it's always fun, multiplayer is the hit and miss elements I do have issues with.

Multiplayer is fun, very fun, but, it's also the weirdest part of the game. Each of the two Kongs has a health metre (two hearts), but, you share lives. So if your buddy dies, that's one of your lives gone too. It's an odd mix into an already difficult game, but regardless, it still is fun and sometimes, it's actually genuinely very funny when you both freak out...which you will...alot.



Tropical Freeze is a real high five for the struggling Wii U and whilst I can guarantee it wont shift as many units as the previously released Super Mario 3D World, it's a title that does justifiably deserve your time. It's gorgeous, fun and very rewarding, with plenty of secrets to find, and a hark back to the games of yesteryear.

Plus, there's no DK Rap in sight. Fucking bonus.


Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze was reviewed using a retail copy purchased by Podcast vs Player. You can find additional information about Podcast vs Player's review ethics policy here.

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