Donkey Kong Country Returns 3DS is a 2.5D puzzle platformer that is a decent challenge even on the easier setting.  This game is basically a port of the Wii version only adding in a few new levels and items, so if you’ve played the Wii version there isn’t much extra here to constitute buying a full game unless you really want to play on the go.  That shouldn’t discourage you from the game if you are interested in it though because it is still a very fun game.  Donkey Kong Country Returns 3DS consists of nine worlds, each one containing six to eight levels and a boss excluding world nine which has nine levels and no boss.

The story in Donkey Kong Country Returns 3DS is basically the same as every other Donkey Kong game, and is exactly the same as the Wii version.  DK has his banana hoard stolen but this time the enemy is the Tiki Tak Tribe, a group of sentient Tiki masks that can mind control other animals and enemies.  Their mind control doesn’t work on DK though, and at the beginning of the game you send one flying through your hut.  The boss at the end of each world is a part of the Tiki Tak Tribe, and the final boss at world 8 is the Tiki Tak Tribe leader; King Tiki Tong.  There isn’t really anything new or innovative in regards to the story of this game.xGdDv4r

In my opinion, the game play is better than it has ever been, and the difficulty hasn’t suffered for it.  I would say this game is just as difficult or even more so than the previous games.  The controls feel much more on point than the Donkey Kong Country games on SNES.  The sense of momentum is also great, when you roll and jump it feels like you are carrying weight in that direction. They’ve added in a new move that was also in the Wii version, you can crouch down and blow air on certain objects to get items and blowing on some enemies that are on fire will put them out so you can damage them.  The ground pound mechanic is still in this game, but it has much more use this time around.  There are certain enemies that you need to flip over by pounding the ground before you are allowed to attack them.  Also some levels have hidden tiles that you can pound to fall through the ground and go to a bonus stage, but if you fail the bonus stage you’re locked out until you die and get sent back to before you did it or restart the level.  Sometimes you get sent into the background to do a smaller portion of the level, which doesn’t add any new mechanics but a new kind of depth.  Another new addition is having a button dedicated solely to grabbing onto objects.  You need to hold the button to grab vines, and also to climb grass covered walls and ceilings.  This adds a sense of verticality to an otherwise generally single planed game.

Donkey-Kong-Country-Returns-3D-6Rest assured, the mine cart riding levels are back, and harder than ever.  There are a lot more obstacles to avoid this time around, including spiked ceilings with objects that extend out from it, pigs on carts throwing bombs to break the track, and giant spikes falling from the ceiling to crush the track.  In addition to mine cart levels there are new barrel ship levels.  DK rides on top of a barrel rocket and you need to keep him in the air through the whole level.  The rocket controls similarly to some of the flappy birds clones all you youngsters play.  Be careful though, one hit and you’re done for, some of these levels contain one checkpoint so if you die you are sent back to the midway point or even the beginning of the level.  Shops have also been added with items that give you more hearts, invincibility time, and more lives that you can purchase with coins you get throughout each level.  There is another type of level in this game that only occurs once and is my favorite. The entire foreground and DK are pitch black and the only color is the sunset in the background and DK’s tie.  It provides a really nice contrast, and the level is just really fun to play.

Even though Donkey Kong Country Returns 3DS is just a port of the Wii version with a few extra levels, it is still a great game.  Even on the easier mode added in for the 3Ds version it is still a challenging game, though you probably won’t ever run out of lives because you can buy more with coins which are very easy to come by.  If you like Donkey Kong and have enjoyed any of the past games, or are looking for a new 2.5D platformer then this is a great game to check out.  I give Donkey Kong Country Returns an 8/10.

Donkey Kong Country Returns Review (3DS)
  • Great gameplay
  • Awesome music
  • Repetitive enemies and combat
  • Similar levels
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)
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About The Author

PR/Game Reviewer

A general tech geek, he spends his time playing video games and working on computers. Watch out ladies.