Next-Gen

Dankey Kang

by lanehawkins
Last updated 2 years ago

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LANEHAWKINS

Donkey Kong - Tropical FreezeEver since winning E3, the Wii U’s sales have been skyrocketing, recently surpassing the PS4 and the XBOX ONE. With highly anticipated games like Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, and above all Super Smash Bros Wii U coming out, many other smaller, great games seem to be cast to the shadows in comparison. Among these, Donkey Kong - Tropical Freeze seems to be the most forgotten of them all. However, after having a blast with the game I felt it was my duty to talk about one of the hardest platformers I’d played all year, along with one of the most fun.

Donkey Kong - Tropical Freeze is a sequel to Donkey Kong Returns, a game which single-handedly revived a dying series. The story goes that Donkey Kong and his friends are celebrating Donkey Kong’s birthday when invaders from the north come and freeze the entire island. The gang gets blown away, and have to then navigate their now-frozen island to reclaim their house, and free the island from the icy curse. While simplistic, the cutscenes are cool, adding a layer of humor.

By now few people would call the Wii U and underpowered system, but if I they were still around, Tropical Freeze would be one of the first games I would point them towards. The game looks beautiful, running at a solid 60fps, and 1080p. The levels in which your character is a silhouette against the sunset are breathtakingly gorgeous. Another thing I appreciate are the small details they put into every aspect. In boss battles, the penguins in the audience will actually react to the fight, clapping when you get hit and booing when you fight back. Few will notice, but those who do will really appreciate the subtle touch, this being one of many alike it. One thing else I must mention before moving on is the astounding soundtrack. Every level as a unique, truly stunning song. In total, this game captures an amazing feel.

Donkey Kong - Tropical Freeze is a surprisingly difficult platformer. The basics are the same as the first donkey kong game, (grabbing vines, pounding the ground, jumping and rolling into enemies), but now Cranky Kong and Dixie Kong join Diddy Kong in assists. Finding a barrel allows one of the three to join you. Diddy Kong allows you to hover a bit after jumping, whereas Dixie allows your jumps to be higher and longer. Cranky Kong allows you to a Ducktales-esque bounce off of his stick. Crank is the most fun to play, but personally I find Dixie the most useful.

Each level is brilliantly crafted, adding one new mechanic and then theming and designing the entire level to use that mechanic in fun and interesting challenges. From a game design perspective, they’re genius; from a player perspective, they’re a lot of fun. Yet even though I consider myself pretty good, I died a handful of times. It’s not to the point in which you wish to quit, but this is an actually difficult game if you wish it to be. The catch is that you can buy power ups that give you huge advantages through levels with Banana Coins. While I never used them (except for the Pufferfish boss), it’s a great addition for those who are having trouble with the game. Donkey Kong - Tropical Freeze is a blast to play alone or with a friend. It makes you concentrate on pure skill, without taking from the fun of it either. The game looks, plays, and feels amazing and an underrated gem on the Wii U’s library. With that in mind, I highly recommend you check it out.


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