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COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Wii U Review

Created: 02/27/2014 9:33 AM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

One of the first video games I played in an arcade was Nintendo’s “Donkey Kong.”  It was and probably still is one of the hardest but most entertaining classic games to play in my opinion.

Over the years, many different Donkey Kong-themed games have been released by Nintendo and this past week, I got the opportunity to play the latest chapter in the series called “Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze” for the Wii U.

This is one of the best “Donkey Kong Country” games that has been released so far in my opinion.  It is very exciting and full of many different and hidden areas to explore.  Plus there are many objects to find and puzzles to solve that really make “Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze” challenging and fun to play.

The graphics are awesome, and they blew my mind. Everything is so detailed, and you can actually see each hair that is on Donkey Kong and his friends. The backgrounds and stages look fabulous and are very colorful and pleasing to the eyes.

“Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze” starts out with Donkey Kong and his friends celebrating his birthday. Then all of a sudden, a mysterious group of Vikings called “The Snowmads” appear out of nowhere and blow everyone off of the island with a magical horn.  Now Donkey Kong and his friends (Diddy, Crankey,  Dixie, and Funky) must try and travel back to their island and defeat the Vikings.

You can choose to either play “Tropical Freeze” on your television or on your Wii U gamepad.  I thought that this was a great option and like I always say, it’s nice to still be able to play Wii U games when someone else would like to watch TV.

To play “Tropical Freeze” you can choose to play with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, the Wii Remote, Wii U GamePad or the Wii U Pro Controller.  I preferred to play with the Wii U Pro controller.
 

The controls are very easy to learn, and when you encounter a new obstacle or item, pigs will appear and will show you the correct buttons you will need to push.  I thought that this was very helpful.

“Tropical Freeze” is a side-scrolling platform game and you will have to jump, swim, hang and climb to get through the many different stages. 

Donkey Kong can defeat enemies by jumping on their heads or by rolling into them.  He can also use a pound attack to stun enemies or to discover hidden areas.

Each enemy has its own weakness, and it’s fun to try and figure out what they are. 

Donkey Kong will also find barrels that are scattered throughout the game that contain one of his friends who will help him get through the level.  Each character has its own unique power that is very helpful such as Cranky Kong who has a cane, and he can help Donkey Kong bounce across spikes.

 There are tons of items and objects that are scattered through each level such as bananas, coins, puzzle pieces, and many other things.  When you get 100 bananas, you will gain an extra life.  You can use the banana coins in Funky’s shop to buy items that will help you out in certain levels.  Some of the items are banana juice (makes you invincible for a certain amount of time), crash guard (protects you from taking damaging when you are riding in a mine cart or rocket barrel)  plus, there are many others.

There is a world-map screen, and here you can see all of the different islands you have unlocked.  Each island is broken up into different levels.  When you complete a level a new one opens up.  You can go back at any time to replay a level and to try and find all of the hidden items you missed the first time.

One really cool feature is that you can play two players.  One person controls Donkey Kong and the second player controls his partner.  This was a great feature and was a lot of fun to play.  My daughters and I played the two player modes a lot, and we had a blast.

I really think that Nintendo’s “Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze” is awesome. The graphics are absolutely amazing, and it is a really fun and exciting game to play.  I really liked trying to find all of the hidden items that are scattered throughout the islands, and I also really enjoyed playing two players.  I know fans of the Donkey Kong Country series are really going to love “Tropical Freeze” a lot.  I would highly recommend that you check it out.

Aaron Chalich is a KSTP.com entertainment columnist.

Photo courtesy of Nintendo

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