Donkey Kong Country Returns at Eurogamer Expo 2010

Have a fumble round Nintendo’s pitch and there’s lots of classics being flogged. Sonic & Mario are having another sporty hoe down, GoldenEye’s doing its four way split screen thing, Kirby’s got a new co-op platformer to show off (and it looks pretty good too), and good old Donkey Kong’s back in town.

The first one was a bit special, don’t you think? A beautiful looking game with graphics that got even the Sega fan boys wowing – I know because I was one of them. This time Donkey Kong doesn’t have that same wow factor, but it still looks smooth as Sade’s operator. It’s a really short level to try out, a jungle one, not anything you’ll see on these screenshots here, so dream about it or look for a vid. So Donkey and Diddy gambol their way along the level, jumping on this and that, smashing things up, getting shot out of barrels – you remember how this goes. I couldn’t see anything new to it, but then I haven’t played the old one since my mum washed my pants and I can barely remember a single thing about it.

This is a Wii game and there’s one thing that bugs me and every other person who’s ever given the Wii a little kick, waving around the wii bat makes me feel like a total dick and it doesn’t work properly (no seriously, you ever played PDC World Championship Darts 2008? It’s easier throwing a real dart for expletive’s sake!).

But Wii owners with a bone to pick can chill, this one’s not too bad at all. The only thing you can do with the motion sensor guff is shake the Wii bat whenever you want to smash something. Jump’s on a button, movement’s on the stick. For once I’m pretty pleased with it.

What the hell else is there to say about this? You’re only really interested because you remember the original, and if you remember that then you probably thought it was brilliant. So you’re going to buy it whatever, unless every single thing you read about it online and in print said it was the worst game ever. Worse than My Horse & Me.

Nintendo so see you coming; it’s set for release around chrimbo, when all those old gaming heads who loved it as a kid will buy it for their own kids and lap up long winter nights of co-op platforming. A tempting thought.

But, if you’ve never played the original, and you’re still reading all the way down here, imagine a blindingly good platformer that came along with this new idea of co-op play in the same screen for platformers. It was something special. If your old man had a SNES back then, chances are this game might be landing under your tree come December.

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Written by Neil

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