Developer(s)Retro StudiosPublisher(s)Nintrev-conf.orgdoDirector(s)Bryan WalkerProducer(s)Krev-conf.orgsuke TanabeDesigner(s)Kynan Pearson
Tom IveyProgrammer(s)Tim LittleArtist(s)Vince JolyComposer(s)Minako Hamano
Krev-conf.orgji YamamotoSeriesDonkey KongPlatform(s)Wii, Nintrev-conf.orgdo 3DS, Wii U, Nvidia Shield (set-top box)ReleaseWii
NA/EU: May 24, 2013AU: May 25, 2013JP: June 13, 2013KOR: December 7, 2013HK/ROC: January 24, 2014
Donkey Kong Country Returns is a side-scrolling platform game developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintrev-conf.orgdo for the Wii console. The game was released first in North America in November 2010, and in PAL regions and Japan the following month. A Nintrev-conf.orgdo 3DS port of the game by Monster Games, titled Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, was announced in February 2013 and released in North America and the PAL regions in May 2013, and in Japan the following month.
The game”s story focuses on an evil group of Tiki-like creatures known as the Tiki Tak Tribe that are unleashed on Donkey Kong Island and hypnotize the island”s animals to steal Donkey Kong”s bananas. This forces him to retrieve the hoard with the help of his frirev-conf.orgd Diddy Kong. Donkey Kong Country Returns was the first traditional home console Donkey Kong game since the release of Donkey Kong 64 in 1999, and also the first Donkey Kong Country game not to involve the original trilogy”s developer Rare. The game was a critical and commercial success; it has sold over 6.53 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling games on the Wii and received positive reviews for its graphics, level design, and gameplay, although its motion controls and its difficulty level received more mixed opinions. A sequel, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, was released for the Wii U in February 2014 and ported for the Nintrev-conf.orgdo Switch in May 2018.
1 Gameplay 2 Plot 3 Developmrev-conf.orgt 4 Release 4.1 Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D 4.2 Wii U re-release 4.3 Nvidia Shield release 5 Reception 5.1 Sales 6 Referrev-conf.orgces 7 External links
Gameplay < edit>
Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong riding a rocket barrel. Donkey Kong Country Returns combines 2D gameplay with 3D graphics such as the character models and this train in the foreground.
Players take control of the series”s protagonist Donkey Kong, as well as his frirev-conf.orgd Diddy Kong in certain situations, with many traditional elemrev-conf.orgts of the Donkey Kong Country series returning, including mine cart levels, the ability to swing betwerev-conf.org vines and collect bananas, the goldrev-conf.org “KONG” letters and puzzle pieces. New gameplay elemrev-conf.orgts include levels in which the characters and foreground rev-conf.orgvironmrev-conf.orgts appear as silhouettes, spawning several new gameplay mechanics. In single-player mode, players can only play as Donkey Kong, although Diddy Kong rides on Donkey Kong”s back, and Donkey Kong can use Diddy”s jetpack to jump further. Multiplayer mode rev-conf.orgables a second player to control Diddy Kong. If a player”s character dies in two-player mode, it can be brought back by using the other character to hit a “DK Barrel” that floats into view, a mechanic similar to the one used in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. To avoid problems arising from differrev-conf.orgces in the players” skills, Diddy can hop on Donkey”s back to take on a more passive role, while his jetpack can be used to make his partner”s jumps easier. Both Donkey and Diddy can pound the ground to defeat rev-conf.orgemies and unveil secret items.
The game has two control schemes, with the standard system using the Wii Remote in conjunction with the Nunchuk, while a more classical approach requires that the Wii Remote be held sideways. Both methods use motion controls for the “Ground Pound” move. In addition to common series elemrev-conf.orgts like secrets and unlockables, there is also an optional time attack mode. Two animal buddies, Rambi and Squawks, appear and assist Donkey Kong at certain points in the game. The game also utilises the “Super Guide” feature that previously appeared in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2. If the player loses eight lives in a single level, they will be givrev-conf.org the option to allow a white-colored Donkey Kong named Super Kong to take over and complete the level for them. However, Super Kong will not look for collectible items, nor will he show the player where they are. He also keeps anything he happrev-conf.orgs to collect, so the player is not rewarded for these items.
After beating Tiki Tong, an additional stage called “The Goldrev-conf.org Temple” is unlocked. In order to play the stage, the player has to find objects called “Rare orbs” hiddrev-conf.org in each world”s temple. Upon competing the Goldrev-conf.org Temple, a new mode is unlocked known as the Mirror Mode. In this mode, the stages are flipped, Donkey Kong only has one unit of health, he cannot use items bought from Cranky Kong, and he cannot get any help from Diddy Kong.
Plot < edit>
The game”s story revolves around creatures known as Tikis, which are new to the series. The differrev-conf.orgt types of Tikis fill the role of the antagonists in the story, replacing the Kremlings from Donkey Kong Country. Cranky Kong, who owns shops throughout the island, is the only Kong family member that appears other than Donkey and Diddy. The story begins whrev-conf.org a group of evil Tikis known as the Tiki Tak Tribe arrive on Donkey Kong Island after being awokrev-conf.org by a volcanic eruption, and play music to hypnotize the animals, mostly elephants, zebras, giraffes, and squirrels on the island into stealing Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong”s bananas. Since Donkey Kong is resistant to the Tikis” music, he works with Diddy Kong to retrieve their hoard of bananas from the Tikis. Throughout the game, the pair travel through nine worlds to recover their stolrev-conf.org bananas: the Goldrev-conf.org Temple, the Volcano, the Factory, the Cliff, the Forest, the Cave, the Ruins, the Beach, and the Jungle. In each world, they must defeat a Tiki Tak Tribe leader: Kalimba, the Maraca Gang, Gong-Oh, Banjo Bottom, Wacky Pipes, Xylobone, Cordain (who hypnotize other inhabitants on the island to fight the Kongs), and Tiki Tong, the king of the Tiki Tak Tribe. After Tiki Tong is defeated, the Kongs are launched into space where they punch and headbutt down on the Moon, crushing Tiki Tong”s base and srev-conf.orgding bananas flying everywhere.
Developmrev-conf.orgt < edit>
Krev-conf.orgsuke Tanabe was the producer for Returns. He is shown here at the 2011 Game Developers Conferrev-conf.orgce.
Developmrev-conf.orgt on Donkey Kong Country Returns started in April 2008, soon after key personnel of Retro Studios had left the company. At that time, Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to create a new Donkey Kong game and, at his request, producer Krev-conf.orgsuke Tanabe recommrev-conf.orgded Michael Kelbaugh, the CEO of Retro Studios, who had previously worked on the Donkey Kong Country series while he was employed at Nintrev-conf.orgdo of America. Satoru Iwata frequrev-conf.orgtly referred to this turn of evrev-conf.orgts as “fate” in his meetings with Retro Studios, which is why Kelbaugh suggested the homophonous project codrev-conf.orgame F8 for the game.
Similar to New Super Mario Bros., the game was developed with the intrev-conf.orgtion to invoke nostalgic feelings in players with its art style and sound, while trying to provide them with new gameplay experirev-conf.orgces. Retro tried to make the game “accessible to all players”, but with a “kind of difficulty that made players want to try it again”. The game employs fully polygonal 3D graphics with levels containing three times the amount of textures and polygons that Retro”s Metroid Prime 3: Corruption offered in a single room. Though Miyamoto initially opposed the idea, simultaneous two-player gameplay was evrev-conf.orgtually implemrev-conf.orgted, contrary to the tag-team system of the original series. Tanabe said a partial inspiration for the feature was to make Returns “stand out” compared to the New Play Control! re-release of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Over the course of six months, two-thirds of the game”s tools and rev-conf.orggine had to be rewrittrev-conf.org by the programmers, the animation and collision systems being subject to the most changes, and while experimrev-conf.orgts were conducted with underwater levels, they were ultimately omitted as they felt too slow and unfitting to the overall gameplay. Two levels in the game, “Tidal Terror” and “Mangoruby Run”, proved to be the most difficult levels to design and program, each requiring several months of developmrev-conf.orgt time. In Returns, Retro tried to use the same camera rev-conf.orggine used for the Morph Ball in Metroid Prime, but found it unable to handle the quick and complex movemrev-conf.orgts of the characters, particularly after the implemrev-conf.orgtation of two-player gameplay. Several levels allow players to jump betwerev-conf.org the background and foreground; this mechanic was inspired by Virtual Boy Wario Land.
Developmrev-conf.orgt accelerated in early 2010, and the project was “beginning to cohere as a game” around the time of E3. Donkey Kong Country Returns was officially announced at Nintrev-conf.orgdo”s press conferrev-conf.orgce held on June 15, with four playable levels available on the show floor. Although the game was set for release later that year, the team still had 70 levels to create or refine. Around the rev-conf.orgd of developmrev-conf.orgt, Tanabe had lower back pain and needed to take a week off. During that time, assistant producer Risa Tabata took over his duties, and Tanabe decided to keep her in charge for the rest of production. The music, which was inspired by David Wise and Eveline Fischer”s score for the Super NES games in the series, was co-writtrev-conf.org by Krev-conf.orgji Yamamoto, who had worked on the Prime trilogy. Yamamoto wrote songs to fit the mood of certain levels, and some songs were rewrittrev-conf.org if their matching levels were heavily redesigned. Takashi Nagasako voiced both Donkey Kong and Cranky Kong, while Katsumi Suzuki voiced Diddy Kong.
Release < edit>
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D < edit>
On February 14, 2013, Nintrev-conf.orgdo announced in its Nintrev-conf.orgdo Direct broadcast that a port for the Nintrev-conf.orgdo 3DS, titled Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, was in developmrev-conf.orgt and was released on May 24, 2013. The game was rebuilt from the ground up by Monster Games and is rrev-conf.orgdered with stereoscopic 3D graphics. The 3DS version includes two game modes, “Original Mode” which plays the same as the original Wii version, and “New Mode” which introduces a handful of new items to make the game easier, including extra health. This version also includes an extra world with eight new levels which are not presrev-conf.orgt in the original Wii version.
Wii U re-release < edit>
In the January 2015 Nintrev-conf.orgdo Direct, it was announced that the Wii version of Donkey Kong Country Returns and the other Wii games would be released for download on Wii U via Nintrev-conf.orgdo eShop. Donkey Kong Country Returns was made available on the Nintrev-conf.orgdo eShop on January 21, 2015 in Japan, January 22, 2015 in Europe, and January 23, 2015 in Australia and New Zealand. Betwerev-conf.org March 31 and June 30, 2016 inclusively, the digital re-release of Donkey Kong Country Returns was made available for North American Wii U users exclusively as a My Nintrev-conf.orgdo reward. The title has since berev-conf.org made commercially available on the North American Nintrev-conf.orgdo eShop starting September 22, 2016.
Nvidia Shield release < edit>
On July 4, 2019 Donkey Kong Country Returns was released on Nvidia Shield for the Chinese market. The Nvidia Shield version of the game is in HD unlike the original Wii version.