More on Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

Today’s Nintendo Direct has brought us some new information on the previously revealed Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D for the Nintendo 3DS.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D: This hand-held update of the smash-hit for Wii adds eight new stages that players can enjoy after they have completed the main game, as well as a New Mode optimized for hand-held play with new items and mechanics. The game launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on May 24.

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I noted earlier that New Super Mario Bros. 2 failed to do much with the idea of 3D effects in a 2D platformer, and noted that the new Yoshi’s Island hasn’t shown us anything to the contrary, either. But if you’ve seen the trailer on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, then you might agree that Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D looks like it is the game that was truly made for this system– perhaps even more so than the one it initially debuted on!

Personally, I’m looking forward to giving this one a try. While I did enjoy Donkey Kong Country Returns initially, I found it a little tiresome due to what– in my opinion– was an overuse of the motion controls. Rolling in particular was too unreliable for me, and I’m hoping that this version switches things up. There are already indications that what was motion controlled in the Wii version is now button-operated here, so hopefully it will control even more tightly than before.

(Incidentally, an option to simply allow traditional controls might have saved some trouble; some hackers have found that remapping commands to a Classic Controller worked quite well for them.)

The original’s difficulty also ramped up rather early on, providing a steep curve along with mechanics such as bouncing off enemies and rolling through them which didn’t work as they had in earlier installments in the series. While the mechanics may not change, it’s clear the developers are at least making efforts to tone things down a bit with the different features of the “New Mode,” including additional hit points, items, and hit buffers for the mine carts and barrel rockets.

So far, it looks like what was a good-but-daunting Wii release will become a must-have title for the Nintendo 3DS when it launches next month.

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David Oxford

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