Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D - Recensione

Author: Mattia "Zave" Ravanelli
Date: 2020-07-30 23:53:18
A mocking fate has marked the last ten years of Donkey Kong, the character who more than thirty years ago has allowed Nintendo to emerge from the shadows and quickly establish itself as the market leader. Many rightly regarded as one of the best titles in the GameCube library, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (2005) arrived in stores when the console had already been given up and overshadowed by the arrival of Microsoft's HD generation. A process similar to that of Donkey Kong Country Returns, made available to Wii players in late 2010, to the delight of those who for fifteen years had been waiting for the return of the series signed by Rare in 1994 (and in the following years). The impossible numbers ground by Wii have however allowed Donkey Kong Country Returns to place something like five million copies, even if partially snubbed by the intelligentsia of the skilled public, now abundantly averse to the white Nintendo console.

Two and a half years later, Monster Games gives the game originally made by Retro Studios (Metroid Prime) a second chance. A traditional yet modern game arrives on 3DS, although Nintendo's platform games tend to make a little history in themselves, ignored as they are by the competition. Like New Super Mario Bros. before him, Donkey Kong Country Returns was born as an attempt to resume the ranks of the Donkey Kong Country speech, which ended temporarily with the trilogy published on Super Nintendo. Pulling the strings but also wrapping them, lengthening them and knotting them a bit in order not to be limited to a simple photocopy of what had been in the past. Mission largely successful, because Donkey Kong Country Returns is not only much better than the games triptych of the English of Rare, but also a platform game capable of looking even a random Super Mario straight in the eye.

The work of Monster Games behind this edition for 3DS leaves no room for particular criticism: all the original worlds have been transported on the small stereoscopic console, with the addition of a handful of extra levels and some tricks intended to make the game more bearable for those who do not live on bread and jumps calibrated to the millimeter. Why yes, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D was and remains a title capable of offering a rare challenge, on average superior to the New Super Mario Bros. series, with some peaks that touch the pure frustration, but which generally maintains the high level of attention required and gratifies as only the best can do.

To be a big, big and clumsy gorilla, Donkey Kong finds himself stuck in an elegant and finely cured adventure. The level design prepared by the American team, which worked together with the producer Kensuke Tanabe (already together with Retro for Metroid Prime), is of great stature, both as regards the rhythm and the exploration phases. Because it is true that Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D has a two-dimensional development, but the secrets to be found (puzzle pieces and the letters that make up the name "Kong") are a flood and often positioned in an ingenious as well as cruel manner. Between runs, jumps, punches to the face, sessions on the iconic mining cart and flights made using a fiery barrel, this is not the variety that is missing from Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. Nor does the interaction with the environment, given the number of surrounding elements that can be violently frantically, in search of yet another banana to be harvested.

Today as today, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is the most voluminous game available for 3DS: those who want to buy it in digital format should know that it is going through a 2GB and small change download. There is a reason: Retro Studios had slipped something like the triple of the textures in Metroid Prime 3 into the original game. Everything is evident when you enjoy the panoramas and the glimpses granted by the backdrops or the foreground elements. And it is fair to speak first, since Monster Games has rightly worked hard on the 3D effect of the game. Which works theoretically well, playing intelligently with the elements, enemies and game plans ... but which in practice more than once appears all too exaggerated, pushing to reduce the effect through the appropriate switch. And if it is true that to see Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D still remains a small gem, it is also true that the frame rate is not exactly granitic and that the small size of the screen does not always make reading what is happening very easy.

The new resources made available to players terrified by the level of difficulty (a greater number of shots that can be taken before losing a life, balloons that save from a fall and carts / barrels momentarily indestructible), work, but it is clear that the level design and positioning as well as attack and movement patterns of enemies remained unchanged. The enemy (level or creature that is) no longer proves to be benevolent towards the players, therefore, but simply grants some extra help. But it is also through some burning trial that you become a better player. And with his rigor, his cleanliness and his personality, Donkey Kong Country Returns can be a great way to "level up".

Mattia Ravanelli , Editor of IGN Italia, remembers perfectly the day when he was finally able to withdraw his Donkey Kong Country for Super Nintendo, booked for months. And he also remembers how he partially disappointed him, as opposed to Returns. Explain those damned "100 exits" on Twitter.