User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 118 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 118
  2. Negative: 16 out of 118

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  1. Jul 25, 2013
    4
    I've rarely been put down so quickly by something that was presented as one of this console's "AAA" titles. The control is awkward, the game play is stale and the difficulty varies at complete random even within a stage itself. I could easily compare this title to Rayman Origins, but the only result of this would be I'd recommend Rayman Origins instead, period. Mario, Rayman, you simply handle this genre way better and Donkey Kong.... nnnnot soooo muuuuch (Borat voice). Expand
  2. Feb 25, 2014
    0
    All and all this game is ok, it stays true to the whole 2D side scrolling concept but falls short of entertaining. I have more fun playing Zelda, Mario, or Monster hunter currently and playing this game just feels like a choir. I would stay away from it and hope for a more innovative donkey kong country game to be released. Feels like a cheap mobile phone game. If the 3Ds would just release SNES titles on the 3DS already I would just pay for the SNES version of Donkey Kong Country, heck I would even pay $30 for the SNES version on the 3Ds over this garbage. I am rating this a 0 just to bring the score down as many of these reviews of a "10" is over nostalgia and may miss lead others into paying for this title. My honest score is a 5. Expand
  3. Nov 26, 2013
    4
    I've played the old Donkey Kong Country games for years. I grew up with them. When I saw that there was a new Donkey Kong platformer, I purchased this game after reading some reviews. I am very displeased with this game.

    For starters, none of the game mechanics feel right. Donkey Kong doesn't jump as far as he usually does, and it can really throw the player off. Your roll attack now
    has a distance on it. The game places 3 enemies in a row, your natural reaction is to roll through it. You get through 2 of them, and take damage from the 3rd. Did I mention that you have health now? You'll need it because you're gonna end up getting hit multiple times.

    At least Diddy Kong doubles your health. And also gives you the ability to hover for a short distance. Which is great and all, but it's one of the only ways that the game is playable. Take away Diddy's hover and you're stuck meticulously misjudging every single one of Donkey's jumps.

    One of the things I wanted to find in this game was classic style controls, because honestly, I hate playing 2-d style platformers with the circle pad. Thankfully, there's a control pad option so you can control with the d-pad, but it changes every single one of the other controls. With the circle pad you can roll with y, but for some random reason when you switch to control pad you have to use the shoulder buttons. I tried to switch over to have a more classic style experience, but was left with having to meticulously re-figure out the controls while standing still.

    This game loses a lot of the old flow the old games had. All of the fun in the old Donkey Kong games was running through them as fast as possible, collecting bananas and Kong letters. It was fun. This game feels more like I'm doing housework, or it's reminding me that it's a kid game and I have to take it slow. Then it puts you in a fast paced level as you watch Donkey's pathetic athletic skills as he ambles and stumbles his way across the level.

    The game has it's cool points, don't get me wrong. The wall clinging feature is really neat, and the parts where you go into the background is pretty cool, if not difficult to see. The game looks great. It's just not a Donkey Kong game. I'm as much confused as I am disappointed with this title. If you want to play it, rent it. Don't shell out the 30 bucks to purchase it.
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Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 62
  2. Negative: 0 out of 62
  1. Nov 2, 2013
    80
    At a glance a cute and charming little platformer that will eventually become with your insight one of the most challenging and deepest contemporary platform games. A great remake that's annoying only because of its occasional troubles with controls and because of its complicated multiplayer game.
  2. Sep 16, 2013
    81
    Still one of the best platformers of the last years – even though there is not a lot of new stuff to be found in the 3DS-version.
  3. Sep 10, 2013
    80
    Donkey Kong Country Returns for the 3DS is basically the same game that launched on the Nintendo Wii for nearly three years ago. The smaller format has made some of the levels harder to navigate but it shouldn’t discourage anyone from checking out this portable version of one of the best platform games of all time.