Generally favorable reviews - based on 77 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 284 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest installment of the Donkey Kong Country series returns.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 77
  2. Negative: 0 out of 77
  1. Jan 25, 2011
    Everything about Donkey Kong Country Returns is so fluid and smooth. Retro constantly surprises players with new game mechanics, striking set pieces and tons of Donkey Kong charm. This title is quite possibly the definitive side-scrolling platform experience for Wii.
  2. 95
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is hands-down one of the best Nintendo titles this year, and a real delight to fans of the Donkey Kong Country franchise.
  3. Dec 12, 2010
    Gameplay is amazingly true to DKC.
  4. Dec 10, 2010
    It's a clever and challenging platformer that consistently hits the sweet spot between fun and frustration. You're guaranteed to rage in a few stops, but at the end of the day, it's still good to be Kong.
  5. 88
    The game's skilful courses and challenging, inventive boss battles are a breath of fresh air amongst Wii's all-to-easy competition - and help DKCR remain a pleasingly faithful instalment in one of gaming's greatest ever series.
  6. Jan 16, 2011
    Donkey Kong Country Returns definitely has its faults, and we'd wager that the majority of players will never see it all the way through to the end. Yet while the difficulty curve is ridiculous and the multiplayer is quite broken, the game's charm and mystery prevails, giving us some of the same feelings that the original releases did. If you're looking for a serious challenge and don't get frustrated too easily, Donkey Kong Country Returns is worth a look.
  7. Dec 10, 2010
    Retro Studios has done a fine job with the Donkey Kong Country concept, ably translating its appeal for a modern platform, but it doesn't push it much further. [Christmas 2010, p.92]

See all 77 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 81
  2. Negative: 5 out of 81
  1. Nov 21, 2010
    An example of returning to 2D and doling it RIGHT unlike some other titles! *cough*sonic 4*cough*
    even with the Wii remote shaking the
    controls are tight and very responsive. the levels are beautifully designed and Cranky's shops are very funny.

    great old-school style platforming!
  2. Jan 2, 2011
    I loved the original Donkey Kong Country series on SNES and I felt very pleased this weekend by playing the new DK game no my Wii. The look and feel are the same, the playability is gorgeous and the real 3D of the Wii engine offers a polished graphic environment. The challenges are well balanced and the game is great. Expand
  3. Nov 22, 2010
    come on metacritic dats not the correct score do ur calculation again it suppose 2 get a 9.0 average :'(. anyways DKCR is a marvelous accomplishment. retro studios done a great job of revampin the series and man does it rock. anybody who wants a challenge n fun n where both hits the sweet spot this game nails them both this game is the reason Y nintendo is still the 1# video game developer. Expand
  4. Apr 9, 2012
    A high quality platformer, Donkey Kong Country Returns is a must-have for fans of the genre. It is not a perfect game, but it is a very good one. It is also the most difficult full-retail 2D platformer to come out since the 16 bit era, so if you don't LIKE hard games, you really won't like this game past the first few worlds - the difficulty increases significantly.

    The game's graphics are very pretty and it makes excellent use of color; the game feels very vibrant and the levels have flavorful and attractive graphical design. The enemies too look cool and you are never left feeling confused - the enemies' appearances are very intuitive.

    In addition to the standard rolling that is present in all Donkey Kong Country games, as well as the ground pound move from the very first Donkey Kong Country game, this game also incorporates a new blowing mechanic; while ostensibly very similar to pounding the ground, it allows for a few interesting interactions with the environment as well as a few enemies who are on fire who you can blow out in order to attack (or even to kill them outright in the case of a few enemies). Unlike previous Donkey Kong Country games, in DKCR you are always DK and you have two hit points, with Diddy coming out of barrels to give you another 2 hit points and cling to your back, giving you a rocket boost hover and allowing you to move around stages more quickly while rolling.

    As with all DKC games there are two kinds of collectables; in this game, there are puzzle pieces and KONG letters, and unlike in previous games the KONG letters are for unlocking stages rather than mere extra lives.

    The game has a time trial mode built into it as well, so if you enjoy that sort of thing it is available, and if you don't, you don't miss out on any content for ignoring the mode.

    It does have its flaws, however:

    1) In time trial mode, when you die before the first checkpoint, rather than resetting the level automatically it restarts you at the start of the level with elapsed time on the clock. This is pointless and stupid, as you might as well restart the level at 0:00 at that point - and you do. Repeatedly.

    2) Using the waggle to roll and pound is annoying. You get used to it after a while, but every once in a while the controls will kill you and it will annoy you considerably.

    3) A few of the levels have frustrating elements in their level design which create "fake difficulty". A good example is the final boss; there is a long rocket section prior to the final boss, but once you reach him, if you die, you do not have Diddy Kong, your fathful sidekick (and two extra hit points, and hover jumps). You want him again? You have to replay the rocket level (which is tedious). You can beat him without Diddy, but it is unnecessarily made harder to do.

    4) There are still lives in this game, but they are incredibly pointless. You can easily max out your lives, and you can buy more lives if you really feel like you need to. Oftentimes, dying before some areas will actually increase your stock count due to collecting extra life balloons plus bananas, making gaining infinite lives trivial. Like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, there is absolutely no reason for lives to still be in the game.
  5. May 4, 2014

    Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii was a Donkey Kong Country reboot developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo
    in 2010.

    The Tiki Tak Tribe have hypnotised animals into stealing bananas which Donkey and Diddy Kong must retrieve.

    Donkey Kong Country Returns has kept the old features of Donkey Kong Country and added more.


    The game offers 1- and 2- player modes. Player 1 controls Donkey Kong and 2-player mode sees player 2 take control of Diddy Kong.

    There are 8 worlds in the game comprised of a number of stages, each world with a different theme. By the end of world 2, the game becomes challenging and each world ends with a hard boss battle.


    The game can be controlled with the nunchuck attachment, or classic-style by turning the Wiimote sideways. Donkey and Diddy pound the ground, roll and blow air by the player shaking the controller. Shaking the controller can be awkward, though.

    Collecting Diddy Kong in 1-player mode offers Donkey a jetpack to temporarily hover, which serves to make life easier. Unlike in the original Donkey Kong Country, in this game Donkey and Diddy start with two hearts, one of which is lost when injured. Losing all lives only means the player loses any checkpoint reached, so there may as well not be a life counter.

    Banana coins can be used at Cranky Kong’s Shop to unlock more stages or to buy items. Extra lives, Squawks who can help you find puzzle pieces, an extra heart or banana juice to make you temporarily invincible can all be purchased from Cranky’s Shop. There are more than enough banana coins in the game.

    Like Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country Returns includes minecart and barrel shooting stages. In addition to these are new rocket barrel stages. The player presses a button to elevate the rocket barrel as it passes through the stage Helicopter Game style. The game also includes animals from Donkey Kong Country like the rhino.


    Donkey Kong Country Returns doesn’t push the graphical capabilities of its system like Donkey Kong Country did for the Super Nintendo. Donkey Kong Country Returns is a 2.5D game, rendering 3D sprites in a 2D platformer.

    Some of the music in the game is a familiar throwback to Donkey Kong Country.


    Finding all of the KONG letters and puzzle pieces gives the game replayability. Doing so unlocks extras in the image, music and diorama galleries. The puzzle pieces are hard to find.


    Fans of platformers must play.

  6. Jan 6, 2011
    As a gamer from way back when, I was nervous when revisiting a childhood friend in DK. COUNTRY RETURNS recaptures the essence of DK on SNES, but.......... it doesn't take any steps past the original 3. Yes, developers usually muck up redo's of retro games whether they are keeping it the same or changing things up. And yes, COUNTRY RETURNS reaches out to the younger generation who may have missed the SNES versions, and would suck them into retro 2D tastiness. But having had seen what RARE had to offer, I (and possibly a few oldER gamers) felt like COUNTRY RETURNS was missing a few parts (and the Klemlin). I will admit I shed a nostalgic tear roll-jumping, and hearing the original DKs music being reused/misused (water level music while on land? DOES NOT COMPUTE)

    BUT BUT BUT.... all of that aside, COUNTRY RETURNS is a killer game. Fans and Retro-virgins will dig this offering. Not perfect, but pretty damn fun.
  7. Dec 27, 2011
    This game was sooooooooooo easy, which really annoys me when play these 2-D comeback games. I like a challenge when playing platformers. In DKC returns I breezed through the entire first world without a single death. The coop feature was half-assed and the gameplay was boring. It doesn't come close to the old DKC games. Expand

See all 81 User Reviews

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