User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 268 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 268

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  1. Mar 31, 2014
    8
    I remember the day this game was first announced, a little before around that time I was just already getting into the Donkey Kong Country series and around that time of hearing all about when Rare left Nintendo back in 2002, it made me really sad because It made me think that there almost was no hope for the return of Donkey Kong, especially after also hearing how disappointed fans were when they played Jungle Beat on the GameCube and how much that game didn't give tribute to DKC; so I lost hope, I thought to myself "Man, they will never make a new game following the old Donkey Kong Country formula again." So when I saw Nintendo post the first trailer for Donkey Kong Country Returns, I freaked out! I got so excited, and when I got it I definitely enjoyed it. First off, the Gameplay; it's fantastic! I loved playing the platforming levels and the Mine cart levels were also fun however I wasn't the biggest fan of the Rocket Barrel levels. Speaking of Rocket Barrel Levels, this game is very hard! People who accuse Nintendo of only making easy games nowadays need to play this game so that they stand corrected because at times, this game can be brutal, but it still can be fun. The story is alright, but I would've preferred having Kremlings over those Tikis, but the Tikis were pretty cool. I also like that Cranky Kong is back to work the shop, however I would've liked to see more Kong members return like Funky and Candy; the same could be said for the Animal Buddies, the only ones that returned were Rambi and Squawks. The gameplay was overall great and I liked the environments and the nostalgic music tracks. So I do think that DKCR is a great game, but nothing that I am super enthusiastic about. When I get myself a Wii U, I really hope to get myself Tropical Freeze soon after. Expand
  2. Feb 22, 2014
    10
    This is easily on of the best games i have played in a long time. Fantastic level design, great graphics, smooth gameplay and remarkable soundtracks. Every level feels diffrent from the last, and theres so many hidden areas to explore, not to mention the great amount of collectibles. The boss fights are really great aswell. Highly recommend this game.
  3. Oct 23, 2013
    8
    I find it stupid for someone to give this game a negative score just because it's hard, that's what makes a game fun. It's been so long since a Donkey Kong Country game came out and boy did they do a good job the only thing i'm wondering is where are the kremlins.
  4. Sep 11, 2013
    9
    To be honest, I thought that Nintendo just forgot about the Donkey Kong Country series, but when Donkey Kong Country Returns came out this is the first DK Country game not to be made with Rare but with Retro Studios. I wish Rare would come back to Nintendo to make good games again like they did before. Score: 4/5.
  5. Aug 29, 2013
    3
    I don't think Donkey Kong Country Returns is that good of a game for many reasons being the controls, the cheap deaths, the over use of motion controls, and many other reasons. But it isn't that bad the game can control well sometimes and the art style is really good I just hope Retro Studios does better on the next game.
  6. Aug 26, 2013
    9
    The donkey kong series has been revived in the best possible way. The latest installment borrows ideas from other 2D platformers, but makes them all its own through unique twists and punishing difficulty.
    It's pure platforming bliss, and will especially impress hardcore gamers. The wii's motion sensing is put to subtle use- mainly for hammering the ground, one of Donkey Kong's many
    actions. There are eight worlds to explore, each with their own nine or so levels. There's a jungle world, a cave, and more. These may not seem original, but the many original mechanics, objects and bossses you come across certainly are. The settings are brought to life by lush graphics full-of-life scenery, charming music and great sound effects. Enemies are creatively designed and levels are expertly crafted. The difficulty is especially high, and will even challenge hardcore players. Seriously, Country Returns has a brutal difficulty level that will delight fans of the series. Many a time I got a game over, but it's never unfair- every time you die, it's due to your own mistakes rather than dodgy level design.
    One of my favourite elements of Country Returns is the barrel blasting. This mehanic has you time your exit out of a barrel/cannon thing. It propels you quite some distance. It's all about the timing to blast out of the cannons and land safely in the next one. This idea is used a lot in Country Returns.
    The bosses are excellent too, and they take many hits to kill. The bosses are all very challenging, even the very first one, because the more you hit them, the harder they get. Of course, this isn't a new concept to videogames. But Country Returns uses it a huge amount in boss battles, which makes them very hard and satisfying.
    Hidden in each level are various collectibles- four KONG letters and seven to nine puzzle pieces are to be found in each level. They are so difficult to get, even the best of the best will be challenged by these. Often these collectibkes introduce an element of puzzle into the platforming.
    There's also a addition called Rambi- a bit like Yoshi, except he's a rhinoceros. It's fun using him, but he only actually appears in three or four levels, which is slightly strange.
    Other than that, Country Returns is perfect in every way.
    Expand
  7. Jul 26, 2013
    9
    This game is gorgeous, by Wii standards among the best-looking on the platform. The soundtrack is magnificent. The level design is tremendous. The variety is outstanding. The game is enormous fun. So Why won't I give it a 10? The difficulty. The absurdly punishing difficulty. This game is very, very HARD. You will die over and over again. Only determined players will finish the entire game, and completionists will also be sadomasochists as this game will KILL YOU. Yes, the Super Guide is present to help get you through extremely tough levels, but where's the fun in that? Expand
  8. Jul 22, 2013
    10
    fantastic levels intresting gameplay, nice soundtrack... very hard and also have a co op opition it is a must buy and it is much better than new super mario bros wii. retro studios is the best
  9. Jul 19, 2013
    9
    The best come back of the monkeys for Wii. Long adventure, really hard to complete(it will take for sure more than 50 hours) and technically at a good level for Wii. The stages are full of creativity and will destroy your nerves a little bit, but the reward is worthy. It is a pity that some levels have a really high difficulty, because having the 200% looks impossible when you have around the 150%... Expand
  10. Jul 5, 2013
    8
    Definitely one of, if not the best 2D platformer on the Wii. The levels are creative, the visuals stunning, and the soundtrack classic donkey kong. This is a truly great game, however it has one issue. Motion control. In order to roll, you have to waggle the Wii-mote. While this sounds like a minor issue, it's actually quite a problem. The levels are very difficult (which is great. I love challenge) and the motion control just makes them ridiculous some times. Really that's the only thing holding this game back. It is definitely worth your time, though. Expand
  11. Jun 18, 2013
    4
    What a thoroughly average game. It's just like the SNES Donkey Kong Country games with higher res graphics, except no longer novel or original. It's even average within its genre (of 2D platforming) within its console (Wii).

    It doesn't have the co-operative 4-player play of New Super Mario Bros Wii or Rayman: Origins, and it doesn't have the hand-drawn gorgeous cartoon look of Rayman:
    Origins, both of which are far better games.

    It's also all the worse (thus below average) for forcing you to shake the wiimote as an input command, which is unacceptable in a twitch platformer. At least Rayman: Origins let you use a Gamecube controller.

    It's sorta fun, but there are much better games (Rayman, NSMB) for the Wii you should be spending your time on if you love 2D platforming.
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  12. Jun 15, 2013
    9
    Retro Studios really hit it out of the park with this one. Fans of the classic series will, albeit some differences to the control scheme and game mechanics (and the fact that the Kremlings are nowhere to be found), feel right at home rolling through the game's colorful and varied levels and reveling in its hearty level of challenge. Though many may bemoan the fact that you must flick the remote in order to roll, I never really had a problem with it as long as I was playing with the Wii Remote/Nunchuk control scheme; still, the option for a motion-free control setup would have been nice, so as to better appeal to fans of the classic series. Retro's talent for level design really shines in this game; though I died countless times, as anyone would with this type of game, not once was it the game's fault. It also helps that the levels are nice to look at, with vibrant colors and lots of stuff going on in them. Even with an increased hit-counter, an item-shop, and autosaving, the game can be punishingly difficult at times, with many sequences requiring precise timing in addition to knowledge of enemy locations. It was definitely made with the fans in mind, and newcomers may sometimes find the challenge to be insurmountable. Fortunately, Retro decided to include a Super Guide, a la New Super Mario Bros. Wii, in order to assist players that don't want to keep dying at the same spot. My only true gripe with the game is the boss fights; I felt that they could have been more creative, seeing as the levels preceding them were so well-made. Regardless, Donkey Kong Country Returns is a supremely satisfying 2D platformer, and is a more-than-worthy addition to any avid platforming fan's collection. Expand
  13. May 3, 2013
    9
    This game has really good levels, nearly as good as Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS. I really hate the levels where you get the jet-pack because is steering to really hard to master. Two player mode is really good but but it is hard to get new lives.
  14. Mar 19, 2013
    9
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Great Game!
  15. Jan 13, 2013
    8
    As some have stated before, this game is pretty hard. Unfortunately, the difficulty is often delivered in a cheap way - you have no chances of knowing what's going to happen in a few seconds (something explodes, collpases etc.), thus you WILL die. The fact you need to repeat a level several times, makes the game seem longer than it actually is (clearly a design decision). Apart from the difficulty, everything is top notch. The grapfics, music, character and level design. It all "fits". It's a completely new DK title, yet it doesn't loose it's SNES roots. I bought a Wii to play with my gf and she loves "the monkey game" the most so far :) Expand
  16. Dec 12, 2012
    10
    Perhaps my favorite thing about this game (besides the incredibly fun levels), was the degree of difficulty. In my opinion, it's hard for a game to find the perfect balance of difficulty. There were many levels that I had to try 10-12 times to beat as the game progressed, and towards the end there were a few levels that took countless tries. To me, that's perfect. It allows you to feel like you accomplished something when you finally do beat it. And for the insane gamers out there, there is a bonus world after you beat the game with a series of insane levels. Everybody wins! Expand
  17. Sep 30, 2012
    9
    Retro Studios has proven its mettle in making good games, such as Metroid Prime. This game, however, is their greatest achievement. Reviving the classic Donkey Kong Country games was probably no easy task, but they pulled it off spectacularly. Not only does it look and sound great, it retains the challenge too (I'm looking at you, minecart levels).
  18. Jun 1, 2012
    9
    What sets me apart from the general crowd of brainless retards on metacritic is the fact that my reviews are actually subjective ratings of games relative to each other. And even to this standard, DKCR is one of the best games. On Wii, it is the second best game, after Mario Galaxy. Why is it great? Similarly to the genius SNES series, every platforming level feels like a brand new experience. The level ideas are immensely ambitious and creative. The gameplay is as good as the original, including the legendary "roll jump". The controls aren't perfect, the motion controls are a poor idea for this game, I don't want to shake my wii to roll. There is no option to change the controls either. This was a rather stupid idea. But that is probably the only downside to this brilliant game, after its HUGE number of levels, speed runs, bonuses, unlockable secret worlds and the like I hadn't been bored once. The difficulty - it's equally hard to the original donkey kongs, although the fact that you have virtually infinite lives is strange. The speed runs are EXTREMELY challenging, only a few elite players will get the shiny gold medal, which are impossible for a casual gamer to get even after days of play. So, enjoy, this game has 95% positive reviews for a reason. Expand
  19. May 27, 2012
    6
    This game is pretty cool to look at, but the gameplay is so frustrating, you can only play a little at a time, its a good game, but pisses me off too much
  20. Apr 9, 2012
    9
    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.
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  21. Mar 20, 2012
    9
    Surprisingly difficult, but good fun, especially with co-op. A hoot to play with friends and family, but not obnoxiously simple. A good balance of Wii-friendly playfulness and Mario-like difficulty.
  22. Mar 17, 2012
    9
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is one of the greatest platforming games that i have ever played. All the levels are unique, colorful and challenging. 2 player co-op is great fun (but single player is the best way to play this) and the controls usually work well. Even after you complete the 8 worlds there is still a tun lot replay value (collecting all the puzzle pieces, time trials etc). Donkey Kong Country Returns is a must have game in my opinion and shows off the capabilities and fun that can be had with the Wii. Expand
  23. Mar 12, 2012
    6
    Gorgeous as it it, DKC Returns is missing something in the exploration/action pace department to live up to the series. The Good: Mesmerizing. The Bad: Levels push the player forward, while leaving the exploration mood behind; poor music remixes; dragging, annoying boss battles. Donkey Kong Country--the series--is firmly based upon two main pillars: state-of-the-art presentation and levels exploration. And while DKC Returns--the latest installment after a 14-year and two generations gap--succeeds in looking beautiful and shiny it falls short when it comes to gameplay in comparison to its predecessors.
    Even though at first those apparently diverse pillars may not seem to relate, in this game one can sometimes get in the way of the other.

    That happens because in order to create a breathing, living world the designers decided to put together a bunch of ever-changing levels; not that crumbling platforms, falling monoliths and random molten lava raining are bad things per se, but there are many occasions when the moving pace gets so frantic that one can only hope to survive by quickly REACTING to the environment. And in such a weird QTE/platform action hybrid of some sort there's not many room left for a keen eye looking after puzzle pieces or "KONG" letters... Here's where "exploration" goes down for the sake of presentation.

    Still, that's not all. Kong's controls are perfect for sure, but he's heavier and slower than anything else around him (including hyppopotamuses -.-); ultimately that leads the player to keep running and jumping aimlessly in order to PREDICT what comes next--waiting is not always an option since DK won't be able to make it in time. More than that, the levels frequently allure you into moving at a given pace then suddenly take that away from you, making it all more a matter of memorization/trial and error than an actual platform action (Volcano levels are a good example of that).

    Not that the game hasn't its bright sides; but I see things mostly like a mixed bag overall.

    Presentation is breathtaking regarding graphics, but there's no original music score and the remixes don't quite live up to the original tracks; the balance of unlockables distribution is perfect along the worlds--including secret levels and so--but the extras are not that compelling (exception made to the amazing dioramas); boss fights feel epic at first but they drag out way to long just to be remembered as annoyances.

    Nintendo's effort in reviving a long forgotten franchise by shaping it into a modern hardcore 2D-platformer is praiseworthy, of course. But some decisions here may have taken the series a little off the track.
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  24. Feb 12, 2012
    8
    DK Returns?...Not a bad game at all. I'm about 3/4 through this game and it is pretty difficult. My favorite DK game ever is DK on the SNES the original but this has updated graphics, fantastic visuals, great game play mechanics, and fun levels. I recommend this game for anybody who is looking for a challenge.â
  25. Jan 8, 2012
    8
    Good idea a Donkey Kong old style version for the Wii. I missed my "friend" Donkey (2d) since SNES...It's a great game, certainly one of the best games for Wii...but..yes, there's a "but"...But, if you have loved (like me) the old Donkey Kong for SNES ( especially 2: Diddy's Kong Quest ), you will find this new version a bit "sad"...there's only the rhino..the view is too far...yes, the scenarios are good, excellent graphics, there's a 2 player mode and a lot of secret places; a beautiful news is the time trial,and to take a "gold" time, you have to keep rolling...the problem is: every time you want to roll, you have to shake the pad; it was MUCH BETTER to press a button. In conclusion a good game, but the magical atmosphere of classic Donkey Kong is gone. Sorry Donkey, I love you, but this time I'll give you an 8/10. Expand
  26. Jan 1, 2012
    8
    Great to see a return to form for gaming's best ape. The motion controls can be slightly problematic and the co-op can be a bit of a pain if you're playing with someone of different abilities to you. The game itself is extremely good in single player. This is how 2d platforming should be and in my opinion this is a lot better than NSMBW.
  27. Dec 27, 2011
    10
    It Really Captures The Feel Of The Old Games, With Adding New Graphics, New Features, Motion Controls, And My GOD Is It TOUGH! If You Liked The Previous DKC Games, You'll Love This!
  28. Dec 27, 2011
    2
    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.
  29. Dec 25, 2011
    10
    This is a one of a kind return that is a must buy for Wii. Visually stunning and beautiful. Game mechanics are in sync with the player. The difficulty is unmatched on the Wii. There are levels where heading in with multiple lives will prevent you from seeing the dreaded game over screen more times than you would like.
  30. Dec 15, 2011
    9
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is the best revival title of the Donkey Kong franchise since the DKC trilogy on the SNES. Retro Studios has done an incredible job taking the same kind of game platforming that Rare developed in the original DKC, but added some new and original twists within the gameplay. The game is visually stunning, the controls are responsively good (for the most part), and there are many side scrolling levels to play through that has a great challenge to each one of them. This almost beats the original DKC, but there are tiny little things that doesn't make the game as superior as Rare's DKC, i.e. Switching DK or Diddy in one player. For gamers who wants a challenging game for their Nintendo Wii's, then DKC Returns is the game for you. Hopefully it doesn't make you go completely bananas for its difficulty. Expand
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 77 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 77
  2. Negative: 0 out of 77
  1. Mar 17, 2011
    90
    It looks and sounds wonderful, it feels great when you play it, it's tons of fun and full of surprises.
  2. Feb 25, 2011
    90
    Fans of classic 2D games, or the original DKC games, owe it to themselves to pick up this amazing return to the franchise. The difficulty is the one area that may throw some gamers for a loop, but with the ability to let the game play itself it becomes a non-issue.
  3. Feb 16, 2011
    84
    In the end Donkey Kong Country Returns is, in my opinion, a long awaited return to a franchise that needed updating. Fear not, DK fans, this title is for you.