User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 285 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 285

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  1. Nov 13, 2011
    7
    I enjoyed this game. It captures the same fun that the other Donkey Kong Country games had. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is better, but this is still worth playing.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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).
  5. Jan 9, 2011
    10
    Other companies can keep making fancy 3D shoot-em-ups all they want. I will stick to the great 2D versions of Nintendo's best. And Donkey Kong Country Returns uses the best technology has to offer and keeps is 2D-real! The levels are fast, funny and goofy. Just pure Donkey Kong fun! Could it have been made to accommodate a 360-degree world, sure, but why? The characters move fluidly, the levels are accomplish able without being too simple and it's not so frustrating that you just want to turn it off and stop playing. If you have any childhood memory of lifelong of Donkey's world, this game is not to be missed! Expand
  6. Nov 19, 2011
    9
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is the first OFFICIAL Donkey Kong game based on the main franchise since DK64 from early 2000s. The game goes back to its original 2D roots from the SNES era, this time bringing back the original duo Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Fans will reminiscence throughout the game as they go through similar stages, hear familiar music, and see many familiar and old enemies from the past game as they travel through this nostaglic game. Many of the theme songs are remix versions of several tracks from several games and players will enjoy listening to the incredible orchestrated music to the lush environment that they are thrown into playing. Storyline wise, its not as top as the old games however the same formula is there, DK lost his banana horde and needs to get back it from the enemies. Although one thing that some fans might not like is the sheer difficulty of the game that will come mid way through the game and the apparent lack of Kremlings. Expand
  7. 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.
  8. Jun 11, 2014
    9
    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.

    Pros:
    -Excellent gameplay and controls!
    -Wonderful atmospheres.
    -Nostalgic Music at it's finest.
    -Rambi is a fun to play.
    -Cool bosses.
    -Fun secrets to discover.
    -Cranky's shop is cool with neat items and Cranky being "cranky" as usual.
    -Nice long adventure that never feels boring after a while.

    Cons:
    -Can get very difficult after a while to where a lot of deaths would occur.
    -No underwater levels.
    -I would've liked to have seen more Animal Buddies and Kong members.
    -The Rocket Barrel levels had some frustrating controls.
    -The Tiki enemies felt very lacking in characteristics.

    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.
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  9. 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
  10. 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.
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  11. Nov 25, 2010
    8
    For the most part, Retro's take on Donkey Kong is a joy to play. Any fans of the original SNES titles will be able to jump in from the get-go. The game looks and feels like its classic predecessors and serves as a reminder of how classic game design is timeless. Unfortunately, there are some instances when the motion controls feel a little forced. This affects the experience, but in no way renders DKCR unplayable. Expand
  12. 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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  13. Jul 1, 2014
    8
    I felt the difficulty was a bit much with it getting genuinely frustrating at times and all the jigsaw collecting felt a little like a chore but other than that this is a great game that every Wii owner ought to have tried. Great visuals, gameplay very true to the originals and plenty of content as well as a cool soundtrack and co-op mode make it highly recommended.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Jan 8, 2011
    9
    I loved the original Donkey Kong Country series of games. Donkey Kong Country is the first video game I ever played, and this was in 2003. Don't **** You know it's awesome. Donkey Kong Country Returns is everything I loved about the original trilogy, fixing up its errors and pushing it much further. It has the original Jungle levels, mine carts, barrels, Rambi, hidden bonus levels and the classic music which has luckily not been messed around with and there's more than that. However, it pushes the game even further like one level where you have to take cover behind rocks and shipwrecks to avoid a big tidal wave crashing through, there's two (ore more) levels which take place in jazzy silhouette mode, which is utterly gorgeous, there's a few levels where you have to complete the level in a jet powered barrel and you can blast into the background in this game, adding to the variety in this game. The game is as hard as hell but very rewarding. The graphics are some of the best in gaming history. Just amazing. Of course, nobody's perfect. The enemies In DKCR are not as cool as the kremlings but are still cool. There are no water levels in this game, which I dearly miss. Normally water levels are absolutely hairy bollocks and I hate them, but DCKR is one of those sole game where they're actually good. Lastly, the controls are still a waggle-fest. To roll, you waggle. To blow out fire, you waggle. To ground pound, you waggle, which you will be doing a lot of. Also, there are lag in the controls and Donkey Kong sometimes doesn't jump when you want him to, or sometime he won't jump at all. Apart from those niggles, you will love this game. If you're heavily nostalgic or just want a platforming game, this won't let you down. Oh, and here's a 9. Expand
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. Jul 15, 2011
    10
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is an absolute perfect game. The controls work great, the graphics are top-notch, the levels are beautifully designed, the support characters are fun to use, the levels are very hard, there are a lot of levels, there is tons of replayability, and the game is fun as hell! everything about the game is perfect. I honestly can't tell you how much you are missing out on. Seriously. Get this game. Expand
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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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  25. Jun 21, 2011
    7
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is a great game full of excitement and fun... but it is definitely lacking. I love the Donkey Kong Country series but my biggest problem with this game is how easy it is to beat certain levels but then the next level takes many many attempts to beat. I did love all the new things the Wii remote offers, overall story, and creativity for a game modeled after a classic.
  26. Nov 22, 2010
    10
    Retro Studios has delivered an awesome title with DKCR. The level of polish is outstanding. This game is fun and challenging. It is worth buying a Wii for. I simply love it and I can't find any flaws. Fans of this series: It's On Like Donkey Kong AGAIN!!
  27. Jan 19, 2011
    9
    It is a very fun game. It is a very difficult game. I don't think there is any way I am going to complete this game 100%. There are a few levels in which I think I lost like 40 or 50 lives trying to beat a level. It requires some patience but the reward is satisfying. Not as good as the first installments on Super, but it comes very close. A very similar game to New Super Mario Bros. for Wii. Solid. Collapse
  28. Jan 18, 2011
    7
    Firstly, I'm a big fan of the original SNES' DKC. So, Retro Games Studios had big shoes to fill. The controls. Arg! Really disappointing and frustrating to the point where I nearly stopped playing after the first level. What's wrong with controls? too gimmicky. I want to be able to press X or Y (or the Wiimote's equivalent) and have Donkey Kong do a forward roll/somersault. I want to be able to hold down and press X or Y and have him slap the ground to unearth bananas. Not shake and tilt and blah blah. Bit better when you unplug the nun-chuk. Then there's Diddy. There doesn't seem to be anyway to tag-team him in - which is unforgivable. Worst design decision made on this project. Person(s) responsible do not know or understand the DKC IP and should stay away from future DKC projects. Animal companions? where's the ostrich? sword fish? frog? core elements of DKC completely missing until 3-6 "Temple Topple" where I get the Rhino for the second time maybe? It may sound petty but the game suffers as a result. The Music? Not as good as the original - there's some kind of "elevator-music filter" added which just cheeses the original soundtrack up. I don't like it at all. Level design. Should have stuck closer to the originals. Some sparks of genius (Level 2-7 Tidal Terror is great). Clearly influenced by Little Big Planet for sure.

    Boss battles are ok. In the end, it looks like the design team(s) were pulled in too many directions and the original DKC recipe got overly diluted with Banjo & Kazooie, Sonic & Tails, Jak & Dexter, Little Big Planet, and Wiimote-Gimmickness. If you've never played the original, you may enjoy it. If you played the original and hold it in high regard (one of my top 10) you'll be sad. As there was potential here for greatness. Hopefully, they do a follow-up title and go back to basics - keep it simple, improve the music, map the controls 1:1 to the SNES, give me back Diddy, Frog, Ostrich and treetop Village! Still give it a 5/10 which I think is fair.
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  29. 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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  30. 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.
  31. Nov 23, 2010
    10
    I just started playing this last night! I absolutely love this game. Retro Studios has done an amazing job at what feels like a continuation of the SNES classics! I feel like a kid when I play this game! If you loved the original trilogy on the SNES, just get this game pronto!
  32. Nov 21, 2010
    10
    Put all your fears to rest, Retro Studios has outdone Rare and created the best 2D platformer of this generation (on ANY platform).. Tight controls, beautiful graphics and sound, replay value to spare, and over 71 levels. Just wow. If you liked the previous DKC games you'll love this, and even if you didn't you might still love this game. It's even better than the original trilogy. Perfect game.
  33. Nov 29, 2010
    8
    Another very good Wii game I've bought recently. I agree with some that sngle player is better than 2 player, but 2 player is still a lot of fun and gets a laugh out of me and my buddies. What I like most besides the cherry gaming itself is that the game has a very retro feel while retaining the good qualities that make today's games what they are. This is a really good mix of modern style gaming and old, fun, throwback gaming. If you have kids you can give them a taste of what you played yesterday. Expand
  34. Dec 2, 2010
    10
    I was hesitant to learn of this game and play it, but I'm glad I did play the game. This game truly captures the platform concept done well and above all has everything you will love. As a Christmas gift or just a game to spend your money on you can't go wrong picking up this title. Having playing this game makes me reminisce my childhood of playing the three country games for the Super Nintendo, and what a good feeling it was of the fond memories remembering. This game is challenging for sure, but what seeks hold of you is the impressive levels and lots of content to unlock. Glad to see Retro Studios and Nintendo knowing what exactly the Country needs. Praise aside, the only downfall I see and what made me bit disappointed was the absence of the Kremling enemies. In conclusion, I'd definitely would say this is a solid platformer and a worthy purchase title. Expand
  35. Jan 25, 2011
    8
    A great plat former with a surprising amount of difficulty. I still prefer the original games, but this is a fun time. The levels are unique! Music, while not very memorable, was complementary to the ride. Not much replay value once you beat it.
  36. 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
  37. Nov 24, 2010
    10
    Being a big fan of the original trilogy on the SNES, I feared that Retro would destroy my childhood. Fortunately they've done an excellent job. The level design is interesting, challenging and lots of fun. This is one of my games of the year.
  38. 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
  39. Aug 28, 2011
    10
    Yeah, this game does deserve a solid 10/10 from me. Apart from it's difficulty, which should only be a problem for newer gamers, this is a great and breathless journey which provides a nostalgic tear in a gamer's eye, while still feeling new. Welcome back Donkey Kong Country.
  40. 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
  41. Nov 22, 2010
    10
    It's just like the old DKC games but even better! Retro did a great job with the level design and the music remake. Although shaking the remote to roll gets a little annoying at times but overall the game is amazing

    Level design 10/10
    Graphics 10/10
    Music 9/10
    Difficulty 9/10
    Fun 11/10
  42. Dec 31, 2010
    5
    While I did enjoy some of the scenery and the new controls, which aren't that bad to handle, I was generally left unimpressed with this game. The rocket barrel was a new interesting level design but it left me thinking of those flash helicopter games. The game was too easy as well and did not have enough levels like the old SNES games which compared to this are just massive, I ended the game with an accumulated 85 lives and that is without buying from cranky kong. I found that to be the same with the latest super mario bros game. So Nintendo change that aspect of your platformer games.

    It was a fun game but not much replay value.
    Hopefully, Retro's next iteration will be chock full of levels and an increased difficulty.
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  43. Dec 2, 2011
    10
    This game has some the best level design of any 2D platformer. The jumping controls for Donkey Kong himself feel a bit sluggish. Having Diddy's jetpack remedies this problem, somewhat. A very very good game, however lacking a bit of the Mario's charm.
  44. 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.
  45. 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
  46. Dec 2, 2010
    10
    The word that comes to mind while playing this new DK is 'generic'. The graphics are bland and look like some cheap fan-made game, the music is uninspired knockoff of tunes from the SNES games, and the level design is boring. The game is too slow, a bit laggy, and the motion controls assigned to rolling DK is a pain to deal with and will get you killed a ridiculous amount of times. Just like NSMB and Punch-Out for the Wii before it, this game is inferior to the SNES originals. You'd be best off just selling your Wii and buying a SNES and the original games for $5-10 each. That's what I'm going to do. Expand
  47. Apr 11, 2011
    10
    Yes this game is great. You should buy it. It is a must-buy! This is an excellent throwback to the SNES original. And in many ways this exceeds the original!
  48. Nov 18, 2011
    9
    This game is fantastic. The level design was great and the game play was great. There is tons of content in this game. Secret levels, mirror modes, and insanely difficult time trials make this game great. Some people may complain about the difficulty of this game, and they may have a point. It is a really hard game (especially to get 200% in)! Personally, however, I found that the difficulty of the game made it even harder to put down! Expand
  49. Mar 19, 2013
    9
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Great Game!
  50. Feb 27, 2011
    10
    Platforming at it's finest. My boyfriend and I picked this up to play as a couple (I'm Diddy) and it's a fantastic game. Gorgeous graphics, great enemies, funky music and there are so many hidden items to go back through and find. My only complaint is the levels that collapse around you are generally really hard to play with 2 people but I still love them because it keeps you on your toes. Highly recommend it for the multiplayer. Expand
  51. 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!
  52. 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
  53. Nov 23, 2010
    9
    I didn't like having to shake the Wii remote to roll. It made sense for all the other actions it was assigned to but trying to roll on command proved very unreliable. I never knew if I was shaking the Wii remote hard enough until it was too late. If the game hadn't mapped the roll to shaking the Wii remote this game would have been an easy 10.
  54. Dec 1, 2010
    8
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is a highly enjoyable platformer created with excellent craftsmanship from Retro Studios, the makers of the Metroid Prime Trilogy. The level design is incredibly well done creating an immense challenge for players in certain stages. The controls are tight with the exception of an incredible amount of waggle require to stomp and blow out items like candles and dandelions. It's unfortunate that Diddy Kong is unplayable in the single player mode, but his addition is similar to the mushroom/yoshi in the Mario series. Some of the enemies are uninspired and leave me nostalgic for the crocs and animal enemies from the SNES entries. Over all, DKCR is a highly enjoyable Nintendo game, but seems a bit less inspired than the recent Kirby's Epic Yarn. Expand
  55. Dec 6, 2010
    9
    This is game is addictive, lots of fun, and really hard at times. The graphics are great. Two player is sometimes more difficult than single player. When this is the case, I sign out and let my son beat the level -to save lives- or I have Diddy Kong hop on Kong's back. The difficulty reminds me of donkey kong on my Colecovision as a kid. We're on world 7. Level design is incredible.
  56. 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
  57. 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.
  58. Dec 11, 2010
    9
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is a challenging 2D platformer by Retro Studios. Unlike their Metroid Prime series this DKC title doesn't go in a completely different direction. The gameplay is very truthful to the original with some minor tweaks and the overall design also feels very similar.

    My biggest complaint with this game is that the music team didn't take any risks. What's so great
    about the original Rare games is that each game had a completely original soundtrack. Retro went the easy route and almost all the music is recycled. The music is great but only because it was already great fifteen years ago. I wish they could have hired David Wise again to compose an original soundtrack that would surprise us just like DKC2 did.

    I have other minor complaints, like how the game has less content than the other games. The secret world is not that special, there are less KONGS and less animal buddies. Still, the platforming is some of the best you'll find on Wii and the game is challenging, but not brutal. This is not the best game in the Donkey Kong Country series but it is a great addition to the series.
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  59. May 4, 2014
    9
    Introduction 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. Overview 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.

    Gameplay

    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.

    Aesthetics

    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.

    Replayability

    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.

    Conclusion

    Fans of platformers must play.

    9/10
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  60. Nov 25, 2010
    9
    Don't listen to johnnynumber, like you can see he's the only one who gave a 0 to the game because he just probably sucks hard on it. Donkey Kong Country Returns is a huge achievement and a 2D masterpiece from Retro Studios. Nintendo must be proud of seeing this little company doing wonders like Rare did once upon a time. Brilliant gameplay and level design, fluid animation, very good remixes and some jewels in the new soundtrack, big replay value and tons of collectibles! What to ask more from a DKC game! And it's hard as hell! But unlike johnnynumber, I have skills and didn't use the Super Guide on every level ;) Expand
  61. Apr 16, 2011
    8
    Great Game! Awesome music, graphics & artstyle, sometimes it gets hard, specially the rocket levels, but it is really rewarding. I recommend this game to everyone that loves Platform games and a great challenge
  62. Jun 22, 2011
    10
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is fantastic. I cannot say enough good things about it. Graphics: Low Polygon count is trumped by excellent art direction. Story: What story? Sound: Beautiful soundtrack Design: one of the most demanding platformers you will ever play, also one of the most rewarding. Multiplayer: Frustrating, but immensely fun All in all: if you own a Wii and are a gamer, buy this game. Expand
  63. Nov 21, 2010
    10
    Retro Studios did a great job, they knew what fan wanted. The game is simply fantastic. Taking back 2d style is just beautiful, easy to control, the music make you feel the pleasure of the other DKC game. A new coop mode to play with your friend, lot of level to complete many thing to collect many hour of fun to spend. Perfect.
  64. Nov 21, 2010
    10
    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!
    10/10
  65. Nov 22, 2010
    10
    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.
  66. Nov 22, 2010
    10
    Nintendo has another great hit on there hands, As we all know Nintendo has a thing of remaking older classic games, some of them have failed while others have passed, This is one of them that has Passed, first off the graphics while Nintendo may not have the best graphics this game has great 2d graphics the colors are vibrant rich and smooth, that it makes you feel like you are part of the game. The Controls are spot on and work well with the shaking the controller for parts in the game were it is needed , the button layout is nice also works well for the style of game this is, Only complaint i have sofar, is no Classic Controller Support, i felt that this game should have had that classic support to make this game feel even more classic.. Now on to game play, So many Pros , First the game plays so smooth no slow down or choppy graphics if to many things going on during game play, They have made Return have the same elements as the 64, but also added new things to mix it up and not make it seem likes its just another remake, they have slamming the ground to make floors roll over to reveal things underneath, they also have slamming certain objects over and over and or shaking the controller to make things break in the back round to make them become part fo the game and it throws you in the back and you can play back there with out you being zoomed in on.. gives that nice feel of distance, of course Diddy is in the game also. hen he is on DK back there is a jet pack on his back to help you jump it don't last long just small spurts of boost so you are not flying but does help make some jumps easier, this is what Nintendo does best make great 2d games.. and i hope they continue to do it, yes this is a short review right now but will add more as i get further in the game and also beat the game.. but just from what i have played right now., this is a game that every wii owner needs to have, and will make a great gift for under the tree as this is a game anyone in the family can enjoy.... young or old...

    Thanks Monster (Ken)
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  67. Nov 25, 2010
    9
    The levels are great and for a single player I agree with the reviews out there however I think more detail is needed for the 2 player experience.

    I found that the life system is off balance between 1 and 2 players.

    For example, in single player mode If you have Diddy and you have all for hit points and jump into a pit you loose 1 life however in two player mode if you both fall in the
    pit and have the same number of hit point between you as single player then you loose 2 lives.

    I would normally have no problem with the 2 lives each being lost however there are 2 main reasons why I have an issue.
    1) For each life you have a max of 2 hit points instead of 4.
    2) If you both die they respawn both of you for 2 lives instead of 1 person for 1 life.

    My problem with the second is that there is usually a DK barrel next to the respawn point anyway so you could save a live each time. Also there is no need to force the second player to join when you can buy a DK barrel if you choose to.

    There is an issue with buying a barrel too. If the second player is unable to get the barrel before it gets past the bottom of the screen that just cost you another life. That means that buying a barrel on forced side scrolling levels like the whale level is a waste of life with each time you call a barrel.

    Now I expected to use a lot of lives in this game however I had my Sister over yesterday and we went through all my stock piled lives more then twice as fast then if I had of used them on my own.

    You will go through lives fast in this game and if you have a stock pile in your own profile then you may want to reconsider having a friend join you. We went through over 100 lives in about 2 hours.

    Play alone.
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  68. Nov 26, 2010
    7
    I'm liking the game a lot. They've done a wonderful job in trying to reshape the original SNES game into a game that's worthy of the WII, and current gaming in general. However, I haven't given it a full score for 2 reasons. First of all, because I do feel that there is a certain lack of originality (it's too similar to the original) and secondly, because my favorite part of the original DKC, underwater levels, are not included in this game. That was a big let down for me, as they were the most magical part of the original Donkey Kong Country. Expand
  69. Nov 29, 2010
    10
    i love this game it is great! worth every penny! great looks great gameplay, hard but far from impossible! if your a dkc fan this game holds up to your expectations and exeeds them! johnynumber5 is just a hater, i bet you he did not even play the game, because he said all oppositie from what everyone says (including me)
    all in all its a great game!
  70. Eyo
    Dec 2, 2010
    10
    deathsmiles
    You are a moron. Please go back and pwn some n00bs in your generic, cookiecutter, bloodspattering, headshot awarding FPS with the rest of your teenage buddies
  71. Dec 4, 2010
    10
    A great example of how all side - scrolling platformers should be. Awesome level design with beautifully detailed environments and an amazing soundtrack. Maybe Retro Studios is the new Rare.
  72. Dec 4, 2010
    10
    This is a superbly fun game buy it right away fun buy it right away! It had me blown away buy it's super personality and incredibly fun and amazing level design
  73. Dec 7, 2010
    4
    The controls are the big problem here, there too sluggish. The graphics are sweet but the controls will get you in the end and you will end up getting killed more times than you can count.
  74. Dec 18, 2010
    6
    While I do enjoy this game, very much, I believe it pails in comparison to the originals for the SNES, particularly DKC2. This new take on the Donkey Kong Country series lacks the little artistic details of the earlier games. I was also disappointed by the fact that there are only two animal buddies in this game. I understand that Retro Studios was attempting to go in a different direction, but I feel they left much of the series' appeal in the dust while not bringing very many new things to the table. I do like how they kept the rolling-jump from the originals intact, adding an element of challenge to the game. Expand
  75. Jan 2, 2011
    10
    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.
  76. Jan 6, 2011
    8
    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.
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  77. Sep 9, 2011
    10
    When Nintendo sold Rare to Microsoft I thought I'd never see the next chapter in one of my favourite series but somehow its here and Retro Studios have done an amazing job. The best thing about it is its rock hard and unfortunately you cant say that about many wii games these days. Absolutely love it
  78. Nov 9, 2011
    5
    i think the game was entertaining and fun. It did not have a lot of levels and i was very disappointed. The game itself is very fun, but after you are done it is not something you would want to play again. I spent $50 on this game for my parents for Christmas and i think i am going to try to re-sell it. I am very disappointed that there are not more levels. overall, its a great game, but not much to do. i think they could of at least added more levels to the game. Expand
  79. 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
  80. Jan 19, 2011
    0
    It is a very fun game. It is a very difficult game. I don't think there is any way I am going to complete this game 100%. There are a few levels in which I think I lost like 40 or 50 lives trying to beat a level. It requires some patience but the reward is satisfying. Not as good as the first installments on Super, but it comes very close. A very similar game to New Super Mario Bros. for Wii. Solid. Collapse
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.