Donkey Kong Country Returns Image
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87

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

User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 395 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest installment of the Donkey Kong Country series returns.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 77
  2. Negative: 0 out of 77
  1. Jan 25, 2011
    100
    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
    91
    Gameplay is amazingly true to DKC.
  4. Dec 10, 2010
    90
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is a great Nintendo Wii game and one of the best Wii games of the year. The developers have merged the good old features with new and fresh gameplay elements.
  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
    80
    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. Edge Magazine
    Dec 10, 2010
    70
    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: 76 out of 91
  2. Negative: 4 out of 91
  1. 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
    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
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  2. 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 aPerhaps 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
  3. Dec 4, 2010
    10
    A great example of how all side - scrolling platformers should be. Awesome level design with beautifully detailed environments and an amazingA 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. Expand
  4. 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 goodA 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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  5. Dec 3, 2015
    9
    This is truly an amazing and at times for challenging 2D platform and if you have a Wii or plan on getting one, this is a game you need toThis is truly an amazing and at times for challenging 2D platform and if you have a Wii or plan on getting one, this is a game you need to own. It's a lot of fun and definitely worth playing, every island is more beautiful than the last and defeating the final boss feels great, also when you beat the game there's more challenges to do afterwards which can be frustrating but you feel like you accomplished something when you beat them. Expand
  6. 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 choreI 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. Expand
  7. 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. InThis 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 91 User Reviews

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Awards & Rankings

6
4
#4 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2010
7
#7 Most Shared Wii Game of 2010