E3 10: Donkey Kong Country Returns hands-on

June 16, 2010

Donkey Kong Country is back, and with Retro Studios at the helm, how is it? We took it for a spin on the show floor.

Everything seems very familiar to those who played Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and Donkey Kong Country. It uses the former’s visual style with the latter’s controls, and…well, that’s pretty much it. It’s not incredibly surprising, but it is fun.

Two-player co-op using Donkey and Diddy is fun, though the demo didn’t seem to have specific challenges for them. In one-player, Diddy acts as a health-pack and powerup, giving you a gliding capability and two more hearts. Diddy is incredibly useful, since the platforming seems incredibly unforgiving. Jumps need to be timed perfectly, and for those used to Nintendo’s other offerings, this might come as a surprise.

Banana-collecting is back, letter collecting is back, barrel-throwing is back…the name says it all. Donkey Kong Country Returns. Don’t expect more. Most people don’t need it.