Donkey Kong Country Returns Review

Illustration by Pat Henzy

Wow Nintendo, you never cease to amaze me. I do most of my gaming on Xbox 360 but every so often I decide that it is time to pick up a Wii game and play it. Although the price of Donkey Kong Country Returns hasn’t come down much since its release(as is standard with most first party Nintendo titles) I decided it was time to pick up a copy. It is truly a shame that the Wii is not capable of outputting HD visuals because some of the games on the system are simply beautiful (and this is one that falls into that category). I really wish Nintendo would put out art books just like these ones that Disney puts out and include production art, backgrounds etc. because the stuff their artists pump out is gorgeous.

When I first popped the game into the Wii I wasn’t expecting much more than a uninspired Donkey Kong Country sequel. As much fun as I had with New Super Mario Bros. Wii I didn’t feel that Nintendo went the extra mile with that game. In my opinion the fan service just wasn’t there for that game and they didn’t bring in enough variety or old suits. I was totally surprised that Donkey Kong Country Returns was nothing like that, every level seems to bring something new out and I continued to say to myself “Wow” throughout my entire play through of the game.

Donkey Kong Country Returns reminds me why I started playing video games in the first place, to have fun!
The game is a ton of fun and I feel that the game is great for younger players and older players alike.
The best thing about this game is that it is difficult. On occasion it is difficult because the motion control is a bit inaccurate. But most of the time it is just old school NES style difficultly, and that is a great thing. After playing through Kirby’s Epic Yarn this game is a breath of fresh air. I must have died 15-20 times just in the beginning levels and loved every minute of it!

Donkey Kong Country Returns is one of the few games that really has me looking forward to the Wii U. If Nintendo puts out games that look as good as this one in HD I am sold. The graphics look fantastic and show off what a 2D platformer should look like nowadays. I have played many Xbox 360 platformers that don’t even look half as nice as this game even though they were running in HD.

It took me awhile before I picked up this game and now that I have it I am wondering how many other people passed this game over when it was released. If you are one of those people who ignored this game when it was released I would recommend that you get a copy now. It really is one of the funnest games I have played in a very long while and I believe it to be the best 2D platformer on the Wii.


Punch-Out for Wii

Illustration by Pat Henzy

In the year 1987 everyone was playing Punch-Out on Nintendo. Everyone was trying to beat Mike Tyson, but only a few were able to complete that task. I can vividly remember all the kids in my neighborhood talking about the game, a large percentage of them claimed that they had already beaten Mike Tyson. I knew this was a lie, the game was brutally difficult.

Punch-Out returned to Nintendo consoles in 2009 for the Wii, Unfortunately sans Mike Tyson.
When the game was first released I had planned to pick it up, but my video game purchases at the time were generally focused on Xbox 360. Unfortunately at the time I missed out on a fantastic game because of this.

Punch-Out for Wii is a grade A game for the Wii system. It should appeal to all gamer types from the very young to the hardcore player.
The animation is top notch, the game looks like a cartoon. I especially love the fact that if you hit an opponent in the same spot long enough that they start to bruise or show bumps and welts in those areas.

Title Defense mode is the most fun I’ve had in a game in a long while. After you have completed the game you have to defend your title against each fighter, but each fighter has picked up new tricks at this point. King Hippo tapes a manhole cover onto his belly so you can no longer hit him there.

The only down side to this game for some people might be the difficulty, the game does get frustratingly hard towards the end. I’m also not sure if younger players will enjoy this game as much as I did. The game is about as deep as the original N.E.S. game as far as game play goes, which isn’t very deep. Once you strip away the perfect control and fantastic animation it is essentially the same game as the original, I don’t know if that is enough to hold the attention of this generation of gamers. If you, like me, spent a great deal of your youth trying to work your way up the ranks to Mike Tyson you will find this highly addictive game to be one of the Wii’s best games released.