Donkey Kong Country is one of the games that is high on top of my Favorite Games list. The game had great gameplay, a great sound track and no matter how many times I would beat the game I would always erase my game data just so that I can go back and replay the game. That was back in the SNES era. For the N64 era Nintendo gave us Donkey Kong 64 which was a great game but not one I would play often. For the gamecube Nintendo gave us some DK Game which required some bongo controllers. I haven't checked that game out and probably won't. Now with the Wii, Nintendo has decided to bring Donkey Kong full circle with Donkey Kong Country Returns which brings the same classic gameplay style as Donkey Kong Country.
The game starts out with all the animals being hypnotized and steal all of Donkey Kong's banana's. The culprit also tries to hypnotize Donkey Kong but fails and gets beat up by Donkey Kong. DK later realizes that his banana's are gone and sets out to get them back.
DKC Returns brings something new to the table while trying out new things. In DKC you use both DK and Diddy Kong. If one would get hit the other one would take over. For single player in DKC Returns; you only get to use DK with Diddy Kong assisting. Co-Op plays like the SNES but with both players controlling both characters at the same time. This can be annoying at times but when a characters goes out of the screen there is a 3 second countdown before they are blasted to the player that is ahead. Diddy Kong is also able to use his guns which can't be used in single player.
DKCR is a side scroller, similar to the SNES. You can defeat enemies by jumping on them but some enemies require that you do something extra like puff them or roll on them before jumping on them. Each level contains puzzle pieces that you must collect but some puzzle pieces require Co-Op. You must also collect coins so you can purchase extra life or a key which opens a different path but takes you to the same goal. If anything the keys are practically useless as they don't offer any sort of a short cut but does extend the amount of stages you can go into by one. Collecting Banana's give you an extra life if you collect 100. There are also mini games which give you a puzzle piece but you must collect everything and not fall down before and after you collect everything. Doing so will send you back to the stage without the puzzle piece and you won't get another chance to collect the puzzle piece unless you go back to the same stage after beating it.
DKCR forces you to use the Wii's motion control no matter how you use it. You can use it sideways which require you to move the Wii-Mote up and down to perform a ground pound. You will also need to move the Wii-mote around when flying the barrel rocket. This wouldn't be as bad if you wouldn't die after crashing into something even with Diddy Kong on your back. This also happens when riding the cart stages. With the Nun-Chuck attachment you have to use both of them in a drumming motion if you want to do a ground pound. I do hate it when game's try to force their control scheme onto people. Why couldn't they just give you the option to use the controller the way you want to use it? Buttons A and B aren't used when holding it sideways why not just use B for rolling and A for a ground pound.
DKCR features the same soundtrack as in DKC but with a few new tracks thrown in the mix. The music sounds great although I am disappointed that they didn't include the Cap't King K Rool song. That song was perfect and playing through DKC was more than worth it just to listen to that song.
Single player lasts 5 hours depending on how you play and whether you collect the puzzle pieces. Co-Op doesn't really add anything new other than what you have already explored. DKC Returns doesn't have what the original Donkey Kong Country had that kept me coming back even though it's a fun game in its own right.
Donkey Kong Country Returns marks the return of Donkey Kong with its classic gameplay style. If you haven't played it then you owe it to yourself to buy it or rent it. But if you have an extra $5 or $10 I don't remember which the Original Donkey Kong Country is available on the Virtual Console. It is also available on the GBA and of course the SNES but I think the real experience is on the big screen with a nice surround sound just so you can listen to the kick ass music of Donkey Kong Country. Oh while you're at it check out Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Gameplay: There's a reason why they call it DKC Returns but if only they wouldn't force you to use the motion controller. 8/10
Graphics: Great textures and environments as well as memorable characters which are nicely detailed. 9/10
Sound: The original soundtrack plus a few new songs. Still disappointed King K. Rool's song didn't make it. 8/10
Story: Great story with a comedy element added to it. 9/10
LifeSpan: 5 hours of gameplay but Co-Op doesn't add anything extra on a world you already explored. 7/10
Total Score: 82/100