Boy, have we been looking forward to this! Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze launched on the Nintendo Switch this most recent Friday. We did a big old, in depth review of it recently over at the excellent Well Red Mage, but we couldn’t resist reporting our first few days into playing this 2D platforming masterpiece. How has it faired on the Switch?
The great news is it’s an excellent port from the Wii U – it originally launched in 2014 but dropped into obscurity due to a mixture of confused journalists and the console’s lack of commercial success. With the Switch having shifted 15+ million units in just over 12 months, though, Nintendo has a big hit on its hands and, hopefully, this will mean Retro Studio’s work of art gets a legion of new fans.
DKC: Tropical Freeze
Right! Into this game you hop for fun and shenanigans – it’s a beautiful game to behold, the David Wise soundtrack is astonishing, and the gameplay is compelling. It’s a joyous game to take on, with the vibrant worlds complemented by that Wise soundtrack – the worlds are uplifting, challenging, and great fun for any type of gamer.
What, though, is new for the Switch port? If you want to pick fault with it, the answer there is “not much”. For a game of this quality, however, it’s worth returning to, especially as you get to play it in the Switch’s brilliant handheld mode. We mean, look at this thing – it’s a work of art. It becomes highly engrossing with your earphones in as you take on the sprawling adventure.
One big update is aimed at younger gamers (and noobs!) – Tropical Freeze’s notorious difficulty level is curbed thanks to the introduction of Funky Kong. This guy makes getting around the levels a heck of a lot easier thanks to some nifty abilities, which should ensure your young one doesn’t punch his/her tiny fist through your HD television.
This is good, as there’s so much to love about Tropical Freeze. We hailed Grassland Groove, for instance, as one of the greatest levels in video game history. It’s a most remarkable experience to take on with your earphones in – that music, the sunset, the bopping giraffe heads, the gyrating mechanical things. It’s like you’re at one with creation – inspiring!
Thankfully, the reviews for Tropical Freeze have largely been much more complimentary this time out and we’ve seen a mass of 9/10 and 10/10s across a large proportion of the gaming press (including GameSpot, who snubbed it in 2014 with a 6/10 – this time it’s worth 9/10, apparently… makes sense!). This is great to see – beautiful, imaginative games such as this need to be celebrated, not turfed to one side.
As such, if you have a Nintendo Switch we can highly recommend the £40 asking price (jammy as we are, we had a £25 voucher to knock the price tag down). It’s an uplifting and challenging romp which will really test your gaming skills. However, it’s also simply a title that’ll put a big smile on your face – it’s lovely, and you really should be a part of the loveliness.