Enthused: this sh*t is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. (Donkey Kong Country Returns)

As a Brand Ambassador for Nintendo (through Brand About Town), I receive free products from time to time.  I’ll admit, it’s a really sweet relationship — especially given my deeply rooted love I’ve had for Nintendo that started since I first discovered gaming.  My opinions stated below are my own, influenced only by my own experience.

This week I went through another adventure of the mystery package, and yet again, I received an amazing surprise from Nintendo and Brand About Town.  Something I’d been hoping for — and boy it felt good to cross that off my Christmas list…

All the joys of DK I experienced as a kid, returned in one swoop!  With bananas!  Okay, before I get ahead of myself…

Volcano blows up and these tribal mask/head guys pop out.  They sweep the island, hypnotizing the animals with their sweet jungle mind-controling groove.  With this they’ve gotten the animals to do their bidding — steal all the bananas.  All except DK at least.  And oh they try, but DK is just like “uh, no. WHABAM!”  And the game is on…

What these tribal head people want with bananas, I have no idea.  But they’ve taken all of DK & Diddy’s and you’re supposed to get them back.  Brand About Town helped with that, with their crate of bananas that came with the game.

The controls take some time getting used to.  There is definitely a learning curve… but according to the packaging, this game is supposed to allow players (well, two) of any skill level to play cooperatively together.  Thus, enhancing the gaming experience for all.  When I play two player with some other people, I’ll let you know how that goes.

But basically, if you remember Donkey Kong for Super Nintendo — which is how I spent a lot of my gaming youth — then the game here will look familiar.  Better graphics and a whole new controller setup… but it’s still got that great DK feel.  Which makes me uber happy.

Things you should know:

  • You only have two hearts to start out with.  Which, well, sucks when you’re getting used to a new game because if you’re like me you’ll get it all confused and one of those stupid giant parrot vultures will walk into you.  Twice.  And then you lose a balloon (aka a life).  But once you get Diddy (for solo gaming), you technically get 4 hearts, but once you get hit twice, Diddy and his awesome barrel jetpack are gone!  You can also buy the option to add another heart if you want.
    Also:  It’s sort of rediculous how easy it is to kill DK.  I mean, come on.  He’s a HUGE FREAKING GORILLA!
  • There are secret under caves.  You’ll see a little bit of a change in the ground — no more dirt, and well, it might have this blue glow to it.  Ground pound on that for some awesome bonuses.  (Plus, there are other things to ground pound for extra fun — play an area in the background for more bananas and points? Yes please!)
  • Always take the time to blow the dandelion seeds… And pound the yellow flowers.
  • Collect puzzle pieces for something special… no, I haven’t completed a puzzle yet with all the pieces, BACK OFF.
  • At the end of a level, bust a barrel to receive a prize!  It’s sort of like how you’d end the level on Mario Brothers 3.
  • Don’t blow all your coins at Grandpa Cranky’s shop…  (So far, I have yet to find that parrot Squawky worth the coins.)
  • Master the shaking movements and actions quickly… otherwise you’ll find yourself barrel rolling when you don’t want to… like when you’re near a cliff… (though, there are certain times when you should do this… and then jump.  Remember to jump.)
  • The rhino still rules.
  • Sunset level.  Just… just… wow.

Lastly, you should probably give your fingers a nice good stretch!  I’ve been playing with the nunchuck, and boy wow are my hands hurting some.  Here’s hoping I can convince a certain someone to give me a hand massage…