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Donkey Kong Country Returns

Great apes

There's an ape for that

Fail to figure out after six or so goes and you'll gain the option of having the level played out for you by Super Kong. Smartly, SK doesn't get everything, so there's still replay mileage to be had after you've watched him do his stuff, but he's a godsend on DKCR's boss levels, which, like so many of their kind, require you to follow a tedious set of prescribed actions over and over, error free, until you prevail.

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Might as well jump

The boss levels are the game's only real weakness and mark the only time I felt like chucking in the towel.

I didn't though, and neither will you. Nor will you tire of it. While the basic game mechanic is the same throughout, re-creator Retro Games has chucked in enough variations - or borrowed them from the original - to keep DKCR fresh throughout.

I particularly like one early level in which tsunami approach you from the backdrop until the break over the rocks and the path in the foreground, washing away all in their path - you included if you've not tucked down in the leeside of a rock.

Other hazards include cannon balls fired from nearby pirate ships, giant octopi, venus flytraps and falling totem poles, and that's in addition to the customary array of beasties to jump on top of. Not one level feels the same as the other. Exploring the periphery of the lush screenscape is usually rewarded with bonuses, all helpful but not essential to completing the level.

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Tilt

Always dynamic, the environment contains moving masonry, rolling machines and more. There's grass to help you climb rocks in gravity defying fashion, vines to swing on from tree to tree, and rhinos to ride. Invention jumps out from every screen.

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