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Donkey Kong Country Returns

Great apes

Monkey magic

And while it's clearly not three-dimensional, DKCR does at least take you in and out of the layers that make up the parallax scrolling backdrop. Canon-like barrels fire you back to distant sections which you clear then blast yourself back.

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Mined out

Gamers of old can tackle DKCR with the Remote rotated horizonally like an old-style controller. Others may prefer to connect the Nunchuck, steering with that while bashing the buttons on the other controller. Neither is quite ideal, and it's a little to easy to mix up your buttons with disastrous results.

Two-player adds a little extra to the replay value, as does tackling each level within a fixed time limit. But a greater incentive will be the need you'll feel to make sure you found every hidden item.

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Canonball run

Verdict

RH Recommended Medal

Donkey Kong Country Returns charms and frustrates in equal measure - and that's exactly what a good arcade game should do. Overflowing with invention, it shows there's still plenty of life in platform games - even 15-year-old ones. Need an exuse? Buy it for the nippers - my eight-year-old can't get enough of it. And if you're not humming the theme tune in a week, there's something wrong with you. ®

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Donkey Kong Country Returns

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Revived after 15 years with swank new graphics, this platformer is the acme of entertainment. Nintendo Wii only.