When the first Donkey Kong Country Returns came out, I was working at a game store. As much as I love Nintendo and hate depriving them of sales, I had to warn tons of parents not to buy Donkey Kong Country Returns. Don’t get me wrong, Donkey Country Returns was an amazing game, and possibly the best 2-D platformer of the last decade. But, it was freaking hard. While 5 year old children were eager to play a game with the monkeys they played as in Mario Kart and Smash Bros, I had to warn parents that they probably wouldn’t enjoy the game.
Nintendo seems to have addressed this issue with Donkey Kong Country Returns which will feature a new mode for more casual gamers. The new Donkey Kong Country Returns’ easy mode, or whatever they’re calling it, will give Donkey and Diddy three hearts each and will have access to an array of new items to aid them in their quest. These items include portable DK barrels that could be activated at any time, green balloons that pull you out of a bit (think Mega Man’s Beat Whistle), and a special item that allows you to take more hits in mine cart and rocket barrel levels. Sadly, Enguard and Winky are still MIA.
Some stodgy gamers are whining about this easier DKCR, but I’m excited about it. These changes will allow more people to enjoy the game, and veterans will be able to play the game in its original glory. Whether you play on easy or normal mode, there are 8 new levels to explore. The more people that can enjoy this awesome game, the better.
Whether you like it the easy way or the hard way, you can play Donkey Kong Country Returns on May 24th.