‘Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze’ is a superb game that, having come out on Wii U, has not received all the attention it deserved. It is something that, hopefully, changes with your arrival at Switch. A reissue with just a few changes here and there that, however, adds just what I needed a game that was essential before those improvements.
The best scroll platforms in history
‘Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze’ is, sharing post with ‘Super Mario 3D World’, the best platform game I’ve ever tried. It is from a very different perspective, yes. They share gender, but little else, and while Mario’s goal is to be more accessible, the gorilla’s goal is to try to get you on the ropes again and again.
It is a challenging game, which is not difficult, but also offers two very clear faces in terms of the challenge. Playing ‘Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze’ in order to get from the beginning to the end is one thing. Trying to do it by completing it 100% is something completely different.
Despite this, the fact of playing it without taking into account the KONG lyrics or the puzzles did not make it a walk. He still demanded a skill that was far removed from what beginner players could offer, and that’s where the Funky Kong foray entered in the Nintendo Switch version.
With the new character you play with six lives instead of three, the possibility of doing double jumps, of keeping you planning in the air, shooting for longer, doing the torpedo underwater in an infinite way and even falling on the spikes without doing any Scratch thanks to your surfboard. It is the version for children (or inexperienced players) of a game that had forgotten them.
Easier, but without losing its challenging essence
However, my biggest fear with that incursion was that the essence of the game had been charged. What made ‘Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze’ a special game. That’s why my first foray has been with Funky and with a seven-year-old kid, which has helped me understand that there is nothing to fear with change.
The reason is very simple, ‘Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze’ has never been a walk, and the staging of Funky Kong does not change that at all. Even with a good handful of lives and several skills that make the task easier, it’s still a challenging game. The possible frustration of having to repeat the screen from beginning to end too quickly, as well as not knowing how to measure the attacks or jumps as it should be, but the challenge is still there waiting to be overcome.
And I think it’s a tremendous achievement, by the way. Give the player so many facilities and, despite this, maintain a certain level of attention and skill, it seems a tremendous achievement. Not because of what Funky Kong can bring to the gameplay and accessibility, but because of how much it says about how well designed its levels are, a playable engineering work that I’m hoping that more people can get their hands on.
Let’s add to all that mix some loading times that, without a clock or direct comparisons by hand, have seemed much shorter than in the Wii U version, and there will be little more to be said about it before its analysis. ‘Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze’ for Wii U was a must. And ‘Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze’ for Switch is an essential game that throws you in the face even more excuses so you want to embrace him with all your strength.