Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Review

Christopher Ocker, Staff Writer

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Due to the poor sales of the Wii U, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze went under many gamers’ radar. With its recent port onto the Switch, there is no better time to get into the latest game in the Donkey Kong Country series.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a great platformer due to the variety throughout the entire game. Every level contains a unique gimmick that is utilized in the entire level, making every level feel distinct and memorable. This also allows the use of three different buddies that can completely change how you work your way through a level. The worlds also have interesting themes, like a tropical jungle turned into a fruit factory or a savannah that becomes ravaged by tornadoes and fires. The game never gets boring and the fun flies by in several hours. But be warned; Tropical Freeze is one of the hardest platformers just like the previous Donkey Kong Country games. Getting through some of the hardest levels in this game requires dedication and mastery of the ape’s jumping mechanics. All of this culminates in one of the most refined platformers you are likely to play.

If you did already experience Tropical Freeze on the Wii U, there is only one thing in the remaster that will determine your opinion on whether to repurchase it: Funky Mode. This added mode allows plays to play as Funky Kong. With his abilities to double jump, stand on spikes, hover in the air, and roll forever utterly destroys the game. Funky obliterates the difficulty of every level and turns the entire game into a joke. If you enjoyed time attack mode (as I did), Funky Mode is a welcome addition, making some of the hardest time trials into cake walks. It also offers a way for less skilled players to pick up and play. However, for regular play, I recommend playing as Donkey alone as the entire brilliance of Tropical Freeze lies in its difficulty and challenge. Playing as Funky is a huge disservice to the care and passion poured into the adventure.

I say with certainty that Tropical Freeze will be remembered as one of the best platformers of all time. Its ingenious level design, beautiful landscapes, a tremendous amount of personality, and the overall atmosphere culminate in one of the most streamlined and consistently enjoyable platformers the genre has ever seen. While Funky Mode is mostly an underwhelming addition, the core game remains the phenomenal masterpiece it was back in 2014.


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