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WiiU

Why the Donkey Kong Country Delay Isn't That Bad

by Neal Ronaghan - October 2, 2013, 3:41 pm PDT
Total comments: 20

2014 looks a little bit brighter with that big ape in it.

I wish I could say I was surprised by the delay of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Back at E3 2013, I don't think I doubted that Retro Studios would deliver the game on time, but once it swapped spots from November to December with Super Mario 3D World, I began to have doubts. Those doubts were realized when Satoru Iwata asked us all to "please understand" that Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze needed more development time. Now, the potential 2013 Wii U hit is coming out in February 2014.

I don't think it's a bad idea, though. While I might be in the minority, I think Nintendo's holiday Wii U lineup is still solid without it. Maybe it's not in the way the hardcore want it to be, with Marios, Zeldas, and Metroids coming out every orifice, but it's still good. Discounting the early digital release of Wind Waker HD, here's the rest of the year for Wii U on Nintendo platforms:

  • October 4 - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (retail)
  • October 25 - Wii Party U
  • November 1 - Wii Fit U (digital)
  • November 8 - Wii Sports Club (bowling/tennis)
  • November 22 - Super Mario 3D World
  • December 13 - Wii Fit U (retail)

To me, that's a good lineup that hits a variety of demographics. While it would be stronger with Donkey Kong in December, I don't think that one game will make a difference this holiday season. In my eyes, if Nintendo's boned with the Wii U this holiday, they'll be equally boned whether or not they have two games in December or one.

Where the Donkey Kong delay will likely benefit Nintendo is that it gives them a (hopefully) guaranteed slam dunk for early 2014. Remember last year? We cried and cried about how there wasn't a new Wii U retail release for three months. We complained that only two Nintendo-published titles hit in the first half of the year. Maybe just maybe, the Donkey Kong delay is a strategic one to give them a marquee game for the early months of 2014. After all, we don't know of any other games that are guaranteed to be there and most Nintendo games, especially on Wii U, have a habit of slipping when they're not mentioned.

2014 will likely contain Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, X, Smash Bros., Yarn Yoshi, and more. Outside of DKC and Mario Kart, the latter a spring release as of E3 2013, we have no windows for the others. It's probable none of those will be ready for early 2014. So ask yourself, which 2014 lineup looks better: the one with Mario Kart in March/April, or the one with Donkey Kong in February and Mario Kart in April? Especially with the lull that will strike the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One post-launch, holding back a trump card for 2014 might not be an awful plan.

So chin up, Dixie Kong fans, this delay is naturally a bummer, but Tropical Freeze will come out soon enough. Remember the good ol' Miyamoto quote: "A delayed game is eventually good; a bad game is bad forever."

Talkback

Ian SaneOctober 02, 2013

I guess I can agree that if the Wii U is boned this Christmas, it's boned either way.  I still think that having DKC in there would just help the console that much more.  There's enough riding here that Nintendo needs as strong of an effort as possible.  Dec 2013 is way more important than Feb 2014.  And honestly the delay caught me off guard as I assumed the switch with Mario was entirely to get Mario, the more marketable title, out in time for Black Friday.

If Nintendo needs to intentionally delay this game to spread out the wealth in 2014 then I think the Wii U is finished.  This slow release schedule is not sustainable.  It's a screw-up that Nintendo should have easily avoided if they just paid attention to how the rest of the industry struggled with the switch to HD years ago.  It's a screw-up that has to be fixed.  This lineup of the last half of 2013 shouldn't be a surge, it should be the norm following a slow start.  If the Wii U is to go anywhere Nintendo should have had a game set for February already and March and April, etc.

I don't know what they can do now but they should never have been in a situation in the first place where the idea of delaying DKC just to spread releases around was necessary.  In that sense I think that providing the illusion of a healthy release schedule by doing such a big doubleshot around Christmas may buy some time and maybe induce enough of a sales spurt to improve third party output.  But then it could just be that Retro wasn't ready and considering the whole problem is Nintendo grossly underestimating the time and resources it takes to make HD games, that's totally realistic.

BlackNMild2k1October 02, 2013

I came in here thinking that the #1 reason was:

You've waited this long for a game to play, what's a few more months...?

MetalMario2October 02, 2013

Ian Sane, whenever I catch myself feeling too happy or optimistic, I just read one of your posts, and then I go into my bedroom and cut myself.

the asylumOctober 02, 2013

but but but what about wii party

what about WII FIT!?

THATS WHAT WE LIKE RIGHT GUYS

But I want Donkey Kong more than Mario. I wish they had a healthy number of games to release instead of spreading the (originally) okay holiday selection thinner. If they're doing this to space out releases last minute and cover up unpreparedness and not to properly finish the game, well, there's one more reason to hate modern Nintendo. Forcing me to wait for something that's done is not something to praise.

If they actually need more time to make it great, then by all means I'm okay with that. I just hope it becomes clear that this is the reason.

superyoshi128October 02, 2013

Quote from: MetalMario2

Ian Sane, whenever I catch myself feeling too happy or optimistic, I just read one of your posts, and then I go into my bedroom and cut myself.

Seriously,  get a grip. Its a video game, not life or death.

azekeOctober 02, 2013

Quote from: the

but but but what about wii party

what about WII FIT!?

I wish i had as much fun in F Zero GX as i had with my friends in Wii Party...

BranDonk KongOctober 02, 2013

The real reason why it isn't that bad - no one is going to buy it anyway.

broodwarsOctober 02, 2013

Well, I'll agree with Ian on this much: if Nintendo's history with spacing out titles on failing consoles is any indication, this delay is probably a good sign that 2014 is going to suck for Wii U-only owners, with huge software droughts as the next-generation consoles suck up the 3rd party titles.  Thankfully, as a multiplatform owner, I won't have that problem.  :cool; And the same to you, sir!

I'll never understand what about this game, this 2D DKC title, takes 3-4 years and the talents of Nintendo's best studio to produce, but hopefully the wait is worth it.  :-\

smallsharkbigbiteOctober 03, 2013

This is the game I was looking most forward to this year.  I did pick up Pikmin 3 and NSLU, but I'm probably done picking up further retail games this year. 


The good thing for me if there's a good thing, is that my wallet will be happy.  There have already been some very big price drops on existing Wii U software to try and spur interest in the Wii U.  When/if I pick up Mario 3D world/Zelda I expect it to be at a reduced rate. 

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterOctober 03, 2013

Exclusive controllable Sonic comes out among all those games. I want DK more than any of them and I'm kind of happy for the two month delay.

Not to mention a Link between worlds and Pokemon, there will be too much for me to play.

MetalMario2October 03, 2013

Quote from: superyoshi128

Quote from: MetalMario2

Ian Sane, whenever I catch myself feeling too happy or optimistic, I just read one of your posts, and then I go into my bedroom and cut myself.

Seriously,  get a grip. Its a video game, not life or death.

Uh...yeah, that was kind of my point. I just want to enjoy Nintendo and their games. I don't come to a site like NWR to be told by a bunch of eternal pessimists that the Wii U is the biggest failure since New Coke.

OblivionOctober 03, 2013

Guess what, buddy? People have different opinions and viewpoints than you. What a surprise! :o

BlackNMild2k1October 03, 2013

Quote from: MetalMario2

Quote from: superyoshi128

Quote from: MetalMario2

Ian Sane, whenever I catch myself feeling too happy or optimistic, I just read one of your posts, and then I go into my bedroom and cut myself.

Seriously,  get a grip. Its a video game, not life or death.

Uh...yeah, that was kind of my point. I just want to enjoy Nintendo and their games. I don't come to a site like NWR to be told by a bunch of eternal pessimists that the Wii U is the biggest failure since New Coke.

Back when this place was called PGC, it was subtitled "A place where gamers go to bitch about everything"
some things never change. ;)

MetalMario2October 03, 2013

Quote from: Oblivion

Guess what, buddy? People have different opinions and viewpoints than you. What a surprise! :Q

Guess what, buddy? I hate certain things too, but I'm not up in everyone's face all the time about it. What a surprise! :Q

AnGerOctober 03, 2013

If this would make the lineup for this fiscal year less platformer–heavy, it'd be positive. But, aside from Wind Waker HD, the only exclusive "core games" coming out until the arrival of (shot in the dark) Mario Kart 8 will be platformers, both 2D and 3D.

Mop it upOctober 05, 2013

I agree it isn't terrible, at least for the general public, but I think this holiday could be more important than Nintendo realise. I guess we'll see how things play out, but I think it would be better to have as many games out as possible to compete with the force of the PS4. And there's that other system, but it probably won't be much threat.

However, this is assuming that the delay is simply for scheduling purposes. If the game really does need more time as Nintendo stated, then they've got bigger problems...

OblivionOctober 05, 2013

Quote from: MetalMario2

Quote from: Oblivion

Guess what, buddy? People have different opinions and viewpoints than you. What a surprise! :Q

Guess what, buddy? I hate certain things too, but I'm not up in everyone's face all the time about it. What a surprise! :Q

I never realized voicing one's opinion on a discussion forum was being in everyone's face!

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterOctober 05, 2013

Quote from: Oblivion

Quote from: MetalMario2

Quote from: Oblivion

Guess what, buddy? People have different opinions and viewpoints than you. What a surprise! :Q

Guess what, buddy? I hate certain things too, but I'm not up in everyone's face all the time about it. What a surprise! :Q

I never realized voicing one's opinion on a discussion forum was being in everyone's face!

http://e86m2qlsu0gg9ml9.zippykid.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/internet-fight.gif

Okay, this spiraled ridiculously out of control. MetalMario, I know it was a rhetorical point, but still, way out of line.

Secondly, MetalMario and Oblivion need to stop acting like children feeling the need to one-up each other. It's incredibly immature, and as was shown here, disrupts the forums.

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