Turns out Retro still had plenty more bananas up their sleeves.
Back in 2010, Retro Studios proved it could take the feel of Rare’s Donkey Kong Country games and put it into a polished, modern gaming experience with Donkey Kong Country Returns. Now in 2014, Retro has delivered Nintendo’s tie-wearing ape into HD, creating one of the best 2D platformers seen since Super Mario World.
Tropical Freeze takes advantage of the Wii U’s power, creating one of the best-looking and best-sounding experiences on the platform. The textures are detailed and interesting while creating a bright and fun atmosphere. The soundtrack is dynamic and places the player into the game’s environment. Nintendo scored major points by bringing back Dave Wise, composer of the original SNES trilogy to create some truly beautiful musical pieces.
The difficulty of Tropical Freeze is a welcome breath of fresh air. Tropical Freeze’s use of forward momentum requires the player to become a master at quickly reacting to the game. The variety of gameplay experiences; underwater levels, barrels, mine carts and rocket barrels keeps the game interesting and helps to build upon the game’s challenge. Returning from the days of the SNES is a playable Dixie Kong, and for the first time players can take command of Cranky Kong and make use of his boncy pogo cane to traverse difficult terrain.
A major aspect of what makes Tropical Freeze such an outstanding game is challenging and multi-layered boss battles. Tropical Freeze avoids Nintendo’s typical three bops on the head boss fight formula by making the boss levels some of the most challenging levels in the game.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is not only the best 2D platformer on the console, it offers some of the best presentation seen yet on the Wii U hardware. There's lots to do and discover, tons of hidden bonuses and the challenge will keep you busy for some time. The quality of this game will cause it to stand out over time, which is why we see Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze as one of the top ten games of 2014.