3DS

Monster Games Developing Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

by Tyler Ohlew - March 7, 2013, 3:31 pm PST
Total comments: 24 Source: http://www.classification.gov.au/Pages/View.aspx?s..., Australian Classification

Perhaps not the most EXCITE-ing news.

Monster Games, the studio behind ExciteBots and ExciteTruck, is developing Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D for the 3DS.

This news comes from the Australian Classification Board, which labels Monster Games as the games 'author'.

Monster Games last project was Pilotwings Resort for the 2011 launch of the 3DS in North America. Previously the studio had worked with Nintendo on Excitebots: Trick Racing, Excite Truck, and Excitebike: World Rally.

Donkey Kong Country Returns was originally developed by Retro Studios, previously known for their work on the Metroid Prime trilogy. It was released in November of 2010, and was a critical and commercial success.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is scheduled for release this Summer.

Talkback

Pixelated PixiesMarch 07, 2013

As I said previously, it was never likely to be Retro who would be doing this port. It's beneath them (MP: Trilogy wasn't beneath them because it's the greatest collection of games ever assembled on a single disc).

To be perfectly honest, it's beneath Monster Games too. Those guys are great.

Ian SaneMarch 08, 2013

At least it ain't Retro but then it's kind of a waste of Monster Games.

I think Nintendo really fails to see the value of their devs outside of Japan.  You have teams that are very talented and you assign them glorified port work?  I remember back when Silicon Knights did the MSG remake and I was shocked that Nintendo felt that was a worthwhile use of their time.  And then there's Retro doing Mario Kart tracks.  Also neither them or Monster have ever released a Nintendo game that wasn't some pre-existing Nintendo franchise.

The whole value of a developer is their unique talent.  They bring unique ideas and styles to their games.  This provides variety in a publisher's lineup.  There is no reason for Nintendo to bother with these devs if they don't make use of what unique talents they bring.  If they're just going to port games or make sequels to franchises that were blueprinted out decades ago they might as well just be new hires for EAD.  If Nintendo just wants extra programmers and artists then just hire some and don't bother bringing some other company into the fold to just turn them into replaceable Nintendo dev bots.

Spak-SpangMarch 08, 2013

I would argue it is important to get new developers to work on existing franchises to help them get infused with new ideas, new takes on the game and such.


For instance, I am sure nobody would say Retro working on Zelda would be beneath them...or a glorified port work.  And Retro working on Metroid is one of the main reasons that franchise became healthy again.  To see what Retro could could do to make another franchise healthy again would be great.


Star Fox
and
F-Zero


are logical franchises for a Western developer to take over and run with for awhile.  I am sure there are even more, and new franchises are risky.  You could have a game as great as Donkey Kong Country Returns without the dreaded Waggle controls, but with different characters and it may not sell at all.  But Donkey Kong sells it. 


Franchises are important for that reason...and yes risks for new franchises have equal rewards when successful, but many are just never successful.

AdrockMarch 08, 2013

I don't think this is a waste of Monster Games. They're an independent studio (according to Wikipedia) and this is an relatively easy paycheck for them. The game will perform well which in turn, reflects well on them. Sure, Nintendo could have commissioned an original game, but Monster Games is probably happy to be working on a project. They have a pretty good working relationship with Nintendo which beats, you know, closing up shop...

Quote from: Ian

I remember back when Silicon Knights did the MSG remake and I was shocked that Nintendo felt that was a worthwhile use of their time.

Really? A remake was exactly the kind of project Silicon Knights was suited for. Their original projects take forever and a remake means much of the work is already done for them yet they STILL needed to delay The Twin Snakes. Has Silicon Knights ever met a deadline? I'm a fan of their work on Eternal Darkness, but good God Lemon, Silicon Knights couldn't even do a remake without their hands held.

Leo13March 08, 2013

I'm surprised at that. I had heard that Nintendo was going to be hiring a bunch of new people since the Wii U takes so much more man power to create games for. I just figured that their new hires would be doing this port.


Come to think of it maybe that's exactly what they're doing. Maybe they hired a bunch of new people at Monster Games and the vets there are supervising the work of the new guys as they port the game to get experience working with the Nintendo systems.

MagicCow64March 08, 2013

I'm actually somewhat distressed at this news. In my view ExciteBots was one of the best games of this generation, and my favorite racing game of all time. Bots bombed, but this studio is nonetheless capable of great work. I can only hope that porting an existing game between Nintendo platforms isn't that intensive, and that ExciteRoboTrucks is an E3 announcement.

Spak-SpangMarch 08, 2013

ExciteBots was a great game, but the art style and actual style of the game was a little weird and hard to get behind. 


This is an example of how basically a newish IP can be a great game and not find an audience.  The audience looked at the visual and style and said no thanks.  Even when the game got great reviews gamers didn't want that type of game.


However, if you had a very similar game with a recognizable franchise it would have been better.  Or if instead of animal robots they were mechs that transformed around people, it could have been received better.  I think people were really turned off over the style. 

Kytim89March 08, 2013

I have said numerous times that Monster Games would make a good F-Zero game for the Wii U with Nintendo's tutelage, of course.

Pixelated PixiesMarch 08, 2013

Quote from: Spak-Spang

ExciteBots was a great game, but the art style and actual style of the game was a little weird and hard to get behind. 


This is an example of how basically a newish IP can be a great game and not find an audience.  The audience looked at the visual and style and said no thanks.  Even when the game got great reviews gamers didn't want that type of game.


However, if you had a very similar game with a recognizable franchise it would have been better.  Or if instead of animal robots they were mechs that transformed around people, it could have been received better.  I think people were really turned off over the style.


I don't think that the art style was why that game didn't sell. Neither was it because it was a 'newish' IP (isn't it part of the Excite series? Anyone who knows what Excitebike and Excitetruck were would know that this was a sequel). The reason it didn't sell is because Nintendo announced the game two months before it hit shelves, gave it no marketing and didn't even bother to release it in Europe. That game had no chance because Nintendo didn't give it a chance.

pokepal148March 08, 2013

do you honestly think the entire group is working on a port

ShayminMarch 08, 2013

They're small enough that it's a distinct possibility.

TJ SpykeMarch 08, 2013

Quote from: Pixelated

(isn't it part of the Excite series? Anyone who knows what Excitebike and Excitetruck were would know that this was a sequel).

Actually, Nintendo said they were NOT sequels to the Excitebike series. They said it was a "spiritual sequel" (like how BioShock is a spiritual sequel to System Shock, which means they are not officially related to each other). So anybody who thinks Excite Truck and Excitebots are part of the Excitebike series would actually be wrong.

ShyGuyMarch 08, 2013

Quote from: Adrock

I don't think this is a waste of Monster Games. They're an independent studio (according to Wikipedia) and this is an relatively easy paycheck for them. The game will perform well which in turn, reflects well on them. Sure, Nintendo could have commissioned an original game, but Monster Games is probably happy to be working on a project. They have a pretty good working relationship with Nintendo which beats, you know, closing up shop...

Quote from: Ian

I remember back when Silicon Knights did the MSG remake and I was shocked that Nintendo felt that was a worthwhile use of their time.

Really? A remake was exactly the kind of project Silicon Knights was suited for. Their original projects take forever and a remake means much of the work is already done for them yet they STILL needed to delay The Twin Snakes. Has Silicon Knights ever met a deadline? I'm a fan of their work on Eternal Darkness, but good God Lemon, Silicon Knights couldn't even do a remake without their hands held.

Adrock is secretly Jack Donaghy

Ian SaneMarch 08, 2013

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: Pixelated

(isn't it part of the Excite series? Anyone who knows what Excitebike and Excitetruck were would know that this was a sequel).

Actually, Nintendo said they were NOT sequels to the Excitebike series. They said it was a "spiritual sequel" (like how BioShock is a spiritual sequel to System Shock, which means they are not officially related to each other). So anybody who thinks Excite Truck and Excitebots are part of the Excitebike series would actually be wrong.

That's idiotic.  The only reason BioShock is a spiritual sequel to System Shock is because they don't have the rights to System Shock.  But Nintendo owns the rights to Excitebike so why wouldn't it be of the same franchise?  Maybe they were afraid Excitetruck would suck and damage the Excitebike brand.  Legally that might be a loophole to make "Excitecars" or something like that because if Nintendo doesn't consider all one franchise could they really argue that "Excite____" is their trademark?

Regardless of that bizarre technicality, the consumer would naturally make the association so we couldn't write Excitebots off as failing due to an unfamiliar IP.

OblivionMarch 08, 2013

TJ, considering that Wikipedia has them listed together as a series, you are wrong.

TJ SpykeMarch 08, 2013

Quote from: Oblivion

TJ, considering that Wikipedia has them listed together as a series, you are wrong.

Yes, cause some random editor at Wikipedia knows more than the people who OWN THE SERIES. If Wikipedia decides that Metroid and Killzone are the same series, will you say they are part of the same series? I have major problems with the admins there (who like having their power a little too much), and have learned that the people there are stubborn and dont like admitting when they are wrong. But if Nintendo says they are not the same series, I think they are more right than some random Wikipedia editors.

Mop it upMarch 08, 2013

Monster Games seems like an odd choice for this one, I figured they'd have Grezzo or something working on it. I don't know how big they are so maybe they have more than one team, but this likely doesn't bode well. I was worried for them after ExciteBots effectively bombed, though part of that is on Nintendo's lack of hype-building.

Quote from: Pixelated

The reason it didn't sell is because Nintendo announced the game two months before it hit shelves, gave it no marketing and didn't even bother to release it in Europe.

I think there's even more to it than this. Since it was packaged with a wheel, it was probably seen as being too similar to Mario Kart Wii by the general consumer, and too "casual" by the "hardcore" gamer. It was also wasn't released in Japan either, unless you count over two years later as a special Club Nintendo reward.

Pixelated PixiesMarch 08, 2013

Whether or not it's acknowledged by Nintendo as an official sequel is besides the point. Excite Truck (and I would argue that by extension Excitbots) has gameplay elements which are heavily inspired by Excitebike; ramps, boosts, cool downs, mid-air adjustments etc. Crucially, it also shares the 'Excite' name. Hell, the logo even looks like Excitebike 64's. Just look at that oversized 'X'!



http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/85/Excitebike64cover.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/Excite_Truck_Coverart.png

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7c/ExciteBotBox.jpg

It seems quite clear to me that the 'Excite' entrys made by Monster Games were designed as sequels, be it spiritual or otherwise. Nintendo probably has it's reasons for not wanting to acknowledge them as 'official sequels', but come on, they're clearly part of the same series of games. As I said before, the recognition of the brand was not Excitebot's problem. The problems facing that game were that it was weird, and that Nintendo left it to die.

Eien1239March 10, 2013

I hope Retro next as good as people are hyping them to be, cause the level of disc sucking for Retro is ridiculous. "Beneath them" come on now...... don't speak for them.

OblivionMarch 10, 2013

They're a developer that has never made a bad game. Why in the flying fuck should they port one of their old games to a handheld when they should be making a new game for the Wii U? It is beneath them.

azekeMarch 11, 2013

Quote from: Oblivion

They're a developer that has never made a bad game.

That's easy when you only release four games within the decade.

Some of the EAD studios had much more releases with even more illustrious critical response and they were formed three years after Retro.

I say we should suck EAD's dicks.

Pixelated PixiesMarch 11, 2013

Self-censorship is a virtue.

azekeMarch 11, 2013

Quote from: Pixelated

Self-censorship is a virtue.

Sloth is a sin though.

Pixelated PixiesMarch 11, 2013

Quote from: azeke

Quote from: Pixelated

Self-censorship is a virtue.

Sloth is a sin though.


I'm too lazy to even respond to that.

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement