Donkey Kong Country Returns is without a doubt the best platformer I have ever played. And that is saying a lot from someone who LOVED the original Donkey Kong Country to death. Everything about this game was perfect. From the level design, the music, the graphics and the simple two button controls of yesteryear; this game truly made my heart jump with sheer delight from the moment it was unveiled during E3. I have played it already 3 times collecting every nook and cranny out of all the levels and trying to best my overall completion times. There’s something about this game that just evokes that kid in me feeling of me in my boxer shorts with a bag of Doritos by my side and playing into the wee hours of the night beating a game in one sitting. I can’t do shit like that anymore, my age is starting to show, but this game brought me back to age 9 and I could not stop playing it.
The levels in this game were insane to put it in the least sense. Not only were they tough as nails, but they never felt stale or copied like most other platformers. I can honestly say that every level in the game was original in its own right from the mine cart stages to the barrel-blasting stages. But it wasn’t those nor the silhouette stages that caught my attention the most. The stage I am talking about that completely blew my mind has to be stage 7-7 Music Madness.
At first I thought this was just going to be a normal factory style stage like all the others in World 7 (which is also my favorite world in the game by the way), but man was I wrong. The music in the stage was killer, it was like a synth-techno style of beat with loud claps that spread after each tempo. It wasn’t until I took a look around the stage that I noticed something. The stage and the music are actually in sync with each other. So not only did I have to navigate the stage with all sorts of traps and stops in my way, but I had to keep in rhythm with this head-nodding and hypnotic beat. Not only that but I had to hunt down three switches that when hit opened a locking mechanism to the end of the level (and by the way the switch rooms also kept up with the beat). It was the craziest idea I have ever seen for a stage and I loved every second of playing it, it is too good to put into words.
The beat was so infectious that I could not get it out of my head and I immediately had to find and download the entire soundtrack just to hear it again and again everywhere I went. This stage brought out all things I loved about gaming. Fantastic level design, amazing music and some pretty tough obstacles to get across. It was an over-the-top and stellar level that really should be seen to believe and this brought my love for this game to astronomical levels.
On my next gaming moment
- Bunny Hats
- Angry Face Stars
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