I’ve dusted off my Wii U (although it wasn’t as dusty as I thought it would be) and started replaying Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (DKCTF) since while I finished it when it first launched, I barely remembered anything about it but heard a bunch of good stuff about it in the meantime.
And man, was that worth it. The controls are super tight and I like how Puzzle Pieces and KONG Letters encompass exploration and skillful platforming respectively, and how Puzzle Pieces stay collected after you die whereas KONG Letters don’t. So far I’m about to finish World 2 and have gotten all the KONG Letters and most of the puzzle pieces. I’ve never played any of the bonus levels unlocked with all the KONG Letters in a world before and boy are those tough. I do think having no checkpoints help with you getting into that flow, but I’m glad that all the other levels have checkpoints. Also, I’m glad that they don’t have KONG Letters because getting all of those on one playthrough would probably kill me in real life.
While this game has lives, I’ve gotten to 99 not even two worlds in. A lot of the time when you die you actually have more lives than you started with since Bananas are absolutely everywhere. There’s also a whole lot of Banana Coins (I’ve gotten like 400 by now and a life costs like… 3 Banana Coins) that you can spend in a shop. The shop items are a great way to make this pretty tough game more accessible since they grant you temporary invincibility, a one-time recovery after falling down a cliff and more. While I personally don’t plan to use them, I’m glad they exist as options.
I just finished 2-K Bobopolis yesterday and MAN that level felt tight.
Unfortunately, it seems you rarely see this game talked about (though a few game design YT channels have been praising it recently, like Game Maker’s Toolkit which you should absolutely check out). It seems to have suffered the Wii U’s curse and I really hope it gets ported to the Switch.
Since Retro’s current project is not Metroid Prime 4, I wouldn’t mind another DKC because Tropical Freeze is amazing.