Donkey Kong 3D; What I’d Hope to See
Yes I know the game isn’t likely to exist at the moment and that GameStop have mentioned that them having the box art/display up was a mistake on their part, but if there is a Donkey Kong Country 3DS game being revealed at E3, this is what I’d hope would be in it.
1. Kremlings and K Rool as villains
As decent as the tikis were as villains, they’re just nothing compared to good old King K Rool and the Kremlings. Not one spot of personality to the tikis, nor much in the way of interesting character design.
Hence in the inevitable 3DS game, Retro Studios should just accept the tikis weren’t that well received and move on. Bring back the Kremlings, stop trying to introduce characters based purely on ‘gameplay’ and just have it so people’s favourite Donkey Kong Country enemies are back.
This bunch are better than the tikis any day of the week
Not that they should be the only returning bad guys, I think those Zingers (bees/wasps) would be a good choice to bring back as well. Especially as that with the exception of Jungle Beat, they had a perfect attendance record before Donkey Kong Country Returns came out. Besides, killer wasps make spiky tikis look average in comparison, don’t you think?
Everything’s definitely worse with bees. Well, if you’re a Kong.
2. Not a port/Donkey Kong Land version of Donkey Kong Country Returns
Not that anything was wrong with either the Donkey Kong Land series or Donkey Kong Country Returns, it’s just I don’t want another Donkey Kong game with the exact same themes, level concepts, enemies and characters. Because as we all know, the chances are that if they just made a Donkey Kong Land Returns, we’d end up with more freaking tikis instead of Kremlings and the same massive TWO animal buddies Returns has for a second game running.
Not what we want.
3. More playable Kongs (perhaps four player multiplayer)
True, Donkey Kong Country Returns worked well enough with just two characters, but with Rare gone and modern Nintendo seemingly unlikely to make a Donkey Kong game where Donkey Kong himself isn’t playable, this seems like the only plausible way to get Dixie Kong in another game.
Dixie Kong would be a neat third playable character.
As well as literally the only method possible of ever seeing Kiddy Kong again.
Besides, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Kirby’s Return to Dreamland and Rayman Origins is proof a four player platformer can work well, so why not make Donkey Kong 3D another successful example?
4. A proper lost world with true final boss
True, the K levels and Golden Temple in Donkey Kong Country Returns were arguably that game’s equivalent to a Lost World, but it wasn’t quite the same on so many levels.
This is what a lost world should be like, not just random temples.
For one thing, the levels all had the same general theme except for the final one, ruins. That’s one of the biggest advantages of the Lost Worlds in Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3, they introduced new gimmicks and new level themes, and instead of just making them hard for the sake of being hard, utilised what you learnt in the earlier levels. Was Animal Antics a great level? Maybe not, but it definitely worked as a final exam for your skills at controlling the Animal Buddies.
It may not be everyone’s favourite level, but it certainly acted as a good test of player skills.
Meanwhile, some ideas (such as Rocket Rush) didn’t work too well, but at least they tried to be original even at the eleventh hour. They added a major gimmick/control scheme for the very final level in the game and should be commended for that.
Kind of harsh of Retro to bring that back and make a whole world part dedicated to it!
So that’s one thing a proper lost world would do, make sure the secret levels have actual varied themes and gimmicks to them rather than just being 8 overly hard temple levels and one mind screw one.
The other thing the lost worlds did was introduce some fantastic true final bosses. Like the epic battle with Kaptain K Rool in Crocodile Core in the second game:
Got to love how the island sinks into the ocean Atlantis style!
Or the final fight with Baron K Roolenstein in his submarine in Donkey Kong Country 3:
Hooray for the surprise Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea reference!
It’s a real shame Returns didn’t continue this trend to be honest, I’d have loved to see some final fight where it turns out K Rool was the real bad guy and was controlling the tiki tak tribe with Tiki Tong as his puppet, KAOS style. Or hell, just Tiki Tong coming back in a new (and real) form and taking his anger out on the Kongs in some grand finale!
It’d definitely beat just finding a mirror like in the Golden Temple. So here’s hoping Donkey Kong 3D has a proper lost world with proper secret final boss.
5. More animal buddies
So we got who exactly? Rambi, and Squawks as an item you can buy. That’s kind of disappointing in retrospect.
So you’re now just an item? Well that sucks.
Really, if they don’t at least add Enguarde as an animal buddy for underwater levels I’ll be kind of disappointed in this game. But why not go a bit further? Have it so there’s about four returning animal buddies and maybe one or two new ones as well? Besides, anything’s more interesting than rocket barrels.
6. Underwater and snow themed levels
Hopefully the game will have a different set of world themes/level themes to Returns, and these would be two types of level I’d hope would be in the game. You see, back in the original SNES trilogy, underwater levels and snow/ice levels looked fantastic. Yes people found them a bit annoying sometimes, but they really showed off how amazing the graphics looked:
You just have to love how the blizzard moves from the background to the foreground, right?
Unfortunately, Returns didn’t have either of these types of levels, and what a disappointment that was. When you consider how nice the ice areas in Metroid Prime looked, it was such a let down that Retro never thought to add an ice world to Returns as well.
The water levels looked really nice as well, with beautiful calming music. Remember aquatic ambience?
You could almost go to sleep hearing this theme, it was so relaxing.
Again, Donkey Kong Country Returns really let itself down a bit by not letting DK and Diddy swim and explore underwater levels. Can you imagine how stunning they would have looked on the Wii?
That’s only how they looked in the SNES days, and underwater levels still looked great then.
That’s why I want Donkey Kong 3D to have both these level archtypes. As an added benefit, seeing as it’s a 3DS game, the 3D effect would look amazing for both of them. Can you imagine the blizzard effect from Snow Barrel Blast actually viewed in 3D, and having it appear to slowly move towards the front of the screen as you progress through the level?
7. Some stuff from the later games
Because so many fantastic ideas and level archtypes were introduced in the later two games of the Donkey Kong Country series, as well as more animal buddies and Kong characters. If it’s a direct sequel, maybe Retro can make it a spiritual successor to Donkey Kong Country 2 this time around and take most of its music and ideas from this game. Then make the Wii U sequel to that like Donkey Kong Country 3.
We all know how great it’d be if Stickerbrush Symphony got a remix, right?
But it’s not the only thing I’d love to see. Imagine skull kart/rollercoaster levels on the 3DS with a remixed version of Disco Train playing in the background! You could make that song sound even better with the music in MP3 format with proper voice samples and such. Or castle levels like Castle Crush and Toxic Tower. Those would work really well in 3D, especially the kind of interesting background used:
See that 3D effect with the beams and acid seen through the windows? I’d love to see that in full 3D.
It just seems like there are so many things from Donkey Kong Country 2 that’d work really well on the 3DS. A Haunted Hall style level would be pretty neat to play with the 3D enabled and top notch orchestrated music.
Like those, presumably.
Others that’d work well with the 3DS features would be the creepy saw mills in Donkey Kong Country 3, and the ice caves in both the first two games.
Shiny and half transparent ice is win!
There’s again no words to describe how nice it’d be to see an ice level in real stereoscopic 3D with current gen graphics. Here’s hoping many of the elements, music and level archtypes from the later two Donkey Kong Country games end up in the 3DS one, presuming it’s ever made.
Just have those things mentioned, and Donkey Kong 3D would be a bonafide classic. People go on about how nice stuff like Rayman Origins looks, but come on, Donkey Kong Country on 3DS would blow it away in every way possible.
Here’s hoping for all the above in Donkey Kong 3D.