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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Funky Value Propositions


dataDave
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I'm only a couple of levels in but things I'm unsure about/can't remember from Returns:

 

- how do I switch between Donkey and Diddy? I thought it was the L+R high five move but that doesn't seem to do anything.

- what does the L+R high five do?

- is there a run button? When I roll and keep holding that button down I don't seem to be running much faster but I can't be sure.

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  • You don't switch between the characters. Retro didn't carry that over from the SNES days.
  • The high five move differs depending on the character. With Dixie the enemies turn to yellow hearts. They refill your health or give you extra temporary health.
  • There's no run button. You just roll for extra speed.
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I played some co-op with my nephew earlier on Funky Mode. It's weird. 1P gets to pick DK or Funky and gets the extra hearts. 2P can only pick Diddy, Dixie or Cranky and gets the normal hearts. He found it a lot easier, due to not worrying about air when underwater or the beds of spikes. I think it'd make most of the game a pushover.

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2 hours ago, ryodi said:

Digital version is £39.99 at Smyths if anyone is going digital only but you don't get Gold Coins from My Nintendo with download codes I don't think.

 

https://www.smythstoys.com/uk/en-gb/video-games-and-tablets/digital-downloads/nintendo-digital-downloads/donkey-kong-country-tropical-freeze-digital-download-/p/602802

 

Pretty sure you do. 

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9 hours ago, Super Craig said:

I played some co-op with my nephew earlier on Funky Mode. It's weird. 1P gets to pick DK or Funky and gets the extra hearts. 2P can only pick Diddy, Dixie or Cranky and gets the normal hearts. He found it a lot easier, due to not worrying about air when underwater or the beds of spikes. I think it'd make most of the game a pushover.

 

My five year old is playing as funky. He's just got to world 2 (the windmill one) and he's still died plenty of times, mostly due to falling. Funky's float doesn't last indefinitely. 

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I'm up to 4-5 now and this has been perfectly enjoyable. I quite like the heaviness of the controls most of the time - feels very different to most platformers and the forced commitment to rolls and jumps requires a fair amount of concentration and consideration while you play - but there are a few things that bug me, like the way you pick up objects (you should be able to pick them up when you run into them with the grab button held down imo) and the time it takes to execute a roll from a standstill.

 

Visually it's, you know, nice and colourful. But in a very bland way somehow. 2D platformers with 3D assets always look kind of hideous to me, but even leaving that to one side, there's nothing very stylish going on here. The first moment I was even slightly impressed was while swimming underwater in the dark in ... 4-3, I think? There was real atmosphere in Rare's DKCs that just doesn't exist here - it feels more in the vein of New Super Mario Bros than Donkey Kong Country aesthetically.

 

Lots of people on Resetera were claiming this has one of the best soundtracks ever composed, and I can only surmise they're either really young, or just don't play many games, because there's nothing special about the music here at all. I believe Retro got Wise back to write the tracks, and they're passable but mostly forgettable. The only tracks that have stood out to me are the title music, 3-1 and the (thoroughly inferior) mix of Aquatic Ambience, which only stood out because it was Aquatic Ambience. Most of the instruments sound synthesised too - quite jarring in 2018 - but I could be wrong about that.

 

Neither the bonus stages nor the boss battles are particularly enjoyable or well designed. Rare's bonus stages weren't very exciting either - this is one aspect Retro could have left out.

 

The inventory system is probably a good idea if it means providing optional support without nerfing the challenge of the platforming. All the same, I bought a few items, forgot all about them, and am sitting at 4-3 without every having used them, and with 38 lives. It suffers from the same pointlessness-of-lives problem that afflicts Mario platformers and Retro should probably just get rid of the lives/balloons entirely if they make another one.

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Well I personally love this game. Its just the right side of rock hard and when you get that rhythm going like on 3-2 with all the everything going on around you as well... Well it's just brilliant!  Then you get to the end of the level and you got all the puzzle pieces and kong letter. Get in!!! 

 

The new funky mode may be no use to us but its helped my 5 year old work slowly through world 1 and complete the boss. Which he would have no chance if he'd played it in normal mode

 

I also like to play with motion control on with separate joycons and get into the default sat forward gaming position. This is not a game to be played leisurely. 

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1 hour ago, ann coulter said:

I'm up to 4-5 now and this has been perfectly enjoyable. I quite like the heaviness of the controls most of the time - feels very different to most platformers and the forced commitment to rolls and jumps requires a fair amount of concentration and consideration while you play - but there are a few things that bug me, like the way you pick up objects (you should be able to pick them up when you run into them with the grab button held down imo) and the time it takes to execute a roll from a standstill.

 

Visually it's, you know, nice and colourful. But in a very bland way somehow. 2D platformers with 3D assets always look kind of hideous to me, but even leaving that to one side, there's nothing very stylish going on here. The first moment I was even slightly impressed was while swimming underwater in the dark in ... 4-3, I think? There was real atmosphere in Rare's DKCs that just doesn't exist here - it feels more in the vein of New Super Mario Bros than Donkey Kong Country aesthetically.

 

Lots of people on Resetera were claiming this has one of the best soundtracks ever composed, and I can only surmise they're either really young, or just don't play many games, because there's nothing special about the music here at all. I believe Retro got Wise back to write the tracks, and they're passable but mostly forgettable. The only tracks that have stood out to me are the title music, 3-1 and the (thoroughly inferior) mix of Aquatic Ambience, which only stood out because it was Aquatic Ambience. Most of the instruments sound synthesised too - quite jarring in 2018 - but I could be wrong about that.

 

Neither the bonus stages nor the boss battles are particularly enjoyable or well designed. Rare's bonus stages weren't very exciting either - this is one aspect Retro could have left out.

 

The inventory system is probably a good idea if it means providing optional support without nerfing the challenge of the platforming. All the same, I bought a few items, forgot all about them, and am sitting at 4-3 without every having used them, and with 38 lives. It suffers from the same pointlessness-of-lives problem that afflicts Mario platformers and Retro should probably just get rid of the lives/balloons entirely if they make another one.

 

The music to the game is much better if you turn down the sounds effects volume slightly. Brings it the fore much more. Also how can you not bop along to this

 

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5 minutes ago, pulsemyne said:

 

The music to the game is much better if you turn down the sounds effects volume slightly. Brings it the fore much more. Also how can you not bop along to this

 

 

Yeah, it's nice, perfectly boppable for the few minutes you spend in the level.

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I'm with Ann on this. Perfectly fine 2D platformer that looks nice yet not particularly stylish, sounds nice without being particularly catchy, and plays fine without being especially exciting. 7/10, will complete but I'm definitely not seeing what some of the reviews have in it.

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World 6 was probably my favourite - I'm guessing that's the final one? It stepped up the difficulty moderately although I'm still at the final boss with balloons to spare and hundreds of coins. Platformers such as Slime-san have raised the bar so high for challenge/difficulty in this genre that I'm not sure anyone has any business calling Tropical Freeze difficult compared to its recent peers. It took me literally hundreds of attempts to get through some of Slime-san's levels, whereas most of these took maybe half a dozen attempts each. I haven't seen a game over screen either, assuming there is one when you run out of lives. Bit disappointed with that after the big deal made about the challenge, although I expect going back and collecting all the puzzle pieces will provide a decent challenge and maybe give a reason to spend all the coins the game throws at you.

 

Are there any additional levels after the world 6 boss? I'm not sure I can really be bothered with it, after my first attempt. I died on the fifth wave of the same set piece after a poorly timed jump on my part, but the prospect of going through it all again is not very enticing.

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There are a few individual elements I could really have done by without in this. Namely the bonus rounds (why are there only about five variations repeated endlessly) pounding the ground next to those plants and pressing a button to pull up those rings from the ground. All three elements just slow the game down for the sake of something usually trivial. Pulling that ring gave me a banana - yay, I guess? Just keep the flow going, if you're going to going to slow it down at least do so for a worthwhile cause and not a solitary banana.

 

I do really miss the atmosphere from the old games too. There are some moments in this that really come alive (the one where you're jumping from giraffe to giraffe) but I'm really hoping Retro's next project is not another DK game.

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Second week sales numbers have just come out for the UK and Tropical Freeze has had only a minor 32% drop, compared to the WII U version's 59% drop in its second week. The Switch version now accounts for 25% of all sold copies of DKC:TF

 

To be fully clear, according to Nintendo's own numbers the game sold 1,12 million copies on the Wii U. Not 1,7 million. I've seen people arguing here that installed base plays a heavy role with selling games, but frankly that argument is bullshit. Software sells hardware, not the other way around. Period.

 

TF came out on the Wii U at a time when people wanted to play bigger games on the system. Instead we got 2D platformers and mini-game collections in the way we got those on the Wii. Even the big 3D Mario was all of a sudden imitating the stylings of 2D Mario. If anything , in its first year Wii U just had a glut of not very original, unambitious seeming games like NSMBU, Wii Party U, etc. That caused a bit of a backlash at the time with this one bearing the full brunt as shown by the infamous NeoGAF thread about this games reveal.

 

Switch, on the other hand, has had some nice big games last year. Thanks to that, titles like this and Kirby create a bit of variety in what type of game is on offer. Happy to see game shine after all these years.

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Just now, Super Craig said:

You’re over thinking things. People wanted Retro Studios to be working on a new Metroid Prime instead of a new Donkey Kong.


If people think the entire Retro Studios team were working on a port then they're mistaken.

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1 hour ago, Bojangle said:

If people think the entire Retro Studios team were working on a port then they're mistaken.

 

Do you....know something?

 

Don't say yes or no, just express yourself using interpretive dance or something.....

 

SnoopyCommonEasternnewt-size_restricted.

 

 

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They did do some clever reworking as regards the file size and how it comes in at nearly half that of the WiiU version and also sped up the loading. Basically before on the WiiU the files were ordered so that each time a level was loaded it loaded in all the assets of game and the specific world and level. That means that every level had a folder that was large in size. Folder after folder for level after level had assets, textures etc repeated over and over. Now that's all fine when you have a 25 gig disc and indeed it was done to help with disc access time i.e load in a level and all assets and the disc doesn't need to search for stuff as the level progresses. 

 For the switch though the file size for each level is way smaller. The reason for this is that things like textures and assets can be stored in one file and never have to be repeated in the level folders. There's no duplication of assets. It's a big advantage of carts and digital downloads. Also the switch has a lot more memory than the WiiU so such repeated use assets can be shoved off into memory if they need repeated calling. 

 This probably did take a bit of reprogramming of the engine. Still couldn't have taken that long though. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I paid £40 for this and it's brilliant.

 

Yeah it's hard as fuck, and it does sometimes feel like your fingers are solving a Rubik's cube when you're having to grab vines and jump and stuff, but the level design is magnificent, and the sense of control once it clicks is great. I'd prefer not having to search for air underwater, and less emphasis on having to switch between Kong characters, but even that works OK. Going for an initial playthrough with all Kong letters and jigsaws, then gonna 100% hard mode and get all the gold medals on Time Attack.

 

Was hoping this would feature at SGDQ2018 but it appears not.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I decided to pop back to this and it is brutal. There's definitely a rhythm and sense of momentum that you steadily get accustomed to. After playing an hour of Hollow Knight which is pretty snappy, this feels like treacle tart smeared with input lag, and then...it clicks again.

 

I've just lost about twenty lives on 5-3, Fruity Factory, probably the most lives I've ever lost outside of the triple threat boss which almost made me get the nukes out of the shed.

 

Superb game but I'm never going to 100% it, never mind unlock all the K levels - or any of the K levels, most likely. 

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