One of the more, well, polarising announcements from the last Nintendo Direct was the revelation that Donkey Kong Country Returns would be getting a port with 3D visuals for the Nintendo 3DS as Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. Developed by Monster Games, who are largely responsible for ExciteBike and ExciteBots games on the Wii, many wondered what the point of the port might’ve been.
Iwata tonight revealed that the team felt that the way that players weave in and out of the foreground and background of levels seemed like a perfect fit for the three dimensional functionality of the 3DS. Given how difficult the game is – the game has also been rebalanced to appeal to those who might be newer to the Donkey Kong franchise or those who just aren’t that good at platforming games.
But don’t fret – this 3D remake will provide “New” and “Original” mode upon selection of your player file. Original Mode is the same set of rules as the Wii version – sans waggle of course. New Mode, however introduces several gameplay changes and items into the mix to make things more accessible for the rookie player.
First off, Donkey and Diddy Kong will begin each level with one extra heart each, making it harder for them to perish. Three new items will be added into the game too. The first is an infinite DK barrel, which allows Donkey or Diddy to summon their partner without having to find a DK barrel in the wild. The second is a green balloon which allows any player who falls to their death to float back up to solid footing (though it is limited to once per level). The third and final upgrade is a crash guard, which allows Donkey or Diddy Kong to endure up to two hits before perishing on mine carts or any of the other vehicles the game allows you to jump on to.
Just to iterate – these new feature are only available in the “New” mode of the game, and players wanting the same challenge that the Wii version brought can select “Original” mode instead. Neither modes can be switched around during gameplay – your game file will be locked to whichever mode you choose (though you could always start a new game on the other mode in one of the other two player files).
Finally – for those who have already played the Wii version or are simply looking for even more content, the 3DS version of Donkey Kong Country Returns will include a whole new world filled with eight levels that will be unlockable upon completion of the main game. There is no word if this is extra content that was shaved off the final game (ie. created by Retro) or content developed for the 3DS version specifically by Monster Games.
Local co-operative play was also confirmed for the port – though no word yet on whether online functionality will be included (we doubt it) nor whether it will be a multi-cart affair or work simply with download play.
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is releasing both digitally via the Nintendo eShop and at retail in Australia on Saturday, 25th of May.
Are these new additions enough to entice you to re-buy or perhaps even delve into Donkey Kong for the first time? Let us know in the comments or on the forums.