There were several games announced at E3 2010 that induced a strong bout of nostalgia, but the best one by far was Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Playing as Donkey and Diddy Kong again (no Dixie, which disappointed me) in a classic platformer was definitely the most refreshing thing I got to do.  Playing the game using the Wii Remote and nunchuk definitely worked well.  Waggle was also used a bit, but in a way that made sense, like when Donkey or Diddy Kong needed to pound the ground.  Button combinations were used to allow more moves, which allowed for more varied gameplay.

While the style is still 2D, there are 2 separate staggered areas to move through, giving the game a 3D aspect.  There were also various bonus levels, like in the original games.  Collecting bananas and the K-O-N-G letters are still some of the main objectives, and are just as challenging as before.  In fact, this version might actually be more challenging than the previous releases.  During train levels, timing had to be perfect to pass, but since either Kong can collect bananas and bring the other to life again, it’s easy enough to continue on, especially with Diddy’s hovering capabilities.

The foreground of the levels are very similar to the originals, but since this Donkey Kong is being developed by Retro, the backgrounds are all very detailed and look almost like a painting.  Of course the Wii can obviously handle more than the SNES could, so there are small details added, like dandelions that can actually be blown over.  One of the most entertaining things I saw was Donkey Kong’s huge, goofy body bending over to blow over a dandelion.

It’s hard to describe just how much fun this game was to play, so check out the E310 trailer below to see for yourselves!

Does that bring you back or what!? ^^

There were three levels available for us to play, the first being a jungle level, the second was a pirate ship level, and the last one, which we never actually beat, was a train level.  I had only met the guy I played with right before we started playing, so we learned together, and the game provided a surprisingly good way to socialize.

Overall, even though this was an early build of the game, I honestly could find nothing to dislike about it.  It’s as close to the original as a remake comes, but with some great improvements, like the detailed artwork and gameplay that makes you feel as if your playing two-levels-in-one.

Donkey Kong Country Returns is slated to drop from your nearest banana tree later this year.