Review by Sirius

Reviewed: 03/31/14

And Retro said: Let the noobs complain; let the veterans jubilate.

Are you good enough?

Because, trust me, if you have controller-throwing-fits-of-rage tendencies, this game is not for you. I’ve read reviews, reviews stating that this was a trial-and-error kind of platformer. But to those I say: wut?

I dislike cheap platform games that require trial and error to beat. I wanna be the Guy? Not for me. So when I read that Tropical Freeze might be like that, I was disappointed. But then I played the game. And I beat the game. And I realized some reviewers were just not made for this.

The Donkey Kong Country trilogy for SNES is heralded as one of the best platformer series of all-time. And it is. Its games repeatedly make Top whatever lists of the best games on the SNES. One of its most acclaimed qualities? Its music.

When DKC Returns came out a few years back, it blew some minds, mine included. I thought the Rare classics could never be topped, but Returns was just as fantastic, with phenomenal level design, a good challenge and beautiful visuals. The music, however, didn't leave such an impact.

But then, finally, David Wise was resurrected from music heaven to bless us once more.

With Tropical Freeze, legendary composer David Wise is brought back. And with his new soundtrack came a revelation: once again, this would go down in history as one of gaming’s most sublime soundtracks. It is a monumental achievement. The sheer amount of tracks in the game is exceptional. Many of them are remixes from the originals, but there are also just as many new compositions that are just as astonishingly riveting and beautiful.

Once again, the level design is fantastic. The game always throws a new curveball at you, a new gimmick (the good kind) that ensures the game remains fresh and interesting throughout. The underwater levels are back, too. It might take some time at first to get used to the controls, but once you get the hang of it they are perfect.

Dixie and Cranky team up alongside Diddy to help Donkey crush some penguin heads, but let’s face it, Dixie has an edge. There must be some feminists at Retro Studios because Dixie’s the one, guys. Using her floating skills to gain some height or distance via her ponytail is a lifesaver in many circumstances. Diddy can hover across distances but he gains no height. Cranky, on the other hand, is unique in the sense that his cane is used to bounce across spikes or to reach otherwise unattainable spots.

The game is brutal. It is by far the hardest DKC game yet. What makes it so refreshing is that in an era of relatively easy games, especially coming from Nintendo, TF will have you tear your hair out. That is, unless you buy items. Because, yes, the game lets you buy items that will ease the difficulty, should you be this close to smashing your TV screen. But contrary to what others might have said, the game is fair. When you die, you deserved it. And die you will. Again. And again. And you’ll be fighting that same boss for 10 minutes straight before losing your final heart. But you will try again. And again. Until that final blow in your favor will bestow upon you that incredible feeling of accomplishment. And with secret levels to unlock and the Time Attack mode back, you'll be able to spend countless hours bettering yourself.

This game is not for your kid. It’s not for you either, if you’re a casual gamer. This game is for hardcore veterans. Gamers that grew in the 8-bit era. Or at least gamers that are willing to plough through and crave this level of difficulty. Good difficulty. Actual gaming greatness. If you're up to it, I urge you to buy this game. Quality is what you'll get.

All that, while losing yourself to godly music.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Product Release: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (US, 02/21/14)

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