Thanks to my sister for the banner art!
Donkey Kong has been one of the most recognizable video game characters since his inception as the titular character in the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong. He was a large cartoony gorilla, something that drew attention to the cabinet. He was an icon, one of the early symbols of the medium. The only problem was that Donkey Kong was such a large and detailed character, at the time it was impossible to make a game where you could play as him. His rival Mario had moved on to greener pastures, but ol' DK was stuck in the past. There was a ten year drought of games featuring the big ape, until 1994 when Donkey Kong's arcade debut was remade for Game Boy and later that year Donkey Kong was given a starring role and his own Country to boot!
British developer Rareware was given the reigns for the arcade golden boy and they managed to produce 3 of the most successful games for the Super Nintendo with the Donkey Kong Country trilogy. The games were praised for their cutting edge graphics and soundtracks; as well as introducing an entire new cast to the Donkey Kong universe. Rare was made the goto team for Donkey Kong games up until the Gamecube era when they were bought by Microsoft. Donkey Kong still appeared in games, and even had a few of his own such as Jungle Beat and King of Swing, but fans clambered for a new true Donkey Kong game.
Retro Studios is a studio based in Texas. Even as a relatively inexperienced team they did what Nintendo themselves had no idea how to do and brought Metroid back, and in 3D. They seemed like miracle workers, nearly single handedly turning Samus Aran into one of gaming biggest icons after years of silence from the series. They seemed like the perfect team to resurrect the 800-pound gorilla in the room for a second time. (I think they did a pretty good job)
I'm TheJayOfSpade and Donkey Kong Country Returns (and its sequel Tropical Freeze) are two of my favorite platformers. I'll be playing through the first game solo and getting 100% (this means collecting everything in all the levels, no time trials). Joining me on commentary are notorious monkey lovers ChorpSaway and FutureFriend.