Return to the Jungle:
Donkey Kong Country was a trilogy originally released for the Super Nintendo, developed by Rareware, and released in 94, 95 and 96, respectively. Its difficult to put their success, together and individually, into perspective this was back when Rareware was the development company to be with, as incapable of fault as Retro Studios is today. That said, Donkey Kong Country 1, 2 and 3 are among the greatest platformers in history, known for their incredible music, their firm-but-fair learning curves and their photorealistic backgrounds. There was a Me-Too series in Donkey Kong Land for the Gameboy Colour (which is not nearly as well-received) and numerous re-releases for other platforms.
Have you ever heard the phrase the worst book in a trilogy is the fourth one? Rareware decided to push their luck and make a fourth entry in Donkey Kong Country 64, for the Nintendo 64. While not a bad game, all told the controls were solid, the platforming was fine, the challenge was there while not overbearing it still didnt pack nearly the same punch the original trilogy did. It was your basic Super Mario 64 clone, weighed down with obnoxiously tedious collecting spread over too-large environments, and since it wasnt the first 3D platformer, the wonderment of the concept was like chewed gum: nothing new. And the multiplayer was shit.
Shortly afterward, Rareware, renamed to just Rare, was famously sold to Microsoft, where it pumped out a few shit titles and became the stain on the bottom of your shoes we all know today. They try, though, bless their hearts. The Donkey Kong series received a few more titles (Jungle Beat, for the Gamecube; King of Swing, for the Gameboy Advance; and Jungle Climber, for the DS), but they were all sort of inconsequential. They brought nothing new to the table, and often included some lame gimmick, like Jungle Beat using bongos as a controller.
Which brings us to the present.
Retro Studios is a Texas-based first-party videogame developer for Nintendo. The first game they released was Metroid: Prime for the Gamecube in 2002, and was met with overwhelming critical acclaim; Retro single-handedly revived the long-dead Metroid series while simultaneously firing their shot-heard-round-the-world, making their name known to households everywhere. Two sequels immediately followed, along with a spinoff for the Nintendo DS and a collectors-edition re-release of all three games on one disc.
If this sounds like Metroid: Prime is following in Donkey Kong Countrys footsteps, you might be right, except Retro actively backed away from doing any more Metroid games after Corruption, saying they wanted to do something else. Nintendo indulged, and at the 2010 E3 showing, they revealed Retro Studios next big thing.
Donkey Kong Country Returns was released for the Nintendo Wii in North America on November 21st, 2010. It sold 4.96 million copies worldwide by the end of March 2011, and it further cemented Retros reputation as infallible.
Whats with the commentary?
To start with, Ill be teaming with three other guys. Olive Branch will be joining me once more, but the other two guys dont have accounts on SA, and have never made an LP before. Because of that, rather than try to have them memorize monikers theyre unfamiliar with, we just used our real names.
On top of that, the whole thing was supposed to be done live, and doing the 100% collecting in post. However, there were technical difficulties and the recording for the first two worlds, plus the first level of world three, were lost. Believe me when I say we did everything we could think of to get them back. As a result, the commentary on those videos are done in post.
Terrible Tikis Take Tasty Tropical Treats.