mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Artisanal Collection of Donkey Kong Country Thoughts

Nintendo continued the laying to rest of the Wii U this week by porting Donkey Kong Country (DKC) Tropical Freeze to the Switch. Jumping into this game brought back a myriad of random thoughts, much like a good artisanal cheese board provides a bevy of cheesy bites. Let’s chew into them!

The old me: fans of my blog might recall I wasn’t a huge fan of Tropical Freeze on the Wii U. I still took the dive for the game on the Switch because four years and a different console might bring a new perspective to the game. More importantly, I want to encourage Nintendo to continue bringing Wii U games to the Switch. 🤞 for Xenoblade Chronicles X and Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE!

Diddy Kong Konformity

Throwback: I remember in the original SNES DKC games when you beat a stage it would put the face of the Kong you beat the stage with on the world map over that stage. I’m a fan of tidiness so I always beat the stage with the same Kong so my world map looked consistent… 😑

The me of yesterday is not the me of today: Picking up Tropical Freeze now, I’m liking it more. My complaints a few years ago about the controls not feeling tight I now can more precisely attribute to the Grand Theft Auto 3 to 4 effect. Between these two GTA entries they made driving cars much more realistic which made driving around harder and less fun in my eyes. In Tropical Freeze, Donkey Kong handles like the 200+ pound ape he is: there is just enough inertia to throw me off. That said, I’m powering through this time!

Another throwback: My mom got me the original DKC and DKC 2. But when it came to Donkey Kong Country 3 I first played it after visiting the video rental store with my cousin Joe. This store also rented video games so once I saw DKC3, I quickly picked it up. With only 24 hours (the age of late fees was truly a dark time), I tried powering through the game. I wasn’t able to finish, but a few months down the road my mom came through again! With unlimited time now, I was able to beat - Banana Bird Queen beat - the game!


My factual opinion: DKC 2 Diddy’s Kong Quest is the best game of the original trilogy. Don’t @ me. The pirate theme is well-executed, the music is amazing, and the Lost World area mechanic is great for encouraging collection of all the Kremkoins and features some truly punishing stages. This is all in spite of that ridiculously annoying stage with Squawk and the wind!

My thoughts on the future: Will I keep playing Tropical Freeze? Yes. I’m adjusting to my inertia-inspired issues. The game is still pretty challenging and (somewhat) rage-inducing so I usually only get through two to three stages per sitting before throwing in the towel. That said, why rush a good thing?

Truly cruel and unusual punishment

One last throwback: In the second world of the original DKC, Monkey Mines, I got super stuck as a budding video gamer. The second stage - Mine Cart Carnage - punishes the weak. Here’s a great article that describes the sadistic level. Ironically enough the stage could be skipped but in the Land Before Internet I was wholly unaware of this silver bullet for Mine Cart Carnage!

If you’re reading this Nintendo: I’d be over the moon if the Switch got an SNES Virtual Console. But if you want to do something a little less ambitious you could give us Donkey Kong Country Trilogy HD Remastered. 🙏

And that’s a wrap on our artisanal collection of Tropical Freeze inspired thoughts. 🍌