This was played on the Nintendo Switch

This review mainly focuses on the new Funky Mode

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the Switch is a  challenging port. Not to mention that it’s a stunningly beautiful game  both in docked and handheld modes. If you’re only in it for the visuals,  you won’t be disappointed. Never before has Donkey Kong’s hair looked  this good. I’ve never played a Donkey Kong game before, and what better  way to jump into the series?

It’s enjoyable when it wants to be

Image from Destructoid

Tropical Freeze is fun at certain times. Throughout the game  there are certain levels that you can just speedrun through, and those  are enjoyable. Even if you get hit by an enemy here or there, it isn’t  really an issue. Then there were other levels where you’re stuck in a  mine cart, and it’s just one death trap after another. My point is,  sometimes the game can be fun and enjoyable, and other times it’s a  frustrating mess.

At certain points it seemed as though the controls were unresponsive  or delayed, and that Funky Kong would just jump into a pit despite my  efforts to avoid falling into said pits. Those were pretty uncommon  occurrences, and it seemed to happen during the mine cart levels the  most. It definitely took some time to get used to the controls, and even  then they didn’t feel as fluid as a platformer should. Games like Super Mario World or Shovel Knight felt tight and like you were in control, while the controls of Tropical Freeze seem hit or miss at times.

There were moments when I had to take a step away from the game  because I was getting so frustrated with it. There are little picture  bubbles that pop up in the earlier levels that teach you the controls,  but honestly Tropical Freeze doesn’t hold your hand; that’s for  sure. Even in the new “easy mode”, it felt like I was on my own from  the beginning. I’m someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to play games,  and when I do, I want to actually be able to play it and enjoy it.  Unfortunately, that rarely happened during Tropical Freeze because of the difficulty. 

It’s difficult

Image from TheGamesmen

For people who were worried that the new Funky Mode would be too  easy, fear not. Even with all the new features that were added in this  Funky Mode, it’s still difficult. Sure you have five hearts, a double  jump, immunity to spikes, and so on and so forth. But even with all of  that, I found myself dying way more than I thought I would. Maybe that  just shows my true colors as a noob at Donkey Kong, but this easy mode wasn’t very easy for me. But the thing is, I wanted and expected it to be an easy mode. It felt more like the game was working against me rather than letting me have fun.

And that’s just the easy mode. The base game is even more difficult,  even in co-op. I made the mistake of starting out in Funky Mode and then  moving on to the original version. It’s like going from heroic  difficulty to legendary. I barely played through the normal mode because  it was even less fun than Funky Mode. Don’t get me wrong though; if you  love a challenge and love difficult games, you’ll have a blast with Tropical Freeze.

But is it worth it?

Image from Metro

At the end of the day, is this port of Tropical Freeze worth  it? Well, that’s tricky. If you already have it for the Wii U, then the  new Funky Mode isn’t enough to justify double-dipping. Not to mention  that this is a full $60 game, and that alone is enough to not recommend  it. This port seems to be targeted towards people who never had a Wii U,  but it’s still a port. A $60 port.

If you have a Switch, have never played this game, and can find it  for less than $30, then absolutely pick it up, because it truly is a fun  game despite its flaws. It’s just a shame it has so much going against  it. If you like to relax and play through games without getting  frustrated, you may want to stay away from it.

Image: Nintendo, DestructoidTheGamesmen, and Metro

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