Top Ten: 2D Platformers

The platformers that rise above.

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 08/26/2014 09:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

7) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Released: Wii U, 2014

Though the Donkey Kong Country games on SNES were technological marvels and classic, fun titles, what Retro did with Donkey Kong Country Returns easily met the standard of quality set by Rare. It pushed Wii to its limit, featuring stunning, nuanced graphics, tight controls, and a menagerie of remixed tunes from the original DKC games. Still, there remained something a bit off with Donkey Kong’s return to platforming on Wii, and part of that can be justly aimed at Return‘s lack of swimming, a hallmark of the DKC trilogy. With the arrival of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Retro corrected that niggling flaw, and outdid itself in the process.

Tropical Freeze was a menagerie of excellent visuals and art direction, nuanced gameplay, and beautiful music. Generally, production values of the caliber in Tropical Freeze are reserved for AAA shooters and 3D adventure games, but Retro pulled out all the stops for DK’s Wii U debut. In Tropical Freeze, Retro also experimented with camera perspectives that normally never appeared in platformers. The pseudo-3D look in the jet barrel and other stages of the game added a whole new feel to the normally flat, 2D view players were accustomed to. Tropical Freeze landed with a bang, quickly cementing itself as the pinnacle of the DKC series and the standard for 2D platformers for this generation of consoles.

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