Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D Review
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: May 24, 2013
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: N/A Mild Violence

The visuals translate perfectly onto the 3DS, as if they were meant to be there in the first place. Everything fits tightly into the smaller screen, yet despite all the action and quick timing, you never feel as if there are too many distractions. The biggest wildcard is actually the system's 3D effect. As in the Wii version, Donkey Kong will periodically get blasted to the background, and with the 3D effect on, this gives the areas much more visual depth. However, the sweet spot to keep the screen from distorting is very narrow, and the slightest tilt could be the cause of many unforced deaths. My suggestion is to keep the 3D off while trying to progress through the campaign or tackling the Time Trials, but enjoy the effect while slowing searching for those puzzle pieces and collecting every banana possible.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D Screenshot

The music score remains untouched from the Wii title, which itself is comprised of perfect remixes from the original Donkey Kong Country. Every tone fits perfectly with its respective venue, and many of the catchier tracks like King of Cling you'll find yourself helplessly humming. DK packs a lot of power in those gorilla arms, and the sound effects do a terrific job showcasing his strength, as well as all the mayhem happening around him.


With many Wiis collecting dust by 2010, countless people likely missed the opportunity to appreciate Donkey Kong's platforming masterpiece. Now that the 3DS is as sought after as DK's banana hoard, there's no better time to pick up this gem for a modest portable price. Even if you did lose hours on the Wii version, the game is just so good that it's worth a second playthrough.

Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: May 17, 2013

It's not as pretty as the Wii version, but the pixels tighten up nicely on the smaller screen.
Perfectly synched controls, and much better than having to shake a Wii Remote just to get DK to do a somersault.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The timeless tracks sound as great as ever. I just wish I could crank the volume up even more. Headphones are a must.
Play Value
The 8-10 hour completion time is just for speeding through the campaign. There's plenty more hours to burn for those completionists out there.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Over 70 levels of banana-hoarding fun featuring Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.
  • Run, jump, climb and defeat enemies through diverse environments until you retrieve Donkey Kong's stolen banana hoard!
  • Lush, layered, side-scrolling levels come to life in stunning 3D.
  • Rebuilt and optimized for portable play on the Nintendo 3DS system.

  • X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook