The king of the swingers returns in a revamped version of the Wii classic - but this time shrunk down for the Nintendo 3DS and boasting fancy-pants 3D effects. But has any of the original's magic been lost?
Actually, no. If anything the game is now the definitive version of the side-scrolling platformer. Wii's sometimes-criticised motion controls for the game have been shown the trapdoor, instantly transforming the exploits of Kong and his sidekick Diddy into a more traditional gaming experience. For those of us unfamiliar with original game, all you need to know is that Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is a delicious slice, well, banana split, of classic Nintendo platforming that for once doesn't feature a plump, moustachioed bloke in a plumber's suit.
Enter Donkey Kong and his monkey boy, Diddy, who together charge through a fraught, obstacle-packed landscape of jungles, factories, volcanoes and more, on the hunt for stolen bananas and hypnotised furry friends. What this boils down to is a big bunch of running, jumping, climbing and being blasted out of barrels with Diddy acting as a 'power-up' who, when activated, can help Kong reach heady new heights.
This latest version features an extra world to barrel through but more importantly to us feckless gamers who are all thumbs and no fingers, there's been a tweak to the game's difficulty too. The original was known for being rock solid so the 3DS version now features 'New Mode', a setting that reduces the difficulty somewhat and allows for such hand-holding props as a balloon that will lift you up after making a fudged leap.
And for those particularly hard-of-patience, you'll welcome the new auto-play mode with open, hairy arms; if you constantly fail at a particular section, the game will kindly swing in and play through it for you before handing control back. This might sound like a step too far but it could well save you from throwing your 3DS at the nearest wall in frustration.
Fret not though, hardened players, because there's a host of stuff to do on top of all the fiendish banana-munching as well - grab collectibles and secret orbs, indulge in time trials and pile in to the co-op mode. It all adds up to a game perfectly suited to the 3DS - and one that packs a mighty punch for platformer lovers and enough concessions for the casual gamer to make this version of the game the ripest pick of the bunch.