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Donkey Kong Designed to Make Gamers go Bananas

Donkey Kong Country Returns was released on Friday in the UK, and as many have found out to their peril, it’s very bloody hard indeed.

Critical reception has been favourable, but the difficulty hasn’t gone unnoticed, with some claiming the unfairness of some of its challenges is something of a miscue for a Wii platformer.

Developers Retro Studios remain defiant though, with two senior designers explaining to Official Nintendo Magazine that the game’s difficulty was part of the overall strategy.

Mike Wikan, senior designer at Retro told the publication: “I thought it was extremely important that the game be challenging. When this project began, I played the Super NES version again and was a little irked at how hard it was. I only remembered that it was fun. I thought it’s really important to make the game tough, but in a good way.

“I wanted to make a game that was not simply difficult, but possessed a kind of difficulty that made players want to try it again. I thought it was important that, rather than make players angry, the game makes players feel that even if they fail, they will be able to jump better next time.”

Another senior designer, Kynan Pearson, was in agreement. “It’s a game with broad appeal that all sorts of people can play, so I thought we needed to keep that approachability. At the same time, I thought it’s important the game be a little difficult.”

So hardcore is creeping back into Nintendo’s remit. Have you played DKCR yet? Did it make a monkey out of you? (arf)

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