We’re just a few weeks away from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze hitting the Nintendo Switch, so let’s take a look at how the final version runs on the system.
If you missed it the first time around, you really should be treating the Nintendo Switch release of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze like a big deal anyway – Tropical Freeze is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best games from the troubled Wii U, and it’s one of the best 2D platformers produced in recent memory – even outstripping some of Nintendo’s more recent 2D Mario efforts, if you ask me.
The Switch version is the same great game but with enhanced performance and some new features – pretty much the same stuff we saw with the likes of Mario Kart 8 and Bayonetta 2. The biggest new addition is the ability to play as the bandanna-clad cool dude Funky Kong, and we’re playing as him in the video footage we’ve captured of the game’s first few levels – so you can get an idea of his abilities and the docked Switch performance of the game.
As explained and shown in the footage, Funky Kong basically acts as the game’s easy mode, and is perfect if you want to play the game with a friend or relative who is pretty new to games. Funky uses his surfboard in a few cool ways – he can double jump and hover by using it in the air, and if he lands on spikes he won’t be able to move without jumping, but it won’t kill him either. He can also breathe underwater and roll infinitely, and even has more health. Funky really tones down the difficulty, but the catch is that he can only be played in a special new ‘Funky’ mode, though two-player co-op is available in that mode as well.
For everyone else there’s the classic mode, which retains the rather challenging difficulty and playable cast of the original game completely. The game is obviously a great same-screen co-op game as Donkey Kong Country has always been, and so that and its simple control scheme makes Tropical Freeze perfect for pulling off a joy-con and sharing with a friend to tackle the levels.
The performance is pretty solid, as you can see. I think the quick video speaks for docked mode pretty well, while I’m happy to report that undocked it still plays excellently in a portable format. There’s clearly a hit to resolution, but also not one that matters at all when displayed on a screen as modest as the Switch’s. Performance remains solid, meanwhile.
It’s all good stuff, and though Nintendo’s embargo prevents us from passing too much judgement on the game at this stage, let’s just say it’s a safe shoe-in for our Best Switch games list. Tropical Freeze arrives on the Switch on May 4.