Donkey Kong is back

This year is the year Nintendo has trotted out their less-appreciated mascot characters. First, 2010 saw the return of Sin and Punishment, Kirby and Metroid. Now it’s Donkey Kong’s turn. The ape that started it all returns in two new games, one for the Wii and one for the DS. Somebody better get Billy Mitchell on the phone.

‘Donkey Kong Country Returns’
Console: Nintendo Wii, Nintendo
Grade: 4 (out-of-5)

Nintendo decided  not to mess with the formula too much with DKCR. Remember how “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” tickled the nostalgia bone but also threw in some new game mechanics? It’s the exact same thing here.

The game is fast and over-the-top. The action never relents, and at times it feels more like a roller coaster ride than a video game. Don’t worry, though. The “Super Guide” is back, tackling tough stages for you if you simply can’t do it.

‘Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-land Mayhem’
Console: Nintendo DS, Nintendo
Grade: 5 (out-of-5)

You’d think Mario and Donkey Kong would get along. They are both world-savers. They both like stomping on things. Still, their rivalry has heated up game systems since 1981. Their mutual animosity is our gain, however. “Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-land Mayhem” is one heck of a good time.

This title can only be described as an action-puzzle game. Your goal is to lead a group of mini-Mario toys to the exit of each level. Each stage manages to top the previous in creativity and level design. After the game’s eight worlds, there’s also a nifty level creator.


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