E3 2013: Retro Explains New Donkey Kong’s Development

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

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E3 2013 Nintendo Direct Donkey Kong Country - Tropical Freeze 2013-06-11 07_27_45

With the preceding excitement following Retro Studios’ new project, and discovering that it was yet another Donkey Kong Country title after the Nintendo E3 Direct reveal, fans were left wondering why it was not a new Metroid game, or the new IP that they were anticipating.

Sitting down with Retro Studios President and CEO, Michael Kelbaugh, Nintendo of America COO Reggie Fils-Aime raised a question based on the contingent of Twitter posts raised from social media.

“Why did Retro decide to do another story on Donkey Kong Country?” The answer lies in the video down below:

According to Kelbaugh, Retro Studios felt that there was still “a lot of gas left” inĀ Donkey Kong after completing Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Nintendo Wii. Kelbaugh explains that they wanted to experiment with more features such as underwater levels and the rotating camera, adding that the Wii U hardware compelled them to experiment with these features, plus more. As we can see from this game visually, Donkey Kong and his friends have been given added fur, the camera rotates around the stage with finesse, and the transitions between ground levels to underwater levels look seamless.

It’s understandable that after all the excitement to see Retro’s new project, and some of the disappointment that followed after the reveal; but at the end of the day, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was Retro Studios’ decision. The fruits of their labor are hitting the Wii U in November.

About Andy Na

Andy was a member at Operation Rainfall since the beginning of its campaigning days. Though something of a troublemaker at the time, he now contributes to Operation Rainfall and shares his love for all things gaming and the visual arts. His favorite games include Xenoblade Chronicles, Kid Icarus Uprising, and No More Heroes. Andy currently holds a Bachelors degree in Cinema, which he uses to pursue filmmaking.

  • Ross MacPherson

    I think people were just upset because they desperately need a new Metroid game that makes them forget the travesty that is Metroid Other M.

    • Shadao

      I believe that is confirmed by the amounts of comments when Retro announced DK Tropical Freeze. Which I believe is a poor way of handling it. To want another Metroid Prime game to forget Other M is like an ostrich that wants to stick its head in the sand and not deal with the danger. It ain’t going away until you actually face it head and see what problems can be fixed and what aspects should be improved upon.

    • Matt Taylor

      I really don’t understand all the vitriol that is leveled at Other M,
      it’s a great game, and was a welcome return to form to see
      Metroid in 2D again, where the series and its game mechanics really belong. It may not be the greatest Metroid game in the series, but its a true Metroid game and by definition it stands head and shoulders above countless shovel ware that graces consoles monthly. I think a lot of people were quick to jump on the media attention of journalists calling it out for being sexist and unempowering Samus as a character. Those same journalists clearly only saw the opening third of the game before making their decision, and unfortunately players made their decisions based on that. Those that stuck with it realised that it was anything but by the finale of the game.

    • Jonah Rosen

      I played the entire game of Other M, hell, I 100% complete the game, and I still thought Samus was “Sexist and unempowering” as you call it because of three words “Ridley reveal scene”. I say this because by this point in the story, Samus has killed Ridley in Metroid/Zero Mission, Super Metroid, Metroid Prime & TWICE in Metroid Prime 3, So why the fuck was she metaphorically reverting to a child in fear at the sight of Ridley by this point?! She’s killed the fucker at least 5 times by now, more if they release another game before this point in the story! Other than that, the controls and gameplay were mostly OK, and if they make another game, they should keep them, only with the Wii U gamepad so we can move Samus with a controlstick and not a D-Pad, I don’t think I have to explain how clunky it is to move someone in a 3D plain with a D-Pad.

    • Matt Taylor

      The amount you know about what is basically just an incoherent work of fiction is embarrasing. This is probably why you don’t enjoy your games. Instead of just enjoying the often beautiful experience that has been lovingly crafted in front of you. You’re looking for plot holes in something that spawns several decades, several machines and several writers/developers at throughout various stages in their career. Just relax and enjoy it, don’t worry if Samus has or hasn’t engaged the X particles, and developed a strong bond with a Mecha Metroid by this point or not. At the end of the day, its total bullshit and the last thing I play a Metroid game for…

    • Jonah Rosen

      “The amount you know about what is basically just an incoherent work of fiction is embarrasing.”

      So it’s embarrassing that I probably know more about Metroid than you do? I’m sorry, but that comment is just stupid as fuck.

      “This is probably why you don’t enjoy your games.”

      What the actual fuck are you talking about? I LOVE my games, I enjoy so much about them. What I don’t enjoy is an incoherent plot hole being stuck in my game. Samus is supposed come off as cool and collect and just an overall female badass with a bit of a tragic past, not a frail girl with daddy issues who freezes up at seeing her worst adversary for the sixth or seventh time. I’d expect her to be a little surprised at seeing Ridley during that moment, I sure as hell know I was! But to freeze up and go through some emotional trauma is utter bullshit! Would you freak out if you met someone who tragically wronged you in the past if you had kicked his ass 5 times prior? No! You might be a little surprised, but then you’d probably be annoyed then kick his ass AGAIN!

      “Instead of just enjoying the often beautiful experience that has been lovingly crafted in front of you. You’re looking for plot holes in something that spawns several decades, several machines and several writers/developers at throughout various stages in their career.”

      What if I told you that some people play a game for the story as much as they play for the gameplay? And yeah, I do expect to look for plot hole, at least major ones, minor ones I wouldn’t really care about. It usually shows how much writers/developers pay attention to the source material set before them. And when they make as big of a fuck up as this, expect people to get mad. It’s like someone writing a Zelda story, and it shows Link suddenly going “you know what? fuck saving Zelda and Hyrule, I’m going to move out and live somewhere else in peace.” It’s such a break of character that it should NEVER happen! Yet apparently these guys don’t think so with Samus! Also, I’m a critic at heart, so I love to play games, then tell other what I love or hate about the game I just played. Also, if Other M wasn’t about the story, why did they put in so many cutscenes and the (flatlining) voice acting?

      “Just relax and enjoy it, don’t worry if Samus has or hasn’t engaged the X particles, and developed a strong bond with a Mecha Metroid by this point or not.”

      This is nitpicking at this point, but X Parasites and Artificial Metroid. The Metroids aren’t robots, seriously.

      Look, the point is, me and a whole load of other people find the game terrible and a load of crap. That’s our opinion. If you think otherwise, fine. But don’t you fucking dare go and insult people just because they dislike something you like for a good reason, it makes you look pathetic. Good day sir.

    • Matt Taylor


    • Guy Rainey

      Personally, I believe that Nintendo doesn’t see the Metroid brand as having any value. That may seem ridiculous, but think about it: the first Prime game sold about 6 million units according to VGChartz, but most of those were sold in America. Of course, at six million. you are going to green-light a sequel, no matter where it sold. Prime 2, however, only sold 2 million. Prime 3 was probably green-lit because Nintendo wanted an FPS for the Wii, but it only sold a million units almost none of which were Japanese. I think they handed the franchise over to Team Ninja to try to get Japanese people interested in Metroid again. It didn’t work, so we may never see another Metroid.

    • Jonah Rosen

      Not with that attitude, we’re not, Mr. Negative Nancy! >:I

    • Guy Rainey

      I don’t mean to sound so down about this. Personally, I really liked Other M and the Prime games (on the Wii at least), and I would really like to see another Metroid. But for a franchise labeled as one of the big three, Nintendo doesn’t seem to care, for the reasons I’ve stated. Of course I could be wrong.

    • Jonah Rosen

      Hey, I get what you’re going with this, I just like to keep my hopes up for the chance at a new title in the franchise, but I still understand the implications you’re going for with your last post. After all, I believe there’s a saying that I like that fits my feelings on this subject and it goes like this; Hope for the best, yet expect for the worst.

  • Mark Gould

    I’m personally thrilled for a new DKC game, the latest one has some of the most creative level design I’ve ever seen in a game.

  • Jonah Rosen

    I’m happy there’s a new DKC game, but I seriously wish they’d go back to K.Rool and the Kremlings. Maybe that’s just me though.

    • dwarf74

      My complaint with DKCR is, compared to the SNES games, the visual variety in levels/worlds is extremely lacking. The background details and whatnot were much more interesting in the older titles.

      When i get to a new world, I like to see a COMPLETE change in appearance.
      I’m sure this game will be a winner, at any rate.

  • James Best

    Tropical Freeze looks good. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little crestfallen to discover Retro’s new title wouldn’t be a new IP.

  • Sneferie

    They can always make a Metroid game, or a game based on a new IP, or a new Star Fox, or whatever, after this one. I think it looks fantastic.