Gaming Moments Of 2010: Donkey Kong Country Returns

All the big guns have come and gone. The best games are all now on shelves and we’ve just decided on our game of the year. Now we’re taking a look at our 10 favourite gaming moments of 2010. Be aware that these are just my subjective choices – feel free to let us know some of your favourites in the comments below.

The Factory World In Donkey Kong Country Returns
From start to finish Donkey Kong Country Returns is a fantastic game, but the Factory world, positioned towards the tail end of the game, is truly special. In some ways it’s as revolutionary as Super Mario Galaxy 2, pushing and tugging at the boundaries of 2D level design effortlessly.

The Factory world is incredible from start to finish. Most games struggle to conceive of a single original idea in their entirety – DKC Returns has the gall to show you something new in almost every single level. Switcheroo with its switch barriers and intuitive problem solving sequences, Cog Jog with its ability to push the shifting platform mechanic to the absolute limit, Music Madness and its rhythmic magnificence, Foggy Fumes’ monochromatic art style – DKC Returns never lets your brain sit still, chucking banana peels at you like a giggling chimp, expecting you to slip up at every turn.

I don’t know why I expected anything less. Retro Studios did create Metroid Prime, after all, which was probably the absolute pinnacle of last-gen level design. The manner in which they apply their genius to the 2D platformer is proof of the prodigious talent of that team.

It’s the kind of experience I wish I could relive again, the kind of memory you want to wipe clean – just so you can have the same googly-eyed experience all over again. Retro Studios really have raised the bar in the platforming genre, and I wonder if anyone can really keep up?

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