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Reviews, reflections, rants and other such writings...

2010 Year in Review/2011 Year in Preview

An article by Jomingo

22 January '11

2010 has been perhaps the most exciting time to be a Donkey Kong fan, or a Nintendo fan in general, in a decade. After suffering the worst string of E3s in the company's history Nintendo has revealed a ton of titles that've been in development for years, putting all of my criticisms to shame. There is a successor to the DS on it's way that has graphics comparable to the Wiis, 3D without glasses, and a ton of classic Nintendo games from Ocarina of Time and Starfox 64 remakes to a brand new Kid Icarus after a 19 year wait! And to make sure we don't forget about the Wii they showed us a new Kirby, a Goldeneye remake, a new Zelda, and the most hyped and exciting announcement of all: Donkey Kong Country Returns by Retro Studios! That's right, 2010 brought us a new Donkey Kong Country title that has been the most hyped DK game since DK64. So here are all of DK's 2010 appearances:

. . .

First of all, there was a new Wario Ware title released on the Nintendo DSiWare. So why are we talking about Wario Ware: DIY in regards to Donkey Kong? Well, the game's main mechanic is that it allows you to create and share your own mini-games, and one of the game's featured minigames is centered on Donkey Kong Country 2. It requires you to shoot Diddy from a barrel without hitting a Zinger. Although a very minor appearance, it's still an unexpected and welcomed throwback.

After that came a Virtual Console release of one of the more well received Mario Sport games, Mario Tennis. Camelot's N64 games are perhaps the gold standard when it comes Mario sports, so it's about time the first Mario Tennis game finally hit the service.

Next, and possibly the least anticipated, came Mario Vs Donkey Kong: Mini-land Mayhem! Don't think that I'm really excited about that game because I put an exclamation point, that's actually part of the title. I believe this is the first in the series to have online play, but I don't think that's going to change anybody's opinion that this series needs to die.

The next release, and the most important DK release since DK64, was Donkey Kong Country Returns. After over a decade since the last serious DK game came out, the talented guys at Retro Studios have made not only an awesome new Donkey Kong Country, but an extremely good game in general that is perhaps the best platformer on the Wii. At the time or writing this I've found that it may have sold as many as 4 million units already, and it's only been out for 2 months!

Finally, to round out the year we got Mario Party 2 released on the Virtual Console. This was from a time before the Mario Party series had gotten stale; back when people still loved to party with Mario. Not to mention that it was before they removed DK from being playable. However you feel about the Party series, this may be worth checking.

And that's it for DK's 2010 appearances. As I predicted one year ago, Nintendo finally pulled through and gave us what we'd been waiting for: a new Donkey Kong Country. In fact, they'd been working on it since April of 2008, and so we've probably been complaining for years for no reason. And on that note I will being the next part of this feature: 2011 Preview/ Predictions!

. . .

Unlike last year, there are already a couple of games that we're aware of.

-Mario Sports Mix. From Square Enix, makers of Mario Hoops 3 on 3, comes this four sport compilation on the Wii. Basketball, Hockey, Volleyball, and Dodgeball all on one disk, with guest appearance by DK and Diddy.

-Mario Kart 3DS. Nintendo is almost ready to roll out their brand new handheld device, and with it comes a number of great DK games, the first of which will of course be Mario Kart. Although DK hasn't been confirmed yet, it's assumed that he'll be in there, and Diddy might even make it in too.

Now here are my predictions of what else we can expect from DK in 2011:
1) Game Boy Games- The 3DS is going to have it's own Virtual Console service for Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, and I'm expecting DK to be all over that. Donkey Kong '94 is obvious, but if we're lucky we'll get the Donkey Kong Land trilogy as well. I'm expecting at least the first DKL. Along with these we might get some Mario games too, like Mario Tennis or Mario Gulf Game Boy.

2) Mario Vs Donkey Kong 3DS- I don't want it anymore than the next guy, but it'll probably happen. Most likely it'll be a downloadable title rather than a full retail release.

3) A new DK game?- This is the least likely one, but it's possible. DKCR's sequel isn't likely to come out until the next home system (which will probably be revealed at this year's E3), but there has been some fierce foreshadowing as to a DK game on the 3DS. Is Paon cooking up another portable game for us? Only time will tell.

And with that, I leave you for another year. 2011 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for Donkey Kong fans and all Nintendo fans, but for now it seems impossible to top 2010. We'll see how everything turns out and if what I've predicted comes true. Happy New Year!

- by Jomingo -

This article was written by a DKC Atlas Forum staff member. All opinions expressed within this article are those of the writer, and are not necessarily shared by DKC Atlas, or the DKC gaming community.
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