Editorial – Nintendo’s VGX Presentation of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

As most of you probably know by now, Nintendo chose to talk more about Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze at VGX on Saturday night. Apparently Nintendo didn’t learn from E3 when this game was originally unveiled and people were left confused & disappointed. A lot of people were expecting Retro to be working on another Metroid game or perhaps something new entirely. Instead it was another Donkey Kong game. This decision was made more confusing and disliked by the fact that Nintendo had released a remake of Donkey Kong Country Returns for the 3DS just a few weeks before E3. The original Donkey Kong Country Returns came out in 2010, which granted was 3 years before Tropical Freeze, but with the remake it still felt like it was too much, too soon. By comparison the original release of Metroid Prime 3 was in 2007, 6 years before this announcement. So even with Other M being released in 2010 (which was not made by Retro), it still felt like a long time since a “true” Metroid game (as Other M was widely criticized).

So instead of something which would possibly appeal to VGX’s target audience (like Super Smash Bros., Zelda U, X, or something brand new never before seen or having any previous versions of), we’re left with discussion about Cranky Kong being included in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and some gameplay footage of this. Unfortunately for Nintendo, news about Cranky Kong’s inclusion in the game broke before VGX, so that likely took away something from their announcement, but even so, DK games tend to be more targeted towards Nintendo fans and likely wouldn’t appeal to PlayStation 4 & Xbox One fans. Even Nintendo’s own fans on Nintendo-based sites said that this reveal was not that interesting. Granted, Nintendo may not be trying to appeal to Xbox One & PS4 fans, but in my opinion, it is short-sighted on Nintendo’s part, if that is indeed the case. If Nintendo can entice more fans to purchase a Wii U and games for it, that means there’s more money for Nintendo. With the system currently struggling and facing increased competition from PS4 & Xbox One, Nintendo needs to pull out all the stops to get people excited about the Wii U and encourage them to purchase the system.

I’ve been a lifelong Nintendo fan, ever since I first picked up a NES controller back in the mid-late 80′s. And I like Donkey Kong games, but that being said, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is not going to make Wii U a must-have system. It’ll be something Nintendo fans who already own the system might pick up, but it’s highly unlikely to encourage a lot of new system sales in my opinion. Nintendo is going through the exact same thing with Wii U that happened with 3DS. There’s just not enough quality content on the system to make it worth owning for a lot of people. That’s not to say that the games already on Wii U are bad, because that’s not true. There’s a lot of great games on it already, but for some people, it’s not enough. Hence why the system is not doing well sales-wise. Nintendo desperately needs to do something huge to turn things around with Wii U. The games are coming, but are they coming soon enough? Right now, it seems like the answer is no, but maybe the holiday season will turn things around? One can only hope if you’re a Nintendo fan. But even if the Wii U does fail, Nintendo can still afford it and still be in business. But that is not a reason to not go all out. I hope Nintendo wows us next year.