A new Donkey Kong game could be coming to Nintendo Switch, according to a recent rumor. Here’s what it would need to stand out from other DK titles.
It might not be looked on very fondly as time passes, but Donkey Kong 64 was a significant game for Nintendo’s charismatic ape. It followed up on the respected Donkey Kong Country trilogy and brought DK into the world of 3D gaming for the first time. Ironically, every major Donkey Kong game after it has taken the form of a 2D side-scroller. A new rumor suggests there might now be a Donkey Kong 3D platformer in the works for Nintendo Switch, and this would be a great opportunity to make some improvements to the series.
Nintendo EPD was the development team behind Super Mario Odyssey, an innovative title that brought in all kinds of clever power-ups through its capture system and included many engaging environments and characters. It was a hit with fans and quickly became one of the most popular games on Switch. According to the new rumor, Nintendo EPD may also be developing the new Donkey Kong game.
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Having such a skilled team handle another platformer could be amazing if done well. While DK hasn’t seen a 3D platformer since the poorly regarded DK64, it likely wouldn’t be too difficult for Nintendo EPD to transition from plumber to gorilla. Since past two Donkey Kong Country games have been well received, however, it’s definitely possible the new title could be another DKC, developed by EPD while Retro Studios takes on Metroid Prime 4.
Things A New Donkey Kong 3D Platformer Game Needs
Donkey Kong 64‘s many playable characters were an interesting gameplay gimmick, as they each had their own separate abilities and personalities. But the Kongs’ implementation was infamously rough, as they were mainly used as a way to force players to backtrack in order to collect color-coded bananas corresponding to each character. Players had to constantly go back to the character switch barrel and retread entire levels again. The new game should bring back Donkey Kong 64‘s multiple characters – possibly with the addition of series staples like Funky, Dixie, and Cranky Kong – but players should have the option to switch at any point, and the Kongs’ gameplay styles should serve a more meaningful purpose.
DK64 also put a heavy focus on questionably designed minigames that are better left in the past, but self-contained activities aren’t necessarily a bad idea; Super Mario Odyssey littered its worlds with all kinds of varied and enjoyable challenges that took full advantage of Mario’s expanded moveset. Filling the new DK game with a variety of objectives based on complex platforming (something DK64‘s sluggish characters would desperately need), puzzle-solving, and scavenger hunting could make for a compelling experience.
If the new title is a Donkey Kong Country game, it would have much fiercer competition in the form of its prequels. Those games already featured stellar level variety, atmosphere, and visuals, but Nintendo EPD’s talents would prove to be an integral asset in the event it truly is working on a 3D Donkey Kong game on Switch.
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