'Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze' is the Nintendo Switch port we actually need
Look, let's just say what everyone is thinking: The Nintendo Switch eShop is looking pretty boring right now.
A quick glance reveals that the console's current lineup mostly consists of re-released older games, such as retro classics like Street Fighter 2 or upgraded versions of first-party titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. However, there's one big, hairy omission in Nintendo's growing list of remastered games: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
The most recent entry in the Donkey Kong Country franchise origin, Tropical Freeze launched in 2014 as a Wii U exclusive. Unfortunately, because nobody actually bought the Wii U, very few people were able to experience the game. That's a shame: It's one of the greatest platformers of the past few years, combining fast-paced action and meticulously crafted levels with beautiful art design and a great soundtrack.
Now Nintendo has a chance to bring Tropical Freeze to a potentially wider audience by re-releasing it on the Switch. So what is it waiting for?
What makes Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze so great, anyway?
To be honest, I had mostly forgotten about Tropical Freeze until Ceave Gaming released a new video highlighting what made the Donkey Kong Country game so special. Instantly, my mind flooded with memories of playing the game. I remember making my way through diabolically difficult platforming levels that required near-perfect muscle memory to complete. It was tough, but the feeling of accomplishment at the end of each level was worth it.
Tropical Freeze also featured some particularly memorable boss battles with unique mechanics. I can vividly recall taking on Pompy, the Presumptuous, an oversized seal with a viking helmet that slid across the stage and lobbed spiky sea urchins at Donkey Kong, while my roommate watched in awe.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze isn't an easy, casual game. It's about as brutal as platformers come, but that's why it's perfect for the Switch. Being able to take it with you on the go would mean even more time to master those tricky levels.
In his video, Ceave Gaming also notes that every level in the game has been cleverly designed to work on two levels: as a fast paced platformer where you never stop moving, or at a slower pace for exploring every inch of each level for hidden rooms and treasures. Tropical Freeze has an extra layer of replayability, even if you already beat it on Wii U.
There's already a pattern for Donkey Kong Country remasters
Nintendo's set a clear trend for bringing each new Donkey Kong Country game to a handheld device after its initial console release. The original game launched in 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System before porting over to the Game Boy Color in 2000. Same for Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, which released on SNES in 1994 and Game Boy Advance in 2004, and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (SNES in 1996, followed by GBA in 2005).
Nintendo even shortened the wait time between initial release and port with Donkey Kong Country Returns, which hit the Wii in 2010 and landed on the 3DS in 2013. At that rate, we should expect Tropical Freeze for the Nintendo Switch sometime this year, but Nintendo hasn't even hinted at a re-release — despite some clear interest from the gaming community.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze already runs in high definition, so Nintendo wouldn't need to remaster the game — though a 1080p version would look awesome. Just port it over to the Switch and give the fans a chance to experience a title that undeservedly flew under the radar the first time around.
More gaming news and update
Check out the latest from Mic, including our list of video games that made fun of their players, a personal essay about dealing with anxiety through Breath of the Wild, a look at the racist and sexist experiences in esports and a plea for better character customization options for black characters.