Tropical Freeze teaches an old ape new tricks

There’s a bit of a retro theme going on in the world of new Nintendo downloads this week. We’ve got Retro Studio’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze sliding onto the Wii U eShop this Friday, Retro City Rampage: DX making a belated pitstop on 3DS and another two additions to the ever growing Virtual Console catalogue(s).


The Official Nintendo Magazine got ‘first dibs’ on Tropical Freeze, where it was awarded a respectful 86%. Reviews from other outlets have since been mixed, including 6/10 from GameSpot – who said it was “frozen in time” – and 7/10s from both EDGE and Eurogamer. Destructoid however thought it was “pretty much flawless”, giving it a resounding 10/10.

With very few Wii U games arriving at retail until Mario Kart 8 launches at the end of May, chances are Tropical Freeze will sell incredibly well amongst current Wii U owners and won’t struggle at all to break a million. Sadly though, we can’t see it selling systems. As loveable as Donkey Kong is, the gorilla doesn’t grab people’s attention in the same way Mario and Zelda do. Donkey Kong Country Returns wasn’t released all that long ago either, arriving on 3DS just last year.

The NES’s dully titled Ice Hockey is the only other Wii U release this week, priced at £3.49. That other new arrival to the Virtual Console catalogue? Scrolling brawler Renegade, hitting 3DS VC for £4.49. Fans of Final Fight, Streets of Rage and Double Dragon would do well to give it a look.

Level-5’s WEAPON SHOP de OMASSE – the final part of the Guild01 series – is worth considering too, putting a novel twist on the RPG genre. Rather than the hero of a doomed world or similar, you play the part of a humble blacksmith whose job it is to forge weapons for various intrepid adventurers. Imagine Cooking Mama with weapon crafting instead of cookery, and you should get the gist. Here, have a video:

It’s set to cost £7.19.

Retro City RampageDX

Although we haven’t played Retro City Rampage on 3DS, we did spend a fair bit of time with the Xbox 360 version. We found it to be more of a curio than a proper game – driving around the 8-bit city while taking in the numerous, if not countless, nods and winks to retro games and ‘80s movies is highly entertaining. The missions though left a lot to be desired, quickly raising in difficulty to the point where they’re no longer fun.

Having learnt that this 3DS ‘DX’ edition addresses a lot of issues with checkpoint placing and weapon balancing makes it sound a far better proposition, plus the fact that it’s something suited to playing in small bursts makes it an ideal game to bring to the handheld. It’ll cost £7.99 when it rolls out on Thursday.

This leaves us with Kung Fu Rabbit, which was mostly well received when it launched on PS Vita and Wii U over a year ago. Fast paced and challenging, it has been likened by many as decent alternative to Super Meat Boy. For £4.49, you may want to investigate further.

As for this week’s discounts, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask drops to £27.99 while Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies has been cut to £19.99. Both of these will be on offer until 27th February.


Then on Wii U, TNT Racers – Nitro Machines Edition is £4.49 until 6th March and the highly recommended Trine 2: Director’s Cut will be £5.49 until 13th March.

A bunch of titles from Teyon have been reduced too – Heavy Fire: Black Arms 3D, Heavy Fire: Special Operations 3D, Robot Rescue 3D, Crazy Chicken: Director’s Cut 3D and Bird Mania Christmas 3D. Nintendo Life quite enjoyed that last one – giving it an unexpected 8/10 – but the rest are to be approached with caution.

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