The game is pretty, yes, but so were the other Donkey Kong games. Somehow this feels SMALLER because, frankly, I’m not encouraged to explore anything. Back woods rivers and mountains and trees are nice for a bit, but that is all the game is. Mountains and trees and rivers. The most interesting building in the game was a wrecked river trawler! Donkey Kong had caves and mountains and islands and shipwrecks and all kinds of stuff. Donkey Kong had sprawling temples and vast tropical forests with unique terrain. I could dive to the bottom of a lake and find something interesting! In this game? …. A barn. Oh look, a gas station. And trees. Trees and hills. Nobody clamors to go to Rural Montana because its RURAL MONTANA. Oh look, another barn! And a cabin! Ooooooh. It feels soulless! Now you can watch this video on: how to get Donkey Kong Tropical Country Freeze for free!
Speaking of soulless- the characters in this are bland. The protagonist “Rook” (or rookie) doesn’t do anything but grunt. This works for Valve because the character still garners a personality from character interaction- people talk TO you. In this, everyone talks AT you. ‘Oh hi, you’re the protagonist. I got some stuff you can do for me!’ and that’s it. Its all fetch quests! Bring me bobble heads! Bring me records! Bring me a fish! You might as well be playing a LAWN FLAMINGO, it wouldn’t make any difference.