Eurogamer Expo 10: Q&A: Nintendo’s Rob Lowe on Donkey Kong Country Returns
One game I couldn’t wait to get my hands on at the Eurogamer Expo was Donkey Kong Country Returns. The king of the jungle had been missing in action since the days of the N64 and I was in need of some answers. We caught up with Rob Lowe, Nintendo UK’s Marketing Manager on what to expect when the ape comes swinging in an all new adventure this December.
Bit Thirsty: Donkey Kong has been out of the spotlight for a long time, ignoring the Konga and Jungle Beat series of course, with his last hardcore outing dating all the way back to the N64. What made Nintendo return to the Donkey Kong series?
Rob Lowe: When you look at the success of the New Super Mario Bros. titles on the DS and the Wii, I think it’s clear to see that 2D platforming is very popular again. We feel people like the accessibility, the fact that it brings back nostalgic feelings, I think it felt like the right time to bring back Donkey Kong and give him his own AAA title.
When looking at possible collaborators, the guys at Japan looked at all the developers in our roster and Retro Studios stuck out immediately. After doing such a great job on the Prime series, we thought it’d be perfect for them to get their teeth into. We gave them a crack at it and the results came back great as you can see.
BT: Tell us about some of the key features fans can look forward to seeing in Donkey Kong Country Returns?
RL: The cooperative play is probably the game’s biggest highlight. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii it was a bit more competitive, in this game Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are working together to get to end of the level, trying to get as many bananas and rack up as many points along the way.
BT: It’s being called the spiritual successor to the original Donkey Kong Country series, will Donkey Kong Country Returns stay true to what Rare did with the SNES franchise?
RL: We’ve moved on quite a bit and there’s a few things I can’t talk about yet. The version we have here today isn’t the final version and there will be surprises, but I think the style is obviously very similar to what was done on the SNES. I think if you have a look at it now, Retro have done a great job in getting the real power out of the Wii, the depth of some of the levels is brilliant.
BT: A lot of fans felt that New Super Mario Bros. Wii should have offered players some sort of online functionality, have you taken the fun online this time around?
RL: What we’ve tried to do at Nintendo with this title is keep the multiplayer in the same room, so you get that kind of banter, that one-to-one feeling of it. Obviously there are other Wii online titles; Monster Hunter Tri and Mario Kart Wii to name a few. I think it’s fair to say that we’re really trying to develop Wii Online, the DS online and the 3DS online. We’re working to get better with online, we’re just taking baby steps as we do it.
- October 17, 2010, by Bit Thirsty Staff