Donkey Kong: Tropical Frustration

When I first played Donkey Kong Country on the SNES in 1995 I was convinced that games had reached their graphical pinnacle and that it could never, ever get any better. The jungle looked so lush and the animation of Donkey Kong was superb. Of course I was just a dumb kid and everything obviously got better, but when I saw that there was a new Donkey Kong game on the Wii U I immediately turned back into that dumb naïve kid and just HAD to play it. Since I got a 101% complete rate on DKC, this new title shouldn’t be a problem either. . .

However, as soon as I popped in the disc, I was almost directly confronted with something I would like to call “The Five Stages of Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze”. . .

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ACCEPTANCE

“This stage is about accepting the reality”

Wow, I forgot how great Donkey Kong games are. I was clearly wrong on my “games will never look better than this” prediction, because this game is gorgeous. The music is great too, the level design is AMAZING and Oops. . . I died. MAN, the controls don’t mess around, you really got to time your jumps right.

DENIAL

“In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense.”

Okay, you REALLY have to time your jumps well, there really is little room for error here. Dead again. Man, did platformers become this much harder when I was looking the other way? Died again. You know what? I probably shouldn’t play this on the gamepad, it’s really uncomfortable and I need some precision controls here. Let’s try again with a pro controller. It can’t possibly be THIS hard, it’s a kids game!

ANGER

“Anger is a necessary stage of the creation process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless”

Whoah there Donkey Kong, I understand that you want a bit of difficulty in your game, but a zero-error zone to beat this section is a bit much there. Whatever, I’ve got this. “Bop, bop, roll-jump, bop. . .DAMNIT!” Why isn’t there a checkpoint right before this? This is SO annoying. “. . . Bop, Bop Grrrrr. . . ”

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ANGRIER

“Angrier is an unnecessary stage of the playing process. By feeling angrier, you start sucking even harder.”

Seriously, last level was annoying, but this stupid Rhino level really takes the cake. Where is the learning curve on this? All this level does is kill me over and over again until I accidentally make the right jump. . . and then kills me again! I didn’t master that previous jump, I accidentally panic pushed the right button. This is SO lame. SO Lame Donkey Kong. WHERE ARE THE CHECKPOINTS?!

DEPRESSION

“Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined.”

I shouldn’t have watched that speedrun. How does that even work? You can BOUNCE OFF WATER? Why should I even bother with this game? I clearly have zero skill when it comes to platformers. That speedrunner touched the floor twice and I can’t even make that second jump without dying half the time. Maybe platformers are just not for me anymore. I might actually be too old for this. I also think my fingers aren’t as nimble anymore and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. It’s not the game, it’s me. I am a huge failure. I don’t deserve videogames.

ACTUAL ANGER

“The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. . .LOL”

You know what, this is bullshit. It’s a Nintendo game that is supposed to appeal to kids. It’s literally just a monkey trying to get some bananas! I am an adult with over 20 years of videogame experience. I am NOT letting this game get the best of me! Come here you stupid Rhino, I’ll run your face through the entire level RAAAAAAAAAAWRRRR!

BARGAINING

“Bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce.”

Please, don’t be a rocket barrel level, please don’t be a rocket barrel level. I’ll do anything. . .

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SEETHING RAGE

“You are actually contemplating destroying something IRL.”

NOOOOO NOT ANOTHER FRIGGIN ROCKET BARREL LEVEL!

DEFLATED ACCEPTANCE

“Sometimes you beat the game, sometimes the game beats you!”

Whatever, this has stopped being fun. I’m just going to play something more easygoing. I hear that Bloodborne game is pretty good.

IGNORANT DENIAL

“In this stage, you pretend that Donkey Kong didn’t kick your ass.”

THERE, I beat Bloodborne and have nothing else to play right now. I should try playing Donkey Kong again. I bet I was just not in the right headspace for some skill based games after playing Destiny for so long. It can’t possibly be as hard as I remember it to be, right? Besides, my reflexes are on point right now, thanks Bloodborne.

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DETERMINED ANGER

“In this stage, you turn your madness into a driving force”

LET’S DO THIS!
I bought 45 red balloons, that should last me for a while. How hard can a world called “Juicy Jungle” be anyway? Diddy Kong, you are OUT, you useless little Monkey! Dixie, you are up, with your little float, THAT’S RIGHT! Float across that platform! YES! TAKE THAT Checkpoint Piggy, We’ve GOT THIS!
Jump, Jump, FLOAT…Oops, dead. My bad, we are cool Dixie, Checkpoint Piggy has our backs!

DAMN RIGHT!
Boss Battle! I’m going to beat your ass so hard you stupid Polar Bear. . .

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ANGRY DENIAL

“In this stage you get so unbelievably mad, you literally can’t believe it”

I can’t believe it. This damn Polar Bear has killed me over 27 times…
How can he even do that? HOW CHEAP IS THIS DAMN POLAR BEAR?!?!
This is RIDICULOUS! I LITERALLY CANNOT JUMP OVER 4 ICEBLOCKS!
Did he?. . . DID HE ACTUALLY DO A FAKE OUT WITH HIS HAMMER?
I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS BOSS!!

ACTUAL DENIAL

“Is this real life?”

There is NO WAY I actually beat that boss, since this boss was impossible to beat.

OVERCONFIDENT ANGER

“Where you think THIS IS SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”

I kicked your Polar Bear’s ASS, I can handle anything! Take that stupid ice level! Oh yeah, as if I would have trouble with THAT jump, did you NOT see me take down that Polar Bear just now. Eat it, you stupid fish shooting penguin thing! Donkey Kong ain’t got nothing on MEEEE!!!!!!!!!

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CRUSHING DEPRESSION

“In this stage, you need to go for a walk and play with your kid for a little bit, just to not break down in tears over a videogame”

I wasted 42 lives on this rocket barrel level. Why are there no checkpoints? How is this even remotely fair? Think of the children Nintendo! How are they possibly supposed to finish this level?
Wait? They SPEEDRUN this level?
Oh no, I am terrible at videogames! I can’t do this anymore. You WIN Donkey Kong, you WIN!

ALL CONSUMING FURY

“In this stage you feel actual hate towards a videogame character”

 

I hate this boss. Cheap Viking bastard Walrus mother…

“Babe, are you actually swearing at the Wii U?”

“YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW!”

“Seriously? You are giving me attitude over a videogame?”

“BUT LOOK AT HIM, HE’S SIDE STEPPING MY PENGUINS!”

“Yeah, I am just going to bed. Don’t bother coming up”

DID YOU SEE WHAT YOU JUST DID, YOU HORN BLOWING PIECE OF. . .

“Seriously, you need to calm down, you are scaring the cat.”

 

UNJUSTIFIABLE SMUG CELEBRATION WITH A HINT OF RAGE

“In this stage, you are so pleased with yourself, you invent a new stage that exceeds Acceptance and you may or may not use the word Pwned”

DAMN RIGHT!
SUCK IT YOU STUPID WALRUS, I PWNED YOUR FAT ASS!
I ROCK AT THIS GAME!

Let me just take a picture of the credits to prove to the world how AWESOME I am!
This game was SO MUCH FUN, I can’t believe how HARD it was. Of course not hard enough for a PRO GAMER like myself. I bet that if this game had trophies, less than 1% would get the “Beat the game trophy” I AM THE GOD OF VIDEOGAMES.

Wait. . . Only 65% completed?

FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze ended up giving me a LOT of trouble, but the challenge was amazingly fun. I did actually set it aside for a few weeks to play some other stuff, but it eventually pulled me back in and I managed to beat it. Did you play it as well and do you recognize yourself in this emotional rollercoaster? Let us know in the comments!

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