One of the greatest parts about the return of Donkey Kong Country with Donkey Kong Country Returns was far and away the simultaneous co-op. I played through the entire game with my, normally Gears of War 3 playing, cousin. We became a maelstrom of monkey fury as we crashed through level after level, always on the hunt for those elusive puzzle pieces.
Getting to go through DKC Returns with a friend, experiencing each wild event contained in all the various levels doesn’t just leave a memory in your mind. It sears an experience into your psyche.
Basically, Co-op is important. Retro has the technical know how and game delaying swagger to make 100% sure that there is some form of multiplayer in this game. Do they have the savvy to get online co-op in 3D with the great framerate you need to appreciate the incredible graphics stuffed into DKC.
Now some multiplayer battle modes or what have you would be nice too, and maybe I will cover that later when I have some concrete ideas of how that would work.
What is important though is that there also be online high score and best time leaderboards! Though the original DKC Returns has more than enough replay value with all the extra challenges to take on within every stage, it’s clear that online leaderboards would make this game far more competitive. Dare I ask for uploadable videos of those best runs? Okay sorry, I am asking a bit much now, but you are Retro Studios and that means something.
If you were to layout screenshots of some of my favorite games of all time, you would notice a common theme. That theme is they are all bright and colorful as a candy store. I’m not sure why, bright colors just grab my attention.
One of the brightest, most attention grabbing games I have ever popped into a console is Sega’s Chu Chu Rocket for the Dreamcast. All I knew going in was that it was a fun puzzle game made by Sega. The next thing I know rockets are launching into the air, uncatlike looking cats are scrambling and chasing somewhat mouse looking mice around a checkered board.
That doesn’t explain anything. Listen here man, this Chu Chu thing, it’s an experience. Cats meow, Chu’s chu, and rockets blast off to who knows where. It’s a rez-like multiplaying euphoria of neurons firing as you cry and clamor to collect the most mice possible.
I would best compare the frantic four person multiplayer to Bomberman in regards to the simple edge of your seat shenanigans inherent in each. Easy for novices but unpredictable enough for hardened chu chu gathering professionals.
That multiplayer experience, the single reason this game should belong to anyone who has friends, is also proof positive that Sega hates money, and just loves going bankrupt.
This is precisely the type of game that does phenomenally well with some online and some voice chat. Sega could have had Xbox Uno on its hands but just sat on those hands instead. Well they didn’t sit on their hands completely. They had a free moment to dump the game onto smartphones like people really want to play a slowed down, single player version of this game.
I felt bad when Sega was hemorrhaging money and the Dreamcast fell into it bad with the piracy and poor sales, and completely ineffective management. The Sega of today doesn’t get elicit quite the same response. They are willingly, knowingly doing the things they need to be awesome. They haven’t created a new Jet Set Radio (which would have been heaven on the Wii, but will be awesome enough on any system), Refuse to publish another Puyo Pop in the US, and they haven’t had Hideki Naganuma work on any of their soundtracks in quite some time. Sega does get it right sometimes, but these days that tends to feel like the work of outside developers, or just lucky swings these days.
I don’t know who was running things or how or from where, but Sega has a long history of kicking ass by taking risky bets on colorful and quirky titles. Releasing an online multiplayer Chu Chu Rocket won’t bring that Sega back, but dammit, at least remember who you were Sega!