Donkey Kong Country Returns! to Virtual Console

by John "ANC" Barnes on

Three SNES games back on Wii, finally on Wii U; other Kong shenanigans afoot

As part of the weekly eShop update today, Donkey Kong Country 1-3 have been made available on Wii and Wii U. The classic Super Nintendo platformers were available to purchase on the Wii Shop Channel for a long time, but vanished without any fanfare or explanation about two years ago. They recently resurfaced on the European Wii U eShop, leading many Americans to complain about how much better Nintendo always treats Europe and how it’s always been like this, conveniently forgetting, oh, everything else ever. Yeah, I know, I wanted to play Doshin the Giant, too, people, but trust me: on the balance, we won.

The return of the DKC games is just the beginning, though, as the three Donkey Kong Land games also arrived on the Nintendo 3DS eShop today. I never played them back in the day, but by most accounts they’re pretty bad, mostly because they tried to cram the 3D modeled sprites and backgrounds onto the fucking Four Shades of Grey Game Boy without thinking about things like “contrast” or “being a good idea.” It was a different era, and if you didn’t have a Super Nintendo but had a Game Boy and wanted to play something approximating Donkey Kong Country, they were probably an okay bet, but that was 20 years ago. One historical curiosity: Donkey Kong Land 3 actually got a Game Boy Color upgrade in Japan, which sadly is not likely to show up on the US Virtual Console.

Both sets of games come as part of the Donkey Kong Knock-Out Offer, in which buying any of the Country or Land games will also entitle you to a 30% discount on both Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze on Wii U, or Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D on 3DS. I’ve also seen reports that simply paying the $1.50 upgrade fee from the Wii VC versions to the Wii U VC ones will also count for the promo. There’s also a new theme available for the 3DS menu based on the NES version of Donkey Kong. Ape monkey banana pun goes here. Sometimes simians throw their feces. Watch out for that.