I consider myself to be a platforming veteran. I've collected most of the stars in Super Mario 64 DS and all of them in Super Mario Galaxy. I've beaten New Super Mario Bros Wii and Metroid Fusion. One would think I could play most platformers with relative ease. So when I got Donkey Kong Country Returns, I was served a big piece of humble pie.

DKCR is easily one of the most difficult games I have ever played. Things start out easy enough but by World 4 you might find yourself losing dozens of lives per level. The final boss is also nearly impossible. If you are a noob at sidescrollers or get easily frustrated, don't buy it, because DKCR will only make it worse. But if you love the genre, its worth at least one playthrough.

Difficulty aside, this is certainly an awesome game. Every single level has something about it that sticks out in my memory; no two levels are remarkably alike. Part of the difficulty arises because of this fact, as there is very little familiar ground.

The graphics are excellent and the music is very nice. The controls aren't fantastic as shaking the remote is used for so many actions it can cause DK's death and also numb wrists. Co-op is handle very well, as Player 2 gets some nice bonuses.

All in all, Donkey Kong Country Returns is a very good game. It's very hard at times and after beating it once I have no desire to play it again, but it was fun while it lasted.