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DISCLAIMER: The opinion expressed in this article does not reflect the entire opinion of the website, only the writer.



It is well known that the Nintendo Wii console was the one who brought a lot of casual gamers who tried to get into the gaming consoles, and since then a lot of developers and publishers, for most of the time, brought a lot of casual, simplified or simpler games into said console, pretty much all of them being easy games, however that doesn't mean that there wasn't any hardcore games or games that appeal to said market on the Wii as it did had plenty, but two of them that I want to mention are these two games that I am pitting against each other !

Now, why these two games you ask ? you might think that they might not have something in common, but I did see some similarities to the point of pitting these two together, in which are:

- They are both 2D platformers

- They both have a character returning from a long time in their original gameplay form

- And of course, both of them can be difficult to a lot of people !

These games have been known for being hard in many cases, many of which that really tested your skills ! but which one is harder ? which one was the one who got a greater welcome from its long hiatus to their original gameplay ? but most importantly, which one is the better game ? keep in mind that my opinion may differ from a lot of people, but I will try my best to give out at least some decent reasons for my choices !

 VS  

Best Story


VS


In Rayman Origins, it takes place in the Glade of Dreams, a world created by the mysterious Bubble Dreamer, Rayman, his best friend Globox, and some Teensy friends are chilling out at the Bubble Dreamer's resting grounds, the Snoring Tree. However, their snoring disturbs an old granny from the Land of the Livid Dead, who retaliates by sending an evil army of horrendous creatures and the Darktoons across the world, capturing the Electoons that inhabit the world, imprisoning Betilla the Nymph and her sisters, and plunging the Glade into chaos.
The story in this game is pretty pointless, I know it's not supposed to be serious as its main focus is quirky, fun gameplay, but it could at least told a decent tale, as it's pretty lackluster in general, specially the ending, and that's really disappointing considering that previously, this game was originally supposed to tell the origins of how rayman came to be and how he raised up, they tell about how he got his moves and powers but that's it...

In Donkey Kong Country Returns, setting in Donkey Kong island, a group of evil tikis known as the Tiki Tak Tribe were awaken in by the island's volcanic explosions and they later hypnotize all the animals of the island to steal Donkey Kong's bananas, but as one of them tried to hypnotize Donkey Kong in his own house, it doesn't affect him and when kicking the tiki out of his house, Donkey Kong along with his friend Diddy Kong start their new adventure to retrieve all of the bananas from the tikis.
This story is pretty charming, but it doesn't focus it a lot, in fact, there is none at all ! it's just pretty straightforward in the beginning and you're set and ready to play the game with just a simple explanation on why Donkey Kong is on an adventure, and you get an ending once you've beat the game... and it was the most exaggerated ending I've ever seen for this game's series, and that's pretty much it for its main story and there is another short story that, while not mind-blowingly good, it does a great job at keeping you interested to keep playing after you beat it, and to be honest, even if this game doesn't have much depth to its story, it is kid friendly and works pretty good for what it is and that's where it's charm comes from.

... I think it's pretty much obvious which one takes this category ! I just didn't like the story in Rayman Origins, not only because it was pretty lackluster and didn't make any sense in most cases, Donkey Kong Country Returns story is much more appropriate for its own due to its charm... despite the fact that it has less story than the other game ! so to me, I feel that this is why Donkey Kong Country Returns takes this category !

WINNER:

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Best Gameplay


VS


Rayman Origins is a 2D platformer that uses the Wii remote sideways, the Wii remote and nunchuck and the Classic controller/Pro. The game is presented with a level select screen to choose which level to pick, reminiscent to the old level select screens of some of the old 2D games, and once you begin the game, you will start out with no moves, no attacks, etc. but as you progress through the game you will gain them by rescuing these fairies called the Nymphs in each respective world, and each of them give you a new abilities such as running up walls, gliding in midair, swimming and shrinking in size which all of them can help you reach certain and new areas. In each world your objective is to reach the end of the level, but there is also another objective which is to rescue these imprisoned creatures named Electoons, in which you must find them through a lot of secret areas, but you must also collect these other creatures called Lums in which they're spread throughout the whole levels since at the end of each level you are graded to how many amount of lums you've collected and you must need a certain amount of them in order to get two electoons each in their order of amounts of lums collected, and there are also some boosts to double the amount of collecting these lums by collecting a Lum King in which it will double the value of lums you can collect in a few seconds and by collecting these Skull Coins which are also hidden or put in dangerous areas that are worth 25 Lums each if you manage to catch it and wait for a while or move away to collect it all while not being hurt, since it will return to its place if you get hurt. And you must collect these electoons in order to progress through the levels in which they require a certain amount of electoons. The game also includes a drop-in drop-out coop multiplayer similar to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, it can even reduce the difficulty fairly, but you can still hit your partner to the point where he might lose a life if you're not careful...
The game is fine, playing the main game isn't so bad and the first half isn't so bad either in terms of difficulty, but the later levels can get pretty hard, especially if you want to complete this in 100%, since it can take you a while to beat it since you need to be flawless in order to collect enough lums to earn the medals and this can be annoying in the mosquito sections, which it's a shooter style game where you automatically move forward (but can fly anywhere) and you can shoot enemies or suck them up and fire them and since I needed to collect a great amount of them, I needed to rapidly press the button to fire at the blue pods that contain the lums, and since there's no rapid fire option in the controller, it did left me with pain in my hands... and I do think that the levels are fairly challenging, as it increases the challenge the further you go into the game, but sometimes I do think that the way you control the character can fell a little floaty for these challenging stages.

Donkey Kong Country Returns is a 2D platformer that uses the Wii remote sideways and the Wii remote + nunchuck. The game presents you with a world selection and when a world is selected, you will have a level selection that said world will present you with, and each main objective of each level is to reach to the end of it by jumping on platforms, beating enemies along the way, and sometimes jump on a barrel that can take you much more further, and once beating all of the world’s levels there will be a final level of the world whose main objective is to defeat the boss of the world in which when defeated you will proceed to the other world. The controls are pretty basic for a platformer, but other additions include the motion controls for rolling by shaking the wii remote while running, ground pounding by shaking it while standing, and blowing by holding down the d-pad or control stick and then shaking the wii remote. But not only does it have just platforming levels since it also includes two types of levels that changes the way of playing the game such as the mine cart levels, which are sections where your movement is controlled automatically because you’re in a moving cart and you must jump or duck at a precise moment to avoid obstacles coming towards your path., and the rocket barrel levels, which is sort of the same as the mine cart levels but only this time you fly instead of being on the ground, and you must press the 2 button (when wii remote sideways) or A button (with wii remote + nunchuck) to elevate, and since you can't control how to lower down your elevation, you must use it precisely in order to not crash into an obstacle. All the levels also have collectibles that you can find by blowing certain objects or by ground pounding them to find a secret alternate area that can be a hidden , in which are the K-O-N-G letters and the puzzle pieces in which varies in how many you can collect in each level (more info on what do these do later on...), and there are also other items you can pick up in which are the bananas that can vary as there can be one, a bunch that can get you five, etc. and collecting a hundred of these can give you an extra life, and there are also banana coins, in which can be found by objects that can be blown or by having a good streak of jumping on enemies many times, and these can be used as currency for Cranky's shop that is located in each world, and you can buy him more lives, another extra health bar that can be used once, banana potion that can give you more resistance from hits, squawks the parrot that can help you indicate where the hidden puzzle pieces are by squawking at you and a map key that can unlock you another level in the designated world. But in some levels you also have Diddy Kong to go along with you in the game in which can be found by picking up the DK barrel and tossing it, and not only does it give you two extra health points, but he can help you glide for a short amount of time and roll much more farther and faster, and there’s also rambi that can help you go through the levels by destroying certain structures or destroying the spikes hazards that can be found on the ground. There is also two player coop multiplayer as well where the second player can be Diddy and can act separately or alongside with the first player when playing through the game aside from the mine cart levels and the rocket barrel levels.
The game was pretty good, I did had fun with this game and I did enjoyed how it increased its difficulty the further you go through this game, but there's also some side items you can use in order to help you get through the challenging levels, making the game have appeal towards anyone who play videogames in terms of difficulty, but I do feel that the forced motion controls kind of feel forced into the game, however I did get used to them by not using them too often unless I needed to, and I did enjoyed the game as is... although really didn't liked the rocket barrel sections and it's not because they're awful, it's just that they're not the types of gameplay that I enjoy.

The gameplay between these two are pretty similar to each other when it comes to what they offer, (collectible lums and collectible bananas and coins, hidden areas for electoons and hidden areas for puzzle pieces, etc.) and both of them each have something to present in terms of their levels, since some of them include unique obstacles and platforming that makes these games appealing apart from each other, however which one do I prefer the most ?... it's pretty difficult for me really, while I've enjoyed Rayman Origins, I really didn't liked the mosquito levels (in terms of completion) and the treasure levels, these are side levels where you must chase a runaway treasure chest across a dangerous course, and while they are optional and the first ones can be fun, the latter ones are just plain torturous ! since you need to be completely perfect, and I mean pixel perfect jumping and timing, in order to beat it ! and there's even one that I think it has a bug on it, since I kept loosing unfairly, and it turns out it was some sort of weird bug where you need to beat the level in a "certain" way, you might think that I was bad at it but I wasn't alone in this... and here's proof about it(link)... and here's another one(another link).

While at the other hand, Donkey Kong Country Returns is pretty enjoyable in general and has appealing difficulty, but the forced motion controls won't be very appealing to some people, and not to mention that I didn't liked the rocket barrel levels, so if I had to be honest... I have to go with Rayman Origins, as much as I hated that weird bug in that one level as well as the other issues I had with the game, Donkey Kong Country Returns just feels a little flawed in comparison, and this is because of the forced motion controls, while they aren't bad in my opinion, I do think that they feel unnecessary, and also because of my distaste of the rocket barrel levels as well, and since Rayman Origins doesn't include any of that into its gameplay, and as awful as I feel to say this, Rayman Origins gets this category.

WINNER:

Rayman Origins

Best Graphics


VS


In Rayman Origins, the game actually uses an in-house graphics engine called the "UbiArt Framework" which allows artists to easily create content by hand-drawing them and then use it in an interactive environment, and this results in one of the most beautifully hand-drawn 2D worlds that really makes itself unique, and while it is cartoonish, it still is amazingly fitting for its type of style, it even uses other graphic assets such as lightning, particle effects, etc. to be not really hand-drawn but use it in a way that doesn't make it out of place and increase its quality even more due to how fitting the setting is.

In Donkey Kong Country Returns, Retro studios, the ones who developed this game, really take the full potential of the Wii's graphical power and made this game look really great in its 3D graphic style in a 2D game. while the whole graphic style is cartoonish, it does its very best to make itself look very detailed (but not realistic) that makes this game not look really outdated, since there are some effects such as the lightning and the metal shine look really good, there are also some levels that goes with a certain graphic style that sets the mood of said levels, such as the sunset beach and the first factory level.

As much as I appreciated the amount of work that Retro made for its game, I think that Rayman Origins had the one that not only had the best effort due to having a more highly detailed and beautiful hand-drawn design, but this is the first game to use a unique engine in order to deliver said graphics, and seeing how it is much more original due to its graphic design and having actual artists to design it into this game, I feel that Rayman Origins should take this category !

WINNER:

Rayman Origins

Best Music and Sound


VS


In Rayman Origins, the soundtrack was composed by Christophe Heral and Billy Martin and it consists of having many types of songs, such as calming songs, upbeat songs, mexican style songs, etc. some of them with high pitched voices humming into the rhythm of the song, each of these setting the style of the levels being played, and all I can say is that it is really good ! they really fit the mood of the game (even the ones that don't !) due to how great they are and some of them are even memorable ! the sounds however... are pretty decent, they're not pretty bad to hear like the punching and the sound that you hear when you collect a lum, it's just that they're way too simple and some of them are actually too quiet. My favorite songs from this soundtrack are: Lums of the Water, The Mecha Factory and The Dragon Chef's Belly.

In Donkey Kong Country Returns, the soundtrack was written by Kenji Yamamoto and it consists of having songs composed with tribal music instruments while most songs have another form of instrument to play alongside the music such as a piano, saxophone, etc. the soundtrack also consists of remixed music from the other games as well such as the classic aquatic ambience and jungle hijinxs from the first Donkey Kong Country game. But don't get me wrong, the soundtrack is pretty good, but some of the songs feel like they needed more of that impact that made the original trilogy's music so special, the remixed music is also pretty nice to hear, but some people who really love the original songs might not like them very much (But I do think that people will at least like the Fear Factory one !), but the sounds are pretty... ok, they are very simple and they sound really quiet and ones that stood out were crashing a barrel rocket and the punching sounds when hitting a tiki or a bonus barrel. My favorite songs from this soundtrack are: Rocket Barrel Theme, Golden Temple and Sunset Beach.

I do feel that the soundtrack of Rayman Origins had some great effort into its songs more than Donkey Kong Country Returns, I'm not saying that the soundtrack for Retro's game is bad or lackluster, but not even relating to the original trilogy's soundtrack, I feel that Donkey Kong Country Returns' soundtrack doesn't have the impact or some of the passion that Rayman Origins had, so I give Ubisoft's game the winning entry of this category !

WINNER:

Rayman Origins

Best Presentation


VS


In Rayman Origins, while the menus are not too special, it does have some the most beautifully crafted environments thanks to the UbiArt Framework engine, since it can pull of artist's drawing to create some really good looking imaginative worlds, thanks to the high amount of detail into its drawing, it really doesn't make this game feel simple or bland, there's even some interaction into the levels such as moving grounds and walls when hitting a red pod and such, and the fact that sometimes you go to another area that is on the background by jumping on a blue pod, although sometimes the game can have some moments where the camera goes far away, making it somewhat hard to see you character. As for the replayability, the game does have a fair amount of content to it, you can earn medals in each levels by collecting a huge amount of lums, a time trail when you finished that respective level and there are also the treasure chest levels, in which beating all of them will unlock a special difficult level, and by collecting a certain amount of electoons can give you an alternate costume that you can try out when visiting the snoring tree, but completing this game in 100% will get you... nothing.

In Donkey Kong Country Returns, not only does it take the Wii's graphical power to its full potential, but it also does more ! each detail in the environment has been designed to fully make it atmospheric even if the game was 2D, be it having jungles, forests, mines etc. the game was truly designed in order to show the levels what they truly are, but not only that, there is also some moments where you can see with the environment in another perspective (for example, in a rocket barrel level in the factory world, there is some obstacles in which are working gears whose cogs will try to stop you, but the gear is actually not in front of Donkey Kong but it is in the environment, making this game have a sort of # dimensional feel to it), and there is also some moments where you go to another area that is on the background by finding a barrel that can take you there (sounds familiar ?). As for the replayability, the game offers a great amount of content for you ! throughout the game you can collect the puzzle pieces that are in each level in each world to unlock music or artwork in the extras menu, you can also collect all the K-O-N-G letters in each level to unlock a challenging "K" level in each indicated world and when beating them all you will get access to a bonus level which  beating it will give you a mirror mode where not only are the levels reversed, but you can't use Diddy as your partner, you only get one health point and you can't use items, and this mode has its own completion mark as well, making this game require you to complete it in 200% as a whole !

I think it's fairly obvious which one I prefer more, but I have a doubt about this though, since I really appreciated the effort that was put in Rayman Origins, it's world felt unique and stylish that I feel that I wanted to give this category to it, but I'm arguing that I feel that Donkey Kong Country Returns is the one that has a bit more to offer in its presentation to its levels and the fact that you actually get awarded by beating its other difficult side modes instead of giving you next to nothing, while I feel that many people will disagree with me on this, I feel that Donkey Kong Country Returns gets this category.

WINNER:

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Overall Best Game !
So we've reached the end of the category, which means it's time to count the total votes to decide which of these games are better ! And the winner is...


RAYMAN ORIGINS !

Score:
Rayman Origins - 3
Donkey Kong Country Returns - 2

Even though I prefer Donkey Kong Country Returns much more and this article isn't really accurate when comparing to the reviews of this site (Donkey Kong Country Returns - 10, Rayman Origins - 7), those two reviews were made by different people, and I was the one who reviewed Rayman Origins, and to be honest, I really didn't liked my review of that game since I was very harsh and somewhat emotional on it (I would have changed the score to an 8 to be honest) so in this article, I give Rayman Origins the benefit of the doubt, despite having some flaws that I really hated, I still appreciate the amount of work that Ubisoft did for this game, be it its graphics, music and having very few flaws to its still acceptable gameplay, not to mention that rayman hasn't appeared in a lot of games compared to Donkey Kong, so I guess rayman really deserved his return and that's why I choose this game !... now I wonder how good will Rayman Legends and Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze be when they come out ...

So what do you guys think ? Did you prefer the other game more ? or do you actually agree to my opinion ? Let me know in the comments !

____________________________
If you only have these two choices, which one will you choose ? to have a game with no story ? or to have a game with the most ridiculous, boring, cliché-filled and horrible story ever ?
Do games need to be epic ?... or fun ?...
Wii #: 0018 2269 1524 9019 (codename Jnes)
Also on PSN ! PSN: jnesDX
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Comments

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on July 30th 2013, 5:05 pmAqua Cherry Blossom
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
That was a fantastic article Jnes5. Smile
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on August 2nd 2013, 1:23 pmAussiegamer
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Nice work mate that was a good read! :-D
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on August 2nd 2013, 1:32 pmDigiDestined
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
How long did it take you to write all of that?! Surprised
It is breathtaking! =)
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on August 2nd 2013, 2:59 pmReanfan
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Thanks for posting such an amazing feature. Wink
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on August 3rd 2013, 1:51 pmFuManchu
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Your talent is unrivaled here at WiiWareWave you could become a famous paid news editor one day Jnes5. victory
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Beautiful feature Jnes5! I love you
I like both games equally, but I totally agree with your viewpoints of both games. Smile
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Personally I can't get into Rayman, so DKCR wins for me. I find it odd that you can now play them both on your 3DS, and they started out on wii first Surprised
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on August 6th 2013, 3:47 pmAmufungal
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Rayman Origins is my choice as well Smile
Nice feature Smile
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I truly enjoyed this feature of yours Jnes5 it was a wonderful article. Smile
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