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Plugged In

Donkey Kong is king of the video game jungle this week

Plugged In

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Platforms: Wii

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Donkey Kong Country Returns

He typically plays second banana to Mario, but this week original Nintendo tough-guy Donkey
Kong swings back into action as the star of his very own Wii game. Donkey Kong Country
Returns is the spiritual successor to the 1994 Super Nintendo platforming great Donkey Kong Country -- and if critics are to be believed, its 16-year evolution was worth it.

Averaging a potassium-packed 89 at Metacritic, the Wii-exclusive is garnering some pretty glowing praise.

"The magic of Donkey Kong Country Returns lies in its
ability to genuinely capture the sensibilities of the original without
pretense," says writer Christina Troup in an 'A' review for 1Up,
adding that it "hits all the right spots; it's filled with childhood
nostalgia, stunning visuals, and mentally taxing challenges."

Print pub Game Informer pats the gorilla's back, too, awarding his game a 95/100 while
claiming it surpasses the recent efforts of his more famous nemesis.

"New Super Mario Bros. Wii was fantastic, but Donkey Kong Country Returns manages to push the simian above his plumber rival in virtually every category," insists writer Dan Ryckert. He goes on to gush about the game's "gorgeous visuals, awesome boss battles, varied stages, and cleverly hidden secrets," though he warns that it's "easily the hardest in the series."

Some critics aren't exactly bananas over that difficulty, however, which seems exacerbated by some tricky controls. Gamepro writer Heidi Kemps calls the handling "ill-conceived" due to an awkward use of the Wii remote waggle to pull off certain moves, while Games
Radar
scribe Brett Elston rails on the "barrage of cheap deaths, uneven difficulty and iffy motion controls."

Still, both sites doled out respectable 8/10 scores, proving that even a few banana peels shouldn't stop this ape from barreling onto holiday wish lists.


Also Available This Week:

Gran Turismo 5

Platforms: PS3

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Gran Turismo 5

Having seen more caution flags than an entire season of NASCAR, Sony's oft-delayed
racer finally crosses the finish line this week. Boasting hundreds of cars,
photo-realistic graphics, deep customization and that patented Gran Turismo
gameplay, it could be the racer Sony fans have been waiting for. Forever.

Get More Game Details | Buy From Amazon


Michael Jackson The Experience

Platforms: Yahoo! Games

Video game dancing gets a bit more thrilling this week with the release of Michael
Jackson: The Experience. Sporting 26 classics from the King of Pop himself,
it's a must-have for MJ fans. And fan-service this is: day-one release copies
of the Wii version even come packed with a free white sequined glove.
Unfortunately, Xbox 360 and PS3 owners will have to beat it: versions of the
game built for Kinect and Move are slated for a 2011 appearance.

Get More Game Details | Buy from Amazon


Forgotten
Places: Lost Circus

Platforms: Yahoo! Games

Think the whole "clowns are scary" thing is a load of hogwash? Then feel
free to brave the dilapidated circus backdrop of this new hidden-object
adventure, which features great graphics, charming music and hundreds of
objects to find. Oh, and clowns. Scary ones. You were warned.

Get More Game Details | Download from Yahoo! Games


Splatterhouse

Platforms: X360, PS3, Wii, PC, DS, PSP

Halloween might be dead and gone, but this horror-themed beat'em up should bring back
some of the magic. Assuming by "magic" you mean beating enemies over the head
with your own severed limbs, that is. A remake of an 80s arcade hit,
Splatterhouse has had a bumpy development history. Here's hoping there's a
happy end to its gruesome story.

Get More Game Details | Buy From Amazon


Master
Wu and The Glory of the Ten Powers

Platforms: Yahoo! Games

The glorious Sword of the Ten Powers has been lost! That's okay, though -- we
wouldn't have much of a game if it were safely stashed in a vault
somewhere. Since that's not the case, have a blast roaming ancient china in this puzzling hidden-object hunt.

Get More Game Details | Download from Yahoo Games

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