I will take to my very last dying breath two statements: Donkey Kong is the most underrated gaming franchise ever, and Tropical Freeze is the best 2D platformer of all time, only rivaled by a few. The amount of care, attention, creativity and love Retro Studios poured into this game is incredible. Presentation takes center stage but seems to flow right alongside the gameplay effortlessly, only enhancing the perfect platforming. Every single level has a unique gameplay concept that evolves with the level as it unfolds. This never ever feels overwhelming because of the way the game introduces you to each idea little by little. It starts simple, you learn the mechanic, and then small twists are thrown in as the level progresses. You learn exactly what you need to learn, so when the game gets tough (and it really does) your slip-ups feel deserved and like needed lessons on what to correct your next time through the stage. It is perfect. Set pieces, game mechanics and other concepts are stitched together cohesively and effortlessly. Platforms are never just platforms, they’re giant leaves blown from a horn, a piece of wood flung out from a giant sawmill, or a hot air balloon. It feels so realized and somehow believable in the context of this wacky world. It’s crazy how much a simple thing like contextualizing a platform adds to your gameplay experience. It’s just fun to see. The Kongs control like butter and feel just right swinging and jumping through the levels. In a way they feel rightfully and manageably slippery. It feels right and really rewards patience and precision. Plus, the added mechanic of Donkey Kong being able to choose from Diddy, Dixie or Cranky to aid him is a cool feature. I don’t really see why you would need anyone other than Dixie, but it’s nice to see these fun familiar faces. This game’s approach to difficulty is nice, as the hardocre retro DKC players can have their two hit mayhem, and normal people can grab some handy items from the shop. It seems these items are a few helpful boosts rather than automatic win buttons, still allowing that perfect Donkey Kong difficulty to have its place. This game is everything I’d expect from the best 2D platformer, and that’s honestly all it needs to be. Let’s give old DK the respect he deserves.