Nintendo made their first appearance at the Video Game Awards, dubbed the VGX this year, from Spike TV. Reggie Fils-Aime came to bring a special announcement of a new playable character in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. In addition to DK, Diddy, and Dixie, Nintendo confirmed Cranky Kong is the fourth playable character. Cranky can bounce around on his cane, as was demonstrated in the gameplay demo shown. Reggie also revealed the game will release in North America on February 21st, 2014. Pretty great to have this exciting, new announcement at VGX…
…except it wasn’t really new or exciting. Thanks to Amazon, the box art for the game leaked and we already knew about Cranky Kong. And regardless, this was rather underwhelming news. Nintendo’s first appearance at VGX and this is all we get? Even Geoff Keighley was unsatisfied and tried to grill Reggie on more news. At one point, Reggie mentioned the Metroid pin he was wearing and I thought he might be leading into another announcement, but alas he was just teasing us fans.
I think this appearance at VGX really highlights the problem that Nintendo has at the moment. Wii U has not taken off in sales yet, despite Reggie’s constant assertions that it has. Appearing on a show that gamers watch would be perfect for a new announcement of a game geared towards core gamers. But instead, it’s a playable character in an established franchise that’s really not that big of a deal. Nintendo needs to market Wii U properly and use every opportunity they have. And unfortunately, I think this was yet another wasted chance. I’m sure people are happy about Cranky Kong being in this game, but I think his announcement would be better suited for a Nintendo Direct or something similar.
I hope Nintendo reads what people are saying online and learn from this experience. But regardless, we have Cranky Kong to look forward to in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze when that arrives to Wii U on February 21st next year. What are your thoughts on this VGX announcement?