Nintendo Power doesn't make strategy guides anymore. This has been true for a long time. And when Prima first began making guides for Nintendo I wasn't quite sure what to think. They've improved a great deal over time The original Donkey Kong Country Returns guide was one of those guides. In particular, when Nintendo has a side scrolling platformer released, Prima has consistently done a good job making good strategy guides for them. Here it's just as good.
For those who are curious, this guide is pretty much the same as the one released for the Wii version of the game. The exception, of course, being that it covers the new levels that are here. But aside from that the content is more or less the same. If you still have the Wii version of the guide it'll suffice, save for covering the new levels. With that in mind, let's talk about this guide a little bit.
There isn't much to actually say about Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. The guide begins as so many do with the breakdown of the controls and the game basics. Things you'll probably come to understand on your own with or without the guides help. On one hand, beginners probably should start here as it will help them better get acquainted. I suppose it's not necessary but if for some reason you do need it, there it is. Donkey Kong Country Returns is pretty inviting on its own, pretty much teaching the player how to play within the first couple of levels.
The walkthrough is where the guide is at its most helpful. Each area begins by showing you maps. The maps will point out everything. All the DK barrels, the secrets and the lives. Everything you need. It's done using the familiar waypoint system that Prima has adapted from Nintendo Power. That is to say that if you look on the maps and see a "1" on the map, you then need to find "1" in the text and read about what to do there. Usually it's accompanied by a screenshot or two. In particular, the guide will always make sure to call out things like the puzzle pieces or the KONG letters. It's a pretty simple guide to use. It's primarily a visual guide, however. You'll probably be looking back to the maps constantly. And while the maps are detailed they can feel a bit confusing at times. Particularly in moments where you can blast off into the background of a level. The maps are detailed in and of themselves and should help any player.
As it does use a way point system, however, this means that players needn't expect the guide to be too handholding. Meaning, it's not going to tell you how to get from Point 1 on the map to Point 2. It just assumes you'll be able to do this on your own. Likewise the boss strategies are usually pretty straightforward.
There isn't much that actually keeps the guide down. In fact, it's near perfect in every way. It teaches the player the game and guides them without feeling like it's holding your hand too much in the process and still letting you enjoy the experience of the game for yourself. If you're the type that has to collect everything and need to know where hidden passages and such are, then yes, by all means pick up this strategy guide. It's sure to help any player that hopes to uncover everything Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D has to offer.