The original post on Nintendo Life:
Okay, I've had a quick skim of the magazine and these jumped out at me. Spoilers, maybe:
The article describes some of the first parts of the game.
It says that most levels take around 10 minutes to complete on your first attempt.
Stage 3-3 Frantic Field is set against a hurricane, with small tornadoes, and lightning as obstacles. Eventually you reach the eye of the storm.
The stage after is set in a forest, with sections on fire due to the previous levels lightning. You need to use watery fruit to put out vine fires in order to progress.
It says there are tag barrels ala Donkey Kong 64, to switch between Kongs. It may just mean the DK barrels though.
There are multiple routes to take in levels.
There are three secret levels per world.
Time Attack returns, but you can select which character's DK barrels will appear.
Hot damn, players can upload times and full replays to show friends, and to help other players improve their own times.
There seems to be more emphasis on the background, which is constantly moving, which makes the world feel alive, and sometimes provides hints to what you're going to encounter next.
There is an interview with Michael Kelbaugh, and Kensuke Tanabe.
When asked if there was anything the felt was missing from the game Tanabe said that he wishes they could have done more with the animal buddies.
He also mentions that there is something from A Link to the Past that he want to do, couldn't, and used it in Link's Awakening instead. Which was the ending of LA when the egg opens.
Kelnaugh mentions three of his favourite levels; 6-6 Cliffside Slide, "like jumping right into the middle of an action movie", it's a silhouette level. 4-4 Irate Eight, and underwater level which sounds like the giant octopus from DKCR is back. 3-3 Frantic Fields, which is challenging, but with a bit of comedy.
Tanabe mentions that World 4 is made of only underwater levels.
He also mentions that he likes 4-4, and 3-6 Cannon Canyon, because of the dynamic 3D camera movement.
Kelbaugh said that the animation quality is improved over DKCR, and with David Wise, Kenji Yamamoto, and Scott Petersen, they have an amazing soundtrack, and special effects effort.
Tanabe was surprise that so few people in DKCR didn't want to use the Super Guide once it appeared. He said that the difficulty of TF hasn't been lowered, but that they have added some features that will give casual players an easier time. (Probably the items in Funky's shop, which I think are carried over from DKCR3D.)
They both say that the difficulty hasn't been lowered, but the new items, and Kong POW allow you to change the difficulty of the levels somewhat.
Miyamoto told Retro, when first working on DKCR: "This is my baby. Don't mess it up."
Kelbaugh and Tanabe both worked on DKC, with Tanabe on the Japanese localisation, but never met.
Ten years later Tanabe met Kelbaugh, when he became president of Retro. He saw that Kelbaugh had a DKC jacket, and they learned that they both worked on DKC.
A few years after that they both started on DKCR, so Michael gave DKCR the codename F8 - fate.
Retro was working on Mario Kart 7, and TF at the same time.
Tanabe, and his team at SPD is Retro's primary contact at Nintendo, but the games are a collaborative effort throughout Nintendo.
If they found themselves on Kong Island Kelbaugh would team up with Diddy, and Tanabe with Donkey Kong, so that he could be carried around.
The latest edition of the U.K Official Nintendo magazine (104) has some really interesting new information about DKCTF. For example each world has 3 secret levels instead of the original games one per world . Also the President and CEO of Retro says "As for Tropical Freeze, there are a few more things I feel we could have done with the animal buddies" which to me suggests that at least something has been done with them in Tropical Freeze.
So we are now looking at a game with around 60 levels in total (6 or 7 main with 3 secret ones) so similar if not larger than returns!
I would seriously reccomend that any DKCTF fan who lives in the U.K. gets the latest issue when it arrives in shops on 15th January as it reveals a fair few new bits about the game that I have not seen anywhere else and is an interesting read!