1. The Music. It sounds good but it doesn't fit aesthetically in with the theme of each stage.
2. Level design. For the most part the stages are designed very averagely. There is no unique gimmick to each stage to make them feel unique and all the special K stages all feel very similar as they use the same aesthetic.
3. Gameplay. DK along with all of his helper buddies are so hard to control. Trying to jump and move accurately which is required for many of the tougher platforming is just not possible without much frustration. This forced me to use Funky Kong for most of the game. I don't need the extra hearts or spike immunity I just need the double jump to get anywhere. His single jump is just as terrible as DK's one is.
4. The controls. Overall they work but some of the choices are really bad. Like requiring L or R held to hold on to a vine. Just not required and makes the overall game harder to play. Also it's not easy to run and not easy to manage the height of your jumps. This is evident on the mine cart as an example. It's hard to get the right hights you need for each jump.
I just play with Funky, avoid all the spikes and kill myself when I lose as many hearts as would be a death in the WiiU classic mode. So I make the game as hard as it was on WiiU but with a character that plays at least semi decently.
5. The bonus areas. There is just a few of them, they all have the same look and just repeat over and over. The SNES DKC2 and DKC3 had bonus stages, all unique and all specifically designed to fit the theme of the stage they were in. So well done there on the SNES. A shame Tropical Freeze did not do this better.
Also you can't re-try a bonus stage in a level without dying or exiting the level first. Something you could do in DKC 2 and 3 for most of the bonus stages.
6. Difficulty Curve. The SNES games gave you at most 2 hits at any one time then you're dead. They had frequent checkpoints so you could not brute force your way through any part of the game. You had to slowly get better and better at each section to make the next checkpoint barrel. Tropical Freeze also has checkpoints but they are not used at all well.
7. No world map to connect the smaller individual island maps.
8. Reused elements in the game. For example, in the beehive stage, the bees just have grass for you to hold on to. There's no need to reuse the grass for this. It also breaks the aesthetic the stage is aiming to capture. Something like sticky bees wax or honey would have fit in way better. In a few other stages this occurs as well. The developers chose existing assets to get the job done, instead of making new assets to better fit the theme of a particular stage.
9. The special world in DKC Tropical Freeze has zero purpose for existing. Also the levels there don't fit what a DKC game should be. In DKC2 and DKC3, their special worlds really fit into the game and had a purpose (to help unlock the 2nd endings of each game)
Thanks for your long and detailed reply. I also read your other comments on this list, regarding why people think "Tropical Freeze" is a great game, even the best in the series. And sorry, but claiming that these are "factually" "incorrect" is just so beginning of the internet. I thought we got over this in the past two decades.
I also read some other comments by you and you seem to have a very strong view that games can be differentialy rated between objectively good or bad and "Do I like it?".
One of the problems with this approach shows when you support this opinion with purely subjective arguments. So, you don't get the physics, the timing, the movement and the slightly more complex controls, which is fine in itself. But the latter is a perfect example of simply personal preference. You have to actually push a button, to grab a vine? How does that make the controls bad? To you, this may be an inconvenience and unusual. But to me, this adds a layer of interactivity and challenge to the game. It makes it more "realistic" and intense. So nobody is right, but it's far from "objectively" bad.
The movement is more heavy and momentum-based and therefore differs from the feel of many other platformers and the old "Country"-games. But that also doesn't make it "bad", since the game is precisely crafted around it's mechanics.
I NEVER had a problem with the timing or the movement and loved the overall feel of the game. I didn't even notice there could be a problem, because movement, controls and level design clicked so wonderfully together. I also have never been frustrated or just disencouraged by it's difficulty. So how can all this be objectively bad?
Some of your points are pretty nitpicky, too. You bring up the grass in the Beehive stage. I get your opinion regarding the aesthetics, although I don't share it. Also, you can explain this with the "legibility" of gameplay elements. The players should be able to recognize the surfaces they can hold on in an instant. Therefore they look very similar in each level. Following your reason, you could also say, that the barrels should look different in each location.
And then, there's the big one: the level design. "Average"? Sorry, man, but are you serious? You loose me, here. How someone can possibly think this, is beyond me and downright insulting against the developers. "Tropical Freeze" has some of the greatest level design in the history of the medium. Additionally I've seen no other platformer that captures the themes of it's worlds so brilliantly. The fifth world alone (the one with jungle and all the fruits and juice) is a freakin' masterpiece, in that regard. Also, what you say, that the levels have no unique gimmicks to them, is simply not true. Nearly every stage has that and even more. Mark Brown (Game Maker's Toolkit on YouTube) made a great video about this, that proves (!) you wrong.
When you think "Tropical Freeze" has average level design, then I really really want to know, which platformers have good to great level design in your opinion?
See, I don't want to change your totally alright opinion, if the game isn't for you, because that would be pointless and stupid. But you seem to take your solely subjective feelings about it's design as an objective truth. And telling people they simply don't get it's supposed averageness or are incorrect in finding "Tropical Freeze" remarkable is just so damn arrogant.