Basic Game Information • Review of the Japanese Version • Playable on Nintendo Gamecube • Approx. $85 for the package that features the bongo controller
Overview • Nintendo’s contribution to the “rhythm” game genre (Dance Dance Revolution, etc.) • The players choose a difficulty level and a song, and they must strike the appropriate part of the bongo relative to the symbol that is displayed on screen. This is done in time to the music, to create a unique interaction between the player and the music.
Objectives/Players Role • To play each song on each of the difficulty levels (Easy, Hard, Expert, Easy Cool, Hard Cool, and Expert Cool), and obtain a “gold” rank • To earn “chips” by performing well while playing songs, to buy additional sound effects for the bongos, bonus games, and songs to play on expert mode
User Interface/ Game Play • Regular controller can be used, but the bongo controller is optimal • Use bongo controller to navigate through menus to select mode of play (single or multiplayer), difficulty, and song • Four different symbols will appear on screen: yellow (left bongo), red (right bongo), pink (both bongos), and light blue (clap)
User Interface/Game Play • Not only must the player hit the part of the bongo that corresponds to the on screen symbol, but it must also be done when the symbol passes through the on screen barrel (this way the bongo strikes will be in time with the music) • Mini games also use the bongos to do various things (a whack-a-mole type game, juggling bananas, etc.)
Scoring • Based primarily on accuracy of the bongo strike: Good, OK, Bad, and Miss • Good is if the proper part of the bongo is hit when the symbol is in the middle of the barrel • OK when the symbol is relatively close to the barrel • Bad when it’s not very near the barrel • Miss when the wrong part of the bongo is hit, or nothing is hit at all
Scoring • “Good” is worth the most points, “OK” worth slightly less, “Bad” worth none, “Miss” subtracts points • Points per strike vary upon the song, difficulty level, and how long your “combo” is • A “combo” is the amount of correct bongo strikes in a row, with no mistakes
Sound and Music • Music is the highlight of this game • 32 different songs to choose from • Folk songs, classical music (“Hungarian “Waltz”, etc.), Japanese pop music (SMAP, Utada Hikaru, Morning Musume, etc.), video game themes (Super Mario Theme, etc.), and even international hits (“La Bamba”, “Mambo No. 5”, etc.)
The Game’s Good Points • It can be enjoyed by players of any skill level or age, regardless of their “sense of rhythm” • A great party game • Playing the game is enhanced if the player is interested in the type of music that is featured in the game (video game music, j-pop, etc.) • Mini games and extra purchase-able bonuses keep the player coming back
The Game’s Bad Points • There are not enough songs featured in the game. A player will quickly grow tired of playing the songs that are available, even though there are 32 • The player must actually earn chips to unlock the same songs to play in Expert mode • There are no secret, un-lockable songs
Comparison to similar games • Easier than most other “rhythm” games (Dance Dance Revolution,etc.) • Only really directly comparable to “taiko no tatsujin” (due to the fact that they both use drum-like controllers) • “Taiko” features more songs per game than “Donkey Konga” does.
Is the game worth purchasing? • Definitely! It may be too easy for those who are used to rhythm games, but it serves as a great introduction for those who aren’t • If you’ve been looking for a rhythm game that features a lot of J-pop music, look no further
Points for Improvement • More playable songs featured in the game • More purchase-able mini games, instead of having to purchase the same songs on a higher difficulty level • Make more songs un-lockable