Donkey Konga (GameCube) Preview

By 07.12.2003 2

After playing on the delights of Grand Theft Auto, The Getaway and Dead To Rights, the normal Playstation 2 gamer may then have a bit of an energetic game on one of the whole range of games that work for the amusing and entertaining peripheral that is the dance mat. After playing the amazingly fast Super Smash Bros. Melee and giving up on the excessively hard game that is Metroid Prime the average Nintendo gamer sits down and erm, err plays on Nintendo's answers to dance mats, shakers and other music peripherals, the Bongo Drums. Just what in the heck was Nintendo thinking? Read on to find out...

Nintendo have always been something of an Industry Innovator, but they haven't always gone about this in the correct way. Concepts such as Pikmin, Doshin The Giant and Animal Crossing are all prime examples of innovation and originality, something that Nintendo is seen as a symbol of, though they do not rule the industry because of the execution. In the early 90's, Nintendo announced that they would never approve of gore, blood etc. in their games, which, then was a very clever move. The parents saw Nintendo as a company that could be trusted and then purchased on for there son or daughters in the mind of thinking that they would never come across any sickening Nintendo games. This was indeed a very clever marketing move by Nintendo and never gave any parents preconceived worries about what the son or daughters may buy, though now this move has left Nintendo in a very complex dilemma. Now Nintendo are being left behind because SONY and MICROSOFT are effectively endorsing what Nintendo promised to never do by releasing games such as Grand Theft Auto on their respective consoles. This is something Nintendo could never do now because of the stigma Nintendo has attached to itself because going back on what they promised could potentially back fire and strike a reputation of untrustworthy as a company on a whole.

Screenshot for Donkey Konga on GameCube

Donkey Konga is not the most modest of games ever. It stands out, it tries to be different, and we like this in a game. Why just keep the game the same as everything else? What will that achieve in the long run? Whilst, in theory the game may play like a dream does it matter? Is getting out the bongos and having a couple of rounds of multiplayer ever going to be practical? Seeing as the peripheral will only work in conjunction with Donkey Konga, will the one game be enough to stand alone as a genuinely fun game?

Included in the game will be quite a variety of tracks ranging from Japanese pop songs to remixed versions of Nintendo classics across all of there plentiful franchises. The tracks consisted will be quite varied to keep gamers interested and enthusiastic towards the game but the only way we can see the game retaining this appeal is through expansion packs of some sort or form. Nintendo though, hasn't confirmed that there will be any but, more pleasingly, neither have they ruled out the possibility as false.

Screenshot for Donkey Konga on GameCube

So how does the game play? Well, as you'd have already become aware of, the lion's share of the game play comes through clapping and the beating of two round congas that are wired up into the controller port on the Nintendo Gamecube. Playing as one of the many in DK clan, you have to pound the drum in time to the beat. Some tunes are obviously more of a challenge than others but just how will the learning curve work and how will gamers be rewarded? Well, first off, the game sees players pitted against each other or on your own trying to hit the congas with the time. The symbols of which to hit are already on the screen showing you that drum to hit. A pink circle signifies hitting both drums, a yellow semi-circle showing the left and, in turn the red semi-circle for the right drum.

Screenshot for Donkey Konga on GameCube

When hit the drums on the left hand side of the screen will light up the colour of the logo. If you hit both obviously the drums will glow pink. Occasionally you will need to pound the drums shown on the bar for a certain amount of time, a length of the same symbol shows this. Clapping is also sometimes needed and this is represented in the form of a little pale green spark. Once you've hit the conga, if you have hit it well, and on the beat you will receive a good, but if you hit way off of the beat you will be given miss. The ratings of how many good, ok, bad and miss notes are displayed just above the main gameplay area.

There are a few multiplayer options as well, consisting mainly of head to head playing of the tunes. Whilst not that varied, the modes that are there will last a long time, much longer than just novelty time.

Screenshot for Donkey Konga on GameCube

Final Thoughts

Donkey Konga certainly is quite an original game and though it may not sell well, we can be sure that it will still be a brilliant game literally full with Nintendo magic and, Nintendo's many inspiring, brilliantly orchestrated tunes to play with. This should certainly be on every Gamecube gamers list for games to get.

Developer

Namco

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Rhythm

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (21 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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