Console games usually fall into one of several well-worn categories. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find anything that tries to be different. But sometimes you stumble across a game that's so unbelievable, so wonderful, that it completely restores your faith in human nature and makes you think that, yes, maybe we do deserve more than just a fiery nuclear death. Samba di Amigo is such a game. The problem is that it's a Dreamcast game. They don't make Dreamcasts any more. And if you have a Dreamcast you're going to have real problems getting hold of a copy. It had a pretty small release in this country (it was very expensive, retailing at the time for about £70). The reason for the high price is that as well as the game disk itself you also got a pair of maracas that you had to plug in to your Dreamcast. The maracas are what you play the game with. Yes, that's right. Maracas. Ha, bet you weren't expecting that! The maracas are very expensive these days. I hear that you can expect to pay more than £100 if you can find them at all. It took my Dreamcast-owning friend quite a while. He had an American version of the game, but no maracas. In the end he managed to get some 'unofficial' ones. (You get a mat to stand on with the official set, but the unofficial ones light up when you shake them, which is cool.) The maracas plug into a plastic strip that is then plugged into your DC. This strip has sensors at either end, which read the position of your maracas as you wave them around. (You specify your height before you play, so that you can shake the maracas at a level that's comfortable for you.) You have to navigate through the various options menus to get to the game by using your maracas. (They have a start button on them, but otherwise you have to shake them to select things - negotiating the menus at the start is quite tricky until you get the hang of it, but it does let you get used to the maracas befor
e you start to play.) The game itself, when you finally get there, is awe-inspiring. Music plays (crazy party music!), and you have to shake the maracas in time to it. On the screen there is a series of six circles, arranged in a hexagonal configuration. Small white balls flow towards the circles as the tune progresses. When the balls reach the middle of the circles, you have to shake one of your maracas in the right place (so that it highlights the circle - there are three different positions on each side of your body). Does that make sense? You shake your maracas in time to the music, basically, but change the position of the shake according to what you see on the screen. How well you do - how many times you shake the maracas in time to the little balls on the screen - determines your final score for the song. Your overall rating ranges from A (very good) to E (shockingly bad). There are three modes to play the game in. Arcade is the original version (this is a Japanese arcade game that's been adapted for the DC). You only have six songs to play with, and if you do well enough (C or above) you get to play again. Then there's Challenge Mode, where you are set certain tasks (for instance, get an A on such and such a song). Neither of these modes is as good as Original Mode though, where you get a free run of all the songs (there are about 25 - some have to be unlocked as you play, some were downloaded from the Internet). You can choose which difficulty level to play at. Easy is for beginners - most songs are manageable at that level. Normal is more challenging (this is the level I'm currently playing a lot), and if you don't do well enough then you won't be allowed to finish the song. Hard is a lot more difficult, although I can at least get to the end of most songs on it. There's a secret Extra Hard level that's absolutely impossible - you'd need to be an octopus or something to do well on extra hard. If y
ou have two sets of maracas you can play in party mode, where two players play the same song in competition with one another. Sadly I only have one set. In the background, while the songs play, you get some astonishing psychedelic visual effects. The main feature of the backgrounds is a cartoony Mexican monkey called Samba. He dances along with you, smiling and laughing when you do well, and getting upset when you let him down by messing up (you get booed if you do too badly). At the end of the song he cries if you get a D or an E. Making the monkey cry is the ultimate badge of shame, at least in my household. The backgrounds also feature other dancing creatures, weird abstract patterns, and, in one song, monkey skulls with sombreros on flying all over the place. You can't really watch the backgrounds while you play, as you can't afford to miss a single beat, but for other people eagerly waiting their turn the visuals are a pleasant diversion. A lot of the music is Latin flavoured. Along with stuff like the Austen Powers theme and La Bamba you get modern rubbish like Livin' La Vida Loca. Tubthumping is the only song that's so bad I outright refuse to play it. There are a lot of old computer game themes too, my favourite being a little number called Super Sonic Racing. You also get a good version of Take On Me, although it isn't by A-Ha. (Samba di Amigo 2000, which is even harder to get hold of, was a sequel that featured the theme from Rocky and Mendelssohn's Wedding March among other things.) The best thing about this game is that the more people you have playing it the more fun it is. It's a lot more enjoyable if you have other people watching you (most things are, I find). And watching other people is great, too. Most players adopt a look of immense concentration, interspersed with the odd moment of sheer panic and outbursts of surprisingly vitriolic swearing. This is especially funny, because obviously they&
#39;re also dancing, that being the point of the game. Everyone who comes into contact with the game wants to play it. People often start off by saying 'no, no, I'll just watch you', but before too long, having broken through the embarrassment barrier, they'll be jumping up and down trying desperately to get the maracas in the right place. I have a housemate who point blank refuses to play computer games normally; even she loves Samba. I don't think I'm getting across just how good this is - it doesn't seem quite as exciting trying to describe it as it is to play. I can honestly say that Samba di Amigo is the most fun it's possible to have that doesn't involve naked ladies or hard drugs. Chances are you won't be able to find it for an affordable price now, and will never know the joy. But should the opportunity ever present itself then you'd be a fool not to take it. Sadly I don't own the Dreamcast. It's been lent to me by a friend. This means that eventually he's going to want it back. But I don't like to think about that. For now I'm just looking forward to going home tonight and shaking my maracas vigorously in front of the television. I'm going to make that monkey smile.
Samba De Amigo is one of those classical games that will always be remembered on the Dreamcast. The basic aim of the game is to use the two maracas that you buy the game with to dance to a song of your choice. Of course the songs are limited but they are all great songs to dance away to The game is a great one to play when you have a mate around. This is for the one reason and that is that you look like a complete idiot dancing away on your mat to this song with your maracas. It?s a great laugh and its one you only get with this game. It is more of a party game than a single player game. You only have a limited amount of a thing that you can do on this game and that is sadly where this game suffers. You have the old classic arcade mode where you can plough through 3 levels of songs each more difficult than the other. The cool thing about this is that you select the song that you dance too and not just a song that your Dreamcast decides. The more times you complete the arcade mode the more songs you unlock so the game does have some sort of reward. This game in the way of graphics is actually really good. In the background there is a lot of dancing going on and it?s all animated very well. The better you are doing on the maracas the better the dancing is. To be honest though you don?t really notice the graphics all that much as you?re main attention throughout the whole game is focused on 6 panels, two at the top, two in the middle and two at the bottom. Little balls come out of the centre and they go to different panels, you must shake the maracas when the ball hit?s the panel and you then score points and work up combos without making mistakes. The game comes in a huge box with two maracas and a dance mat. Although this is a very expensive kit you will find it very hard to get hold of for under £200 as only a small number was made in the UK and it was not a major hit because of its cost. You of course get the game with this pack
age and the overall presentation looks good. Music wise this game has one of the best selections of songs to have. The songs appear to have been well selected by Sega and they fit into the game really well. Some of the songs in the game are: . Macarena . Samba De Janeiro . La Bamba . Take on me - Reel Big Fish . Tub thumping As I said they are good songs to dance to with the Maracas and are ones you like to here again and again. The music can get a bit annoying sometimes especially when you can?t do the stage you just get frustrated and give up. But overall the music is really good and there is enough variety for most people to like and it suit?s the games style really well. This game will absolutely tire you out and it makes you sweat more than you when your at the gym. It puts a lot of strain on your arms and for some people this could be a bad thing. But overall you loose a bit of weight playing this game which is nice added bonus. Apart from just having to dance to the same old tunes there is a mini games type mode, which are very hard to do so you need a lot of practice to beat them. These are challenges and are very hard to do. Two player mode is one of the best things about this game if you have 2 pairs of maracas. You see both players dancing to the same song but the dance patterns are opposite so it is very funny to watch. Online features were another nice surprise for this game. You have the ability to download songs to your VMU of the website to dance to, there is only a limited choice but this is a nice extra that more Dreamcast games should have had. Some of the songs I can remember are the Sonic Adventure theme music and some other sonic stuff. These are nice additions and it is good too have a couple more extra songs that you can dance too as you may get bored of having to dance to La Bamba. This game is a party game and it is such good fun when you have your mates around a
nd you want a bit of a laugh. This in my opinion is what it is best for; it is not one of those games you would really want to play on you own, as you would look like a complete fool. You will still enjoy it but you will just look like an idiot and feel stupid. The game is so hard to get hold of but if you see it second hand with a pair of maracas, you will love it and it is a great laugh. The best party game ever, the funniest game made, a must for Dreamcast lovers
Firstly I realise that Samba De Amigo 2000 isnt going to be released in the UK, as a result buying 2000 isnt going to be cheap and Im guessing that only people with the original Samba will actually seek it out. This review assumes a certain amount of Samba knowledge. So, is it worth it then? YES! Without doubt this version is a winner. Having played and loved the original Samba in one and two player I feel safe in saying that 2000 is quite a lot better. For a start there are more modes of play including the highly amusing "Jive" mode where you have to swing the marracas around rather than just shaking them in time. I would say that some of the Jive moves are a bit difficult to pull off due to sensor problems but with a bit of practice you learn how to position yourself. On the whole jive mode works and is fairly forgiving. This is probably the main reason to get 2000. More tunes have been included and thankfully the best of the originals tunes seem to be here. A massive bonus, tune wise, is clearly the Rocky theme which prompts many a giggle. There are one or two duff tracks but you can forgive that. Since the game is in Japanese I'm not sure what some of the subsections actually relate to. Dont be too put off as guess-work and a working knowledge of the originals layout should see you through safely. A bit of digging will reveal a vollyball mini-game. Its not as much fun as the main game and single player it is very dull. 2 player only if you feel you have to play it. So if you want to extend your Samba fun and can get your grubby little paws on a copy, then buy buy buy.
This is the only game I have ever seen proper grown ups play and enjoy. And it stars a monkey shaking maracas, a bee with a tiara and a cross dressing leopard. No, really. Now harder to find than dodo eggs, at least in the UK, Samba De Amigo is based on a Sega arcade game of the same name. It involves the crazy task of shaking electronic maracas in time with Latin-flavoured songs (think Ricky Martin and Tequila, not the impossible to learn ancient language) to achieve a sort of super-funky high score, while impressing your friends and relatives with your smoothness. Samba is a sheer joy to play. You feel like an idiot at first - after all you are stood, maraca in each hand, looking at a screen full of dancing animals - but soon the music gets you moving. Everyone I have shown this to has immediately said "this is GREAT!" and wanted to play more. A plentiful supply of alcohol in the fridge may also have helped, but I still play this one player to beat the "challenge mode". This isn't a novelty game without substance. It is a genuine classic. You can move the maracas freely, but they only register 6 positions. These correspond to high, middle and low, on both left and right side. On the screen are 6 donut shaped things, arranged in a circle with 2 high, 2 in the middle and 2 low. From the centre of the circle of donuts appear blue balls. Each one moves from the centre to a donut, and when it reaches you have to shake the maraca in time and at the right position. For example, a blue ball goes to the top right donut; you must shake the maraca in your right hand in a high position when the ball arrives. Do this and a little "yeah!" appears, miss it and you get a "boo!" Too many boos and it's game over. Get all yeahs and you achieve a "PERFECT!" score. It is more difficult to explain than play. The hard part in playing is getting the rhythm right, as the blue
balls start off fairly easy to hit, but later levels and on harder difficulty settings, they become impossible! Your mum might just about be able to manage easy or even medium difficulty, but try hard and she'd be throwing the maracas at you in frustration! There are various modes too, some better for beginners, some for experts. Training Mode is good to start off with, as this allows you to keep playing without getting "Game Over" for missing to many balls. Arcade and Original are the standard Samba De Amigo game, you play through 1, 2 or 3 songs in a row and try and get the highest score. There are 3 difficulty levels and it can be played 1 or 2 player. Party mode is ok if you have some friends that are at a decent standard of maraca shaking, but is too tricky for the beginner. Also you really need 2 sets of maracas to get the most out of it. This mode has various mini games, but it doesn't seem as much fun as just shaking the maracas to the music. Challenge Mode is a 1 player game that sets various challenges, such as achieve a score over 400,000 points, or get a perfect on a certain song. As a reward, you get more tunes and sound effects unlocked for use in the other modes. In all there are 23 songs, 14 are "real life" ones, such as Tubthumping, Macarena, Samba De Janeiro, etc. and 9 are taken from old Sega video games. You only start off with 6 though. The rest have to be unlocked by playing the challenges or in arcade mode. Typically the game goes for £100+ on eBay now, making me wish I had bought a few PAL copies last November. However, there are cheaper ways of buying it if you are determined. I bought my copy from a US online store, www.tronixweb.com, for about $40 and it works fine on a Dreamcast with a mod chip or with a "boot disk" (a disk that you load first that will then let you play American and Japanese games.) Recently though, I have see
n it cheaper at around $20 to $30. Maracas are harder to come by. The original Sega ones, at least, are impossible to find. Luckily, third party maracas can be bought from some UK based import stores, although even these are rare nowadays. I recommend www.ink-4-less.net, as this is from where I got my first set. They are about £30 from there. I also bought a second set from www.lik-sang.com and, although cheaper, the shipping was pricey, so all in all it probably worked out the same. These sets are called "Cha Cha Amigo" maracas and work pretty well. The detection of the movement is accurate and they have flashing lights too! Only downside is that they need a good shake to register sometimes. Get those arms pumping! With two players the fun is more than doubled, although you will need a fair amount of space, as the maraca shaking can get quite wild. I haven't damaged anything with them yet though. All in all, this is the best party game ever. The great 1-player bonus modes add a lot to the single player longevity too. Just don't let anyone catch you playing it on your own. In fact, if they do, they'll probably want to have a go themselves!
Samba De Amigo is a brilliant party game, and we all had a great laugh with it this Christmas (my PS2 was faulty so I had to get out my Dreamcast for the kind people!). Everyone seemed sceptical about it, up to the point when the Dance Mat and Maracas were taken out of the box! I had played previously on Samba for a few goes, but my mate Neil really showed us all up with his incredible rhythm! Samba is a game unlike any other – its convention defying, and yet you don’t feel at all nervous when you start to dance to a well-known Latino tune in front of around 8 people! It’s a great laugh, but very hard work if you select normal or hard mode! The graphics are excellent – very ‘in your face’ kind of thing, but the best part is just dancing to the superb music in the game! My personal favourite is the Macarena! It’s expensive at £80, but just do what I did and get it from HMV – don’t look embarrassed that you’re carrying around a 1metre tube (yep the box is really that big!) because what people don’t, but should know, is that you’re now the proud owner of one of the best games ever made! It’s very catchy, unlike the flu – you’ll actually want to be involved! Superb game play, and endless longevity! I couldn’t recommend Samba any more than this: GET IT NOW!!!!
Samba De Amigo! Please note: before reading this opinion, take into consideration that I have ‘normal’ family and friends and am not insane at all. Ahem… Samba de Amigo is the ultimate party game, and is quite possibly the only game that everyone will want to play – and I mean everyone! The way Sonic Team have created the game is beyond me, and how they managed to come up with such a superb idea, and make it into a playable, and enjoyable dancing, and maraca shaking mania! The game is something special, something really quite extraordinary and is definitely worth the price you pay for it – no questions asked! At £79.99 RRP it is probably the most expensive game on the market, and certainly on Dreamcast, but be careful because I have seen places like GAME selling it for £99.99, which is not the RRP. I was lucky enough to purchase mine for the miniscule amount of just £61.49 from an online store, but they have since put the price up! Samba De Amigo arrived in the morning in a very long intriguing corrugated cardboard box (70cms approx!), but I knew that this must be the game. Carefully opening the box, I found the Samba box, which is incredibly fun and stylish in a ‘happy Mexican’ colours! Opening this kind of carry case I was quite surprised to find very well designed interior packaging bearing the delights that were two fantastically authentic red maracas (although they’re attached via wires to the Dance mat), the actually dance mat neatly folded up, the plastic control centre which connects the Dance mat and the controllers to the Dreamcast control port. The game of course, is included! Sega initially had doubts as to whether they should release Samba de Amigo in foreign territories than Japan, but thankfully enough people expressed interest and so they did, and the game was released around early December. I don’t think Sega make much profit if any at all
due to all the costs involved. I doubt if many people own this game, but you really should because it’ll do wonders for you – I’ve worked off my Christmas food eating already just by playing 3 times a week! This is a superb way to keep fit, and could really prove to be of great benefit to everyone who plays it. Although it is immensely fun to play, it is very hard work, and most people are absolutely exhausted after playing, and that’s just on normal mode! However there is a warning that should not be ignored, it is health related and is very important, and I quote ‘IMPORTANT: Health Warning. The equipment provided with this game uses ultrasonic wave technology which may cause interference with pacemakers’ So do be careful, and if you know of a relative that may have a pacemaker then you must warn them because they may be unaware of this technology being used. Obviously, it isn’t advisable for people to play who are suffering from ill health or are pregnant. Unlike most games nowadays the action actually takes place outside of the screen – and it’s just as entertaining, if not more so, for onlookers to watch the person playing than watching what happens on the screen. You’ll have some hilarious times, I took the game along to a New Year’s celebration and everyone had a go on it and loved it! So what do you have to do then? Well it’s a simple concept, which unfortunately means it’ll be difficult for me to explain without showing you the game (you’ll have to try it out before you buy, but you’ll love it – so buy it anyway!), but I’ll do my best! After setting the game & equipment up – you’ll need to be standing ready before the game starts so that the Maracas can be recognised properly. Stand on the dance mat (which is incidentally made of vinyl chloride), which has been connected to the Base Unit (the plas
tic long thing connected to the controller port), and hold the Maracas – one in each hand (these should be connected to the Base Unit) and get ready for the funniest moment of your gaming life! The intro screen appears and asks you to press start (this yellow button is on the right controller, the left yellow button acts as a back or ‘B’ button). You’ll then be greeted by the happiest of all menu screens, just shake the left maraca up or down to find the mode that suits you – when you’ve found it, shake the right maraca and listen to the instructions! The game modes to choose from are: · Arcade – the best option to play if you have just started and select easy, normal or hard mode (select easy if it’s you’re first go – believe me!) and then start to shake and move! · Original – basically the same as Arcade, but with a greater selection of music! · Challenge – test your shaking skills and advance through the rankings from beginner to expert! · Party mode – the craziest mode and ideal for groups of people! The idea in each mode is to pick a song from a range of real (or slightly modified songs for the purposes of the game) and then shake the maracas in accordance to where the blue balls/records go on the screen! You can shake high left & right, low left and right as well as to the sides – but be careful because you could find that the balls go in the top and bottom at the same time! You’ll have to catch as many balls as you can in order to pass – a C grade or above in most cases – and you’ll be chanted by a ‘Yeah!’ if you catch a ball, or a ‘boo!’ if you miss! At various points in the game you’ll have to pose: copy the onscreen poser and get it right – you’ll have to jump al over the place one maraca top left and one in the middle – and so on! On the screen dancing wit
h you is Samba! The virtual Mexican monkey! Who is appropriately dressed in Latino clothes! If you’re doing badly then he’ll have a frown on his face and be moving drearily, but if you’re doing well then he’ll have the biggest grin on his face and look ecstatic! There are all sorts of characters jumping around on the screen during the song - Not that you’ll notice any of it because the game requires your up-most concentration! It’s a question of balance, timing and coordination, but it’s easy enough to learn! The graphics are superb and very funny, not that it matters because the game play is just amazing – certainly the most fun I’ve had last year playing a computer game! The colours are great, and very… happy! The best aspect of the game has to be the superb music – choose songs like: Chumbawumba’s ‘Tubthumping’; Ricky Martin singing ‘cup of Life’, the greatest song in the game ‘samba de Janeiro’; ‘Macarena’, ‘take me on’ and many more for you to unlock! The game is fantastic, and is definitely the most extraordinary, exciting and manic I have ever played! It’s great exercise, and will save you going to the gym and paying incredibly high prices. Even my Grandma had a go on the game, and although she only scored 35% (an E grade) she had a great time! As well as all of this, you can change the options and games settings, download more songs from the great triple W (world wide web) and basically have a party! If you thought people wanted to play Sega bass fishing at a party then think again – Samba will have you in hysterics, make you look like a complete fool, but it won’t matter because it’s such great fun! Don’t let the high price put you off - I really cannot recommend the game highly enough to you all. Samba de Amigo - The ULTIMATE Dreamcast party game!
When you first open the box you think hec what have i just spent 50 quid on. With the game you get 2 marraca's. you use these to play the game. the game is very easy to start of with, you just have to shkae the marraca's to the beat displayed on the screen. as you inprover and move along throught the ame the sequences get faster and harder to remeber and this is where the game can get quite annoying if you aren't patient and willing to give it a go. i thoroughly enjoyed the game. the games lastability is very long and you will be conig back to play this for months to come. The graphics are great. the game is pretty much a direct port from the arcade classic. the graphics and speed have been ported excellently and this is another original game sega have produced. overall i would give this game about 9 out of 10