Product Type: Nintendo Wii games
Newest Review: ... but its not really a necesary read. Basically the wii remote and a numchuck (or an extra wii remote) act as marracas. You have 6 circle... more
One of the funnest ways to look like an idiot!
Samba De Amigo With (Wii)
Member Name: bamamo
Samba De Amigo With (Wii)
Advantages: A lot of content, easy to pick up, multiplayer and several game modes, a good workout (!)
Disadvantages: Controls not perfect
Having recently got my early Christmas present of a Wii (thanks Santa!) I signed up for a free trial of a game rental company so that I could try out some games before parting with any of my hard-earned. Okay, you got me, before parting with any of the money that work pay me to sit and write reviews on Dooyoo or read my book. Hard life, I know.
The first game I received off my list was Samba De Amigo, which I had read about on Amazon and was expecting some kind of a Dance Dance Revolution without the mat. That kind of game never normally appeals to me at all; I suppose I wanted something that would make good use of Wii's motion control remotes. Unfortuntely the controls are really what lets this game down, however fun it may be.
WHAT DOES THE GAME INVOLVE?
During the game you use either two Wiimotes (recommended) or a remote and a Nunchuck in place of maracas (you can actually buy them but as you'll learn the controls are poor anyway so I wouldn't suggest it) which you shake either high, low or central and left and right according to the instructions on screen.
As you progress, the gameplay gets considerably faster and you also have to strike poses (as demonstrated by the imaginatively-named Mr Pose on screen) or do dance movements with your arms. If you perform each move at the right time, your rating of course goes up, if you miss you get booed!
Career mode has easy, normal, hard and superhard mode, and each of these have a several levels named after characters from the game eg Amigo the monkey, Bingo & Bongo or Chumba and Wamba. Who comes up with these names?! Each level has a different Latin song, including several familiar ones such as Smooth, Hot Hot Hot, Bombaleo etc.
There is a very detailed training routine which I recommend before attempting the game as you need to get the hang of the temperamental controls.
You can also choose Quick Play in which you can choose any song you have previously unlocked (through career mode) or one of two multiplayer modes - which can be played against the computer if you don't have a friend who wants to look silly. Finally there is Survival Mode, in which you perform as many songs as possible with only a certain number of mistakes allowed.
There are also some mini games such as a game which only includes the dance moves, one which only includes poses, a whack-a-mole game which they worked into the theme by calling it Guacamole, and a few others.
CONTROLS, SOUND AND GRAPHICS
I know this was a huge hit on the Dreamcast, where it came with a maracas attachment and I believe was priced extortionately and became something of a cult so I'm told. You would think with Wii's motion control that it would be perfect, not needing any new attachments. Sadly the controls don't always pick up what you're doing.
The theory is that you hold the remotes (I really don't recommend using a Nunchuk in your left hand, apart from anything else the wire would get in the way) pointing up when instructed to shake the top one, down for down and straight ahead as you would use a TV remote for in the middle. A ball rolls towards a circle marking whichever position you are going to take up, and when it gets there you shake your remote. In the initial stages it works okay, but any faster, even in normal mode, and some actions don't get picked up on. I find it especially frustrating as the game then boos at you! This mostly occurs for me for the middle notes, it's hard to strike a balance between being up or down and despite holding the remotes in several different ways, there'll always be a couple of notes that you lose.
Obviously being a music game, sound is of huge importance and the game does this well. Most of the songs fit nicely into the Latin theme, although a couple are odd...Pon De Replay? Really? I am not a fan of the boos as I said earlier, especially when it's not my fault the remote doesn't understand what I want it to do! Generally it's a fun and lively soundtrack with the odd whoop and Spanish word thrown in for good measure.
Graphics like most Wii games aren't hugely advanced, but it's supposed to be cartoonish and fun which it achieves nicely. The game isn't taking itself too seriously either in graphics or sound, and that's okay because the whole point of the game is waving your arms around looking like an idiot!
I actually really enjoyed this game, which surprised me. I must add though that I have only played it so far in an empty house. I think I would be a bit embarrassed to be caught playing it because you do look like a total fool dancing around doing what a cartoon monkey tells you!
It is a pretty big game, there's lots of songs to choose from including some well-known favourites and while it does get quite fast and hard towards the end, there is plenty of content for younger or less agile players! The mini games are a nice touch but none of them overly entertaining, and it's nice to be able to just pick a song and go if you don't want to work on career mode or have a particular favourite.
The game is quite tiring and definitely a good workout!
Despite frustrations with controls, the game is pretty fun and think I might consider buying it when I return the rental version.
WHERE CAN I GET IT?
Samba De Amigo is currently on sale at Amazon.co.uk for £17.61 and I believe is also part of a deal where you can get it for just £10 if you buy a Wii console. Obviously it is also available at any good games retailer, although the RRP is quite a bit steeper at £39.99. At Amazon's price, it's an absolute snip for a really fun game that will keep you busy for quite a while.
Summary: A lively rhythm game although a little frustrating at times.