by Professor Layton
reviewed on WII
Let the Rhythm Guide You
Almost a decade ago, Samba and all his pals graced the Dreamcast with one of the most innovative and enjoyable titles seen in ages. Combining an addictive and responsive rhythm game, Samba de Amigo was miles ahead of its time. Due to rhythm games not being in at the time, the game was met with relatively low sales.
Since then, rhythm games have evolved and became all the rage. What started with Guitar Hero has now branched off to include franchises such as Rock Band and SingStar. Hoping to sit atop the podium with those franchises, SEGA has remade Samba de Amigo. This time though, there are no maraca peripherals. Can Samba step up to the play and prove that it doesn’t need any peripherals to deliver an epic rhythm game? Keep reading to find out.
Unlike many other Wii games, Samba de Amigo is played using either two Wii Remote or a Wii Remote and a nunchuk, similar to how the WiiWare game Helix is played. However, instead of moving the Wii Remotes in synch to on-screen movements like Helix, players shake the Wii Remotes and/or nunchuk to visual cues on the screen. On the screen, there are three shake zones: upper, middle, and lower. Orbs float from the middle of the screen and gravitate into one of these zones. When they get inside the circle, players shake the Wii Remote high, low, or in-between to acquire points.
While playing, players will have to occasionally strike a pose with the Wii Remotes. To complete this, you need to follow the instructions of an on-screen character. Though these dances moves work great, the problem with the controls is with the shaking. On the easier difficulty levels, things are a breeze. Blue orbs are coming out of the center at a fairly constant, manageable pace, which means there shouldn’t be too much trouble with keeping up with the game. As the difficulty increases though, the pace of the blue orbs speeds up, even reaching the point where it is practically impossible to score points. The problem isn’t that the game is too fast, it is that the game can’t keep up with you.
Like previous Samba de Amigo games, the Wii iteration boasts some of the most vibrant and lively visuals on Wii. Since the last Samba game, the backgrounds have been upped a notch, as with the lighting, and even shadows have been implemented. Character models look stellar, and even Miis have been added to the backgrounds so that can jam along with you.
With that comes one of the most impressive soundtracks of any Wii game. Many gamers often complain about variety in rhythm games, but that isn’t the case with Samba de Amigo. The music is upbeat, catchy, and stylish. With over 40 tracks to jam with, it is pretty hard for one to say that Samba de Amigo is lacking in the sound department.
Samba de Amigo has one of the most impressive soundtracks of any Wii game. From Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay” to Jennifer Lopez’s “Do It Well,” Samba de Amigo has it all. For Samba fans, some may be happy to hear that the game boasts tracks from previous games, including the Japan-only Samba de Amigo Ver. 2000.
For the first time on Wii, players can download additional songs using Wii points that they have purchased. Though Samba de Amigo isn’t the first game to feature downloadable content, it is the first retail game and rhythm game to. The only major downside to downloadable content is that some people will find it hard to justify the price of song packs. For others though, the price may be spot-on.
Let the Rhythm Guide You
In most games, people complain about the limited amount of modes. Fortunately, you shouldn’t hear anything along those lines about Samba de Amigo. For starters, the game boasts tons of modes ranging from a challenge mode to a frantic multiplayer fiesta. As if that wasn’t enough, the game allows players to go online and view leader boards to see how they stack up against the rest of the world.
Without a doubt, Samba de Amigo is one of the most impressive rhythm games to grace the Wii. Yes, the controls need a little more polish, but alas, the game still proves to be enjoyable. With plenty of modes to engage in, ranging from the typical single-player mode to the frantic multiplayer modes, and dozens of songs, Samba de Amigo has it all. Just remember though, when you give your Wii Remote(s) and/or nunchuk to a non-gamer, try not to rip their arms off trying to get them back. Trust me, casual gamers will love Samba de Amigo.
No Pros and Cons at this time