|To Play Samba De Amigo with the DC
or not to play? That is the question.
I could probably adapt more dialogue
from Hamlet for this review, but the above pretty much sums things up. Playing this game
with the Dreamcast controller was akin to watching a Shakespearean Tragedy. Here was a
game magnificent in its presentation, but its hamartia (tragic flaw for you non-lit types)
was the Dreamcast controller. Like Hamlets indecision, the controller not only kept
this game from becoming a king among games, but ultimately led to its downfall.
Amigo was going to be the Dreamcast game of the year. I was finally going to be
able to get my wife hooked on my Sega (shes only picked up my games to put them
away). My wife is a musician and I knew that she would not be able to resist the maracas,
but alas, no maracas came with the game. How could I play a maraca game without the
maracas? With great difficulty. Our Wal-Mart didnt get any in, and our local video
game place only got a single set. Many games out there use optional special controllers.
Many would argue that the Namco fighting games need the arcade stick, but its not
necessary. Some would say that a steering wheel is imperative for Tokyo Extreme, and sure,
it would be nice, but hardly required. There are those who would argue that the Dreamcast
version of Quake demands that you have the mouse controller, and, while I can appreciate
its advantages, you can still do some serious fragging without it. But, alas, Samba De
Amigo is one of the few games where the controllers are not optional.
I was counting down the days until Samba De Amigo came out. Here was
another game to further justify my continued allegiance to the Sega Corporation. One more
game with which we could thumb our noses at those pathetic PS2 fanatics. Theres been
nothing like Samba de Amigo before. I anticipated the ultimate party game, and what I got
was the ultimate bore. Dont get me wrong. I still think this could be one of the
great games, but I wont know for sure until I get my hands on some maracas (if I get
my hands on some maracas). I dont understand how Sega could send this game out for
review knowing that the gameplay was almost entirely dependent on the controller.
very straightforward. On your screen you have six targetsthree on your left and
three on your rightwhich represent the low, mid, and high positions of the maracas.
Little globes materialize in the center of the screen and shoot off for the various
targets. Your goal is to shake the correct maraca in the correct position before the globe
hits its target. Without the maracas you have to simply hit the buttons on your controller
that correspond to the correct target. Its like playing the short-term memory
version of Simon Says.
and graphics are catchy and the maraca wielding monkey is wacky in the best sense of the
word. The graphics in this game are more for those who are watching you shake your booty
(which they dont get to see with the controller). This is a game designed as much
for the audience as for the player. The graphics are almost irrelevant for the player
because he/shes going to be too focused on the little balls in the center of the
screen. Unfortunately, without the maracas, no ones going to want to watch you play
cant give this game a rating because I dont feel like Ive really played
it. Sega should have bundled the maracas and the game for a hundred bucks and avoided the
pretense of these controllers being optional. If youre contemplating buying this
game you also need to consider getting the maracas, which would make this a $120.00 game.
I suspect that it would be money well spent, but I cant know for sure until I get my
hands on those maracas. The only audience for this game sans maracas might be the couch
potato who wants the appearance of a hip game (because it is a hip game) without actually
having to lug his carcass out of the Lazyboy. For the rest of us, its a question of
whether or not weve got the cash to pay for the experience. And since I lack that
kind of money, I will continue to look for new gaming experiences in the discount aisle.
Ups: Cool concept; need rhythm; cute graphics; good tunes; sounds like a great
Downs: Need maraca controllers to really have fun; maracas+Samba=too expensive.
Sega Dreamcast; maraca controller peripheral strongly
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