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Platform: GameCube
Genre: Platformer
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: EAD Tokyo
ETA: March 14, 2005

Related Links:

Review: Donkey Konga (GC)

Review: Get On Da Mic (PS2)

Review: Super Mario Sunshine (GC)





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Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat


donkey kong jungle beat gamecube preview         


It's not often that I get some hands-on of a console title before it ships.  At most, I've had ten minutes worth of play time at E3, which I attempt to remember when writing up a quick preview.  But recently I spent some time at Nintendo's Canadian HQ banging on some bongos trying out Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, a sidescrolling-platformer that exclusively uses the DK Bongo Drums (last used with Donkey Konga).


The setup is actually quite simple.  Hitting the right bongo moves Donkey Kong right, the left bongo moves him left, simultaneously hitting the left and right bongo make him jump, and clapping -- slapping the sides of the bongos -- sends a shockwave to stun enemies and suck in any nearby bananas (hopefully executing some kind of combo in the process to increase the number of bananas).  During boss battles (at least the one I played) the game feels a little like the classic boxing game, Punch Out.  Wait until the enemy takes a swing, dodge it with a clap, then bang on the drums to unleash a barrage of punches.  What's most surprising about it all is that it's extremely fun and takes all of two minutes to learn to play.


The graphics and sound are great.  Although the TV I played it on didn't feature a great sound setup, Jungle Beat obviously features a lot of deep bass.  I can't wait to play it at home so I can see if Donkey Kong's punches are as thundering as I want them to be.  The graphics are big, bright and eye-catching.


Here's the official skinny from Nintendo:


Feel the beat of a completely new Donkey Kong® adventure as you drum your way through vast jungle kingdoms!


An action/adventure game like no other! Grab a DK Bongos Controller and use it to guide Donkey Kong through wild jungle environments brimming with ravenous enemies and challenging obstacles.


Control is in the bongos! Tap the right drum to walk right and the left one to walk left. To run, you’ll have to play a drum roll, and whacking both drums at once makes the great ape jump. Clapping or tapping the sides of the bongos makes Donkey Kong emit destructive sound waves and a slew of other things!




This jungle’s gone wild! Battle enormous beasts, collect bananas, put together combo strings, get in boxing matches with rivals and even ride animal pals!


Game Storyline: With the aid of simian pals like Hoofer, Flurl and other jungle animals, Donkey Kong must square off with all kinds of evil apes, warthogs and giant birds as he reclaims his bananas.


donkey kong jungle beat gamecube preview          donkey kong jungle beat gamecube preview


So, basically there's only a few things to remember: bang on the bongos, grab your bananas and have fun.


One other thing, if you don't have the bongos, Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat will ship with and without the necessary bongos.  March 14, 2005 may be a month away, but I have my bongos ready.


- Omni

(February 14, 2005)