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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Sidecroller / Action

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Nintendo

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

March 14, 2005

 

 

- Bongos are just fun

- A real challenge to collect all the badges

- Sidescrollers are not dead!

- A work out

- FUN

 

 

- It’s over pretty quick

 

 

Review: Donkey Konga (GC)

Review: Get on Da Mic (PS2)

Review: EyeToy Anti-Grav (PS2)

 

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Donkey Kong Jungle Beat

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat isn’t so much about the destination – it takes no time to actually “finish” the game – but more about the journey, trying to better yourself and your score.  While I make the experience sound mystical, it’s more about outright fun – it’s games like Jungle Beath that make game reviewing a joy rather than the gotta/hafta mentality that I develop with too many games.

 

donkey kong jungle beat review          donkey kong jungle beat review

 

Jungle Beat is a sidescrolling platformer played entirely with the bongos.  (It can in fact be played with the regular controller but the game loses 90% of its charm.)  Banging on the right bongo makes DK move right, smacking both together make DK jump, clapping (smacking the sides of the bongos) sends out a shockwave that has a plethora of uses.  The goal of Jungle Beat is to collect bananas, but it’s not enough to just collect them – you want to perform combos while collecting bananas to multiply the total bananas collected.  Just picking up a banana will net you one banana; collect that same banana after performing a backflip and clapping mid-air and it will count as three.

 

At the conclusion of each level your banana total counts toward bronze, silver and gold crests that are counted toward opening further levels.  You’re allowed to replay completed level to (hopefully) better your previous performance.

 

donkey kong jungle beat review          donkey kong jungle beat review

 

Before the bananas get totaled you’ll face off against a boss.  While variety on the boss front isn’t strong, I still couldn’t help but be pleased – like I said, it’s fun.  In particular, I really enjoyed the boxing ones – dodging a blow then unleashing a rapid-fire counter-attack – because it got me thinking about a future rendition of Punch Out.  The Boss encounters aren’t all that challenging either, at least in terms of having to restart an encounter because you died.  I have yet to actually lose a life in Jungle Beat.  All the bananas DK collects counts toward his energy meter.  Each hit received docks a few bananas, but when you finish a level with 800+ bananas the chances of dying aren’t that great.

 

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Jungle Beat is a physical game and if you have waif-like hands you’ll come away with bruised digits.  For this reviewer, I always turned off the game feeling relaxed and exhilarated at the same time.  It may not be a complete workout but it’s a lot more than just twiddling your thumbs.

 

Helping the overall experience is the stellar presentation.  The graphics and animation are very good – plenty of cartoony goodness, with nothing lost between the sidescrolling sections and 

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the close range  punching.  On the audio side… I’ll admit that I have a nice setup andmost times I kicked the bass and dialed up the volume full effect.  The music may not be to everyone’s taste but I found them catchy and hummable.

 

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is an obvious must play title if you’ve got the bongos.  Is it enough to entice a gamer to purchase the bongos?  If you asked me, I’d say, “Yes.”  Find out what Fun is again.

 

- Aaron "Omni" Simmer

(March 22, 2005)

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