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September 2004



- Some good tunes

- Bongo drums are kinda cool

- Mutliplayer options without the bongos



- If you lack rhythm, you'll hate this

- No "Bang the Drum All Day" included



Review: Mario Party 5 (GC)

Review: WarioWare, Inc. - MegaParty Games (GC)



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Donkey Konga

Score: 7.0 / 10


Donkey Konga is a great game!  Let me be a little clearer, Donkey Konga is a great game for those that have a sense of rhythm.  My own sense of rhythm is similar to a drum kit being dropped down a set of stairs – all over the place and at times dangerous, so my experience of Donkey Konga (DK) is somewhat influenced by that.


donkey konga review          donkey konga review


With every copy of DK is included a small set of bongo drums.  Everything with DK utilizes these drums from navigating menus to the in-game action.  The drum unit plugs into the GameCube like a regular controller.  Embedded in the bridge between the two drums is the start button, which at first seems an awkward place to have it.  Having it on the side of one of the drums seemed to be a better way to go.  It’s not until you start playing (or read the manual) that you realize that actions can also be performed by slapping the sides of the drum. (With a bit of foresight, Nintendo allows the regular controller to be used as well so you don’t need 2 to 4 bongos to play the multiplayer games.)


The mechanics of the game are rather simple.  A scrolling bar of icons zips by and you have to hit the appropriate bongo, which boils down to left, right, both left and right, and clapping (i.e. slapping the sides of the bongos).  As each icon reaches the target area you have to perform the appropriate drumming technique.  Even with the actions spelled out like that I found it took quite a while to actually start doing well.  (Besides struggling against my sense of rhythm I often forgot which bongo did what.)  As you progress, you’ll actually tackle stages without the help of icons – just barrels and your memory.





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For both single and multiplayer there are a variety of modes including Jam Session, Battle, Challenge, and Street Performance where you play for coins, but the underlying gameplay mechanics pretty much stay the same.  There are purchasable mini-games to break things up.


Nintendo did a good job securing some really rocking tunes to accompany all this drumming.  What other game include Whip It, What I like about you, The Loco-Motion, Right Here Right Now, On the 


Road Again, Dancing in the Street, Para Los Rumberos, DK Rap (from Donkey Kong 64) and a few remixed tunes playing tribute to other Nintendo franchises, like the Legend of Zelda, and Super Mario Brothers?  I would have thought Todd Rundgren’s “Bang the Drum All Day” would have been included, but as it stands DK features a full if somewhat eclectic mix of music to drum to.


If you have a sense of rhythm and you’d like to own an interesting peripheral then DK is probably the perfect game for you!  For everyone else it’s worth a rental for the novelty factor.


- Omni

(October 14, 2004)

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