Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
Back in the days of the 2D-age, Donkey Kong was one of the most well-known game characters. Together with his friends he would go out on typically 2D-sidescrolling platform adventures and whoever dares to deny these were super cool is a total idiot. The first announced Cube game featuring Donkey Kong was Donkey Konga (not counting the cancelled Donkey Kong Racing), a music game that needed to be controlled with drums; de DK Bongo’s.
Some found it a bit sad not to get a true adventure, others (like me) enjoyed very much of the happy drumming. Now, Nintendo has released Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, a sidescrolling adventure with flashy 3D graphics, controlled with the bongo’s. Read on to find out whether it’s worth something.
I’ll start with saying that this game is truly a beautiful new experience. There’s no storyline, you just run from level to level as Donkey Kong himself. By bashing the right drum you go right, with the left you go…left. Hitting both conga’s will let you jump and clapping your hands makes Donkey Kong hit his chest which makes 2 circles appear; the biggest is a soundwave that will render your opponents within the circle unconscious, the smallest circle shows how far Kong’s hands can reach.
The game comes with music we’re used from or big ape, but a bit freshened up. Next to that you can of course expect songs, completely in Jungle style. DK, his enemies and surroundings all look fine, this game again prooves that sidescrolling games can like great (think Viewtiful Joe). By the looks of their “shiny-factor”, it even seems like DK and his opponents are foreseen with a small coating of wax. People who have problems with epilepsia btw may find some problems with the flashing of the bananas that you take.
Indeed, you’ve read it well, like in previous DK-games you have to collect bananas. By doing combo’s, they’ll be worth more, and those combo’s can be done by f.i. after beating an opponent getting yourself shot away by a fussy flower, then grab a rope, after which you can fly with a bird, … all without ever touching the ground. You’ll catch yourself restarting a level because you’ve found a perfect spot to do a long combo.
At the end of a level you get a bronze, silver or gold medal depending on how many bananas you have. With these medals you can unlock new levels, each consisting out of three parts with the last part of course being a bossfight. On average you’ll take about five minutes to get through a level and knowing that there are only 15 levels, you know the game is incredibly short. Because of its originality, you’ll probably replay Jungle Beat but for 50 euro (60 if you count in the DK Bongo’s) it’s still not enough.
Next to that, we also missed a real challenge. Only at the end of the game you’ll need to get an insane amount of gold medals to unlock the last levels, which can become quite frustrating as you may not want to replay that same part again and again. Nintendo could have increased the lifetime of Jungle Beat a lot by adding stuff like unlockable minigames and such, but unfortunately they didn’t…
This game is definitely worth checking out, controlling it with the bongo’s is, after some practice, very smooth and really fun. Still, it’s way too short for what you need to pay for it, when you’re looking for a game that will keep you interested for weeks you shouldn’t be considering this one.
If you really want to bang the drums and you’re somewhat interested in music, I suggest you first check out Donkey Konga as you’ll have more fun with that. A bundle of this game together with Donkey Konga and the DK Bongo would be a perfect move from Nintendo.
If you really don’t mind spending money for short gameplay, then this game rocks.