Samba de Amigo
“Shake what your mamma gave ya!” is a shout that perfectly fits a game like Samba de Amigo. When you have to use the Wiimote and nunchuck as maracas and shake to the rythm of the music, everything stands or falls with the registered precision or lack thereof though…
The idea of Samba de Amigo is childlishly simple and a flashback for previous owners of a Dreamcast. There are six circles on the screen and the way you hold your Wiimote and nunchuck determines which circle you select. From the center bolls appear and when they’re perfectly in the middle of the circle you need to shake. Next to that you sometimes have to take on a certain pose or do a real dance. A warning in advance:when you need to make full, large circles with your Wiimote, make sure you don’t get the connector cable with the nunchuck in your face!
Contrary to what you may think, it doesn’t matter how high you keep your controllers. Where you point them to, on the other hand, is. Keep them steady and you select the middle circles. Is the infrared sensor and the C-button pointing up or down then you respectively are in the upper or lower circles. On Easy and Normal the controls function properly as the notes don’t follow so fast so you have time to look which circle is selected and correct if necessary. With Hard and Superhard, however, you don’t have that time anymore and things often get screwed up.
Maybe your movements aren’t correct anymore as things go so fast or is it because the right positions aren’t registered anymore? Fact is that it can be very frustrating as you feel like you’re doing things right, also when you need to “dance” by wiggling your Wiimote and nunchuck or when you need to make a certain pose things get approved while you were absolutely not doing what you should have. The other way around also things are registered incorrectly while they aren’t. Add to that that in certain cases having 90% correct isn’t enough to succeed and you need to finish a series of three to five songs before you can continue and I don’t need to explain further…
That the controls aren’t completely accurate is of course a big letdown. Still it won’t matter in most cases as this is a game that is targeted towards casual gamers or that you get out of the box when you’ve got friends coming over. Then you usually stick to Easy and Normal where the problems remain limited. Both in single and multiplayer you’ve got a number of options like playing together (with the computer if you’re alone) or against each other. There are also minigames but far too little. Read: after having tried them once you’ll never play them again. Guaranteed!
If you’ve got a group of friends or family that isn’t afraid to go nuts, then Samba de Amigo can be quite fun. There are quite some numbers that vary from Latin over samba, merengue, mamby to chachacha and rumba. Most succeed in creating a fun Summer atmosphere and that your Miis dance along in the background is of course a fun addition. On the other hand that also makes things a bit too crowded at times with many dancing figures and bright colors. Usually you won’t notice much of it as you concentrate on the notes, but the background can cause some distraction sometimes.
If playing with friends or family and keeping the difficulty on Easy or Normal than Samba de Amige can be quite fun. If you take on the challenge of Hard or Superhard then the less than accurate controls will quickly irritate you.