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Donkey Konga 2 Package Art
†GENRE
††Music
†DEVELOPER
††Namco
†PUBLISHER
††Nintendo
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-4
†CONNECTIVITY
††no
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Donkey Konga 2

Iím still trying to figure out why in the world Nintendo would take out the largest portion of what made Donkey Konga fun. The original was a blast because it had a good collection of songs ranging from oldies and catchy tunes, to classic NES music. It was fun to go back and master the song. However, this one tosses all of that out the window and replaces it with Good Charlotte. It's disappointing to say the least.

visuals

The graphics are extremely simple. Usually everything is put together to provide a simple interface for the drumming. Thereís no flash employed, no complicated effectsó-just a drumming Donkey in the corner and the occasionally Dixie and Diddy. This isnít a bad thing, because it works for the game, and you probably wonít be studying the graphics anyway. However, the graphics should be improved in future titles in order to maximize the experience. Some flash or glitz when youíre doing well would likely add to the experience. Also, the new menu interface, although equally functional, is less aesthetically pleasing. Still, the simple interface and unobtrusive graphics work for the genre.

audio

This is where the majority of the problems arise, and since this is a music game, this is a big, big issue. I was utterly unimpressed with the songs. If youíre a fan, forgive me, but Good Charlotte is an awful, awful band. Unfortunately, Nintendo has put several Good Charlotte songs into the game. Theyíve also tossed in far too much poppy music. It seems to be striving to reach a legion of thirteen year olds rather than everyone else. This waters down the whole game for me quite significantly. Songs like Full Moon, All Star, and The Anthem just donít make me want to come back and play more like We Will Rock You, Legend of Zelda, and Louie Louie did in the original game. The first Donkey Konga had a far more impressive soundtrack.

gameplay

Despite the incredibly disappointing soundtrack, the gameplay remains intact. Unfortunately, the gameplay is soured by the soundtrack. All the same mechanics are in place, which isnít a bad thing, but doesnít offer much in the way of innovation either.

The basic Konga controls are still here: yellow half circles represent a tap on the left bongo, a red half circle signifies a tap on the right bongo, a pink circle calls for a simultaneous tap on either side, and a silver symbol indicates a clap. A long yellow, red, pink, or silver bar indicates increased taps (or claps for silver). Depending on your timing, you will receive a rating of Bad, Ok, or Great. You receive two coins for Great and one coin for Ok. Coins can be used to purchase drum sounds, harder songs, and mini-games in the shop.

In order to unlock different modes and earn medals, you must perform well on the songs. By getting strings of Greats or Oks, you build a combo, which will earn you bonus points on your song meter. The song meter must be filled to capacity for a gold medal or pass the line for a regular medal. It is filled by avoiding Bads and missed beats. If you successfully string together extended combos of Greats and Oks with minimal Bads or misses, you will receive a gold or regular medal, which will go toward opening up different extras in the game and will give you coins to purchase items.

There are several modes of play. Street Performance uses the above mechanics to complete songs. Challenge mode is a marathon of all the songs in the gameó-you must keep your song bar filled until the end or you have to start over. There are also beatless modes in which you must produce the song by memory without the help of the yellow, red, pink, and silver icons. Bonus mini-games further add to the replay value.

As in the first game, the system in Street Performance is rewarding and, on Gorilla (Hard) Mode, extremely challenging. However, part of what added to the replay value and made the hard difficulty worth mastering was the quality of the songs. It was fun to play the songs more so because of how entertaining the song is and how good its beat is. I found these songs irritating and donít feel compelled to go back and master the Gorilla Mode. I hope Nintendo releases a third iteration with a larger amount of oldies and classic Nintendo music than what this title has to offer. I was very disappointed.

multiplayer

Multiplayer is still as fun as it was in the first game. Players can cooperate in the Challenge mode to beat every song in the game. Their combined efforts will contribute to the song bar, which they must keep filled to a certain point in order to finish. Gamers can also compete in duel mode or work together in duet mode. The only problem is that you have to have three friends who also own the bongos. I donít know a single person who owns the game besides me, but since I purchased both iterations, I have two sets of DK Bongos. You may want to do the same if youíre looking to have a multiplayer bash. The standard GameCube controller works to control the game, but it is vastly inferior to playing the game with the bongos.

overall

The same excellent play mechanics remain from Donkey Konga, but replay value is severely marred by the inferior quality of the soundtrack. Some may like the choices for the soundtrack, but these individuals are certainly a minority. Nintendoís attempt to achieve a hip and cool soundtrack severely detracts from the overall quality of the game. The songs in this type of title drive the replay and entertainment value. The lackluster soundtrack therefore effectively destroys the fun factor of the game for the most part. Although the game is still amusing for its effective control scheme, it is stuck in mediocrity as a music game because of its poor selection of music.

final score 6.0/10





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