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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: SEGA
Developed By: Gearbox Software
Genre: Music
PLayers: 1-2
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: September 23, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

Samba de Amigo made a splash on the Sega Dreamcast in 2000, introducing the world to music-based games utilizing game-specific peripherals. While the trend has continued with the likes of Guitar Hero, Rock Band, etc. none of them have had a perfect transition from peripheral to controller until now. To introduce a new generation of gamers to the excitement of Samba de Amigo, Sega has re-released the title for the Nintendo Wii console. Swapping out $80 maracas for the free motion of the Wii-mote, new and veteran gamers can experience the excitement of this remake without having to go broke.

For those new to Samba de Amigo, the game is all about shaking your maracas, in this case Wii-motes, along with the beat. To sync your maraca movement with the music, six target areas will appear on the screen in which you must match your altitude and shaking of the Wii controls with. The target zones are high, middle and low, three on each side of the screen. Registering these movements with the Wii controls requires the player to point the controller up, straight ahead, and down, respectively. While this isn't that hard to do, as notes come faster and faster, you find it at times difficult to match the movements accordingly. Also, with the Wii version, itís all about accuracy and to successfully hit each and every note, your gameplay technique must go from carefree to robotic. Depending on the song being played, additional hand movements will be utilized to perform rolls, matching poses, and dancing. For the most part, the controls are solid, however when you are trying to pull rolls and poses, you are shown how inaccurate the Wii controls really are.

Trying to appeal to abroad audience, Samba De Amigo features a broad spectrum of musical tastes. You have pop tunes from artists like Rick Martin and Rihanna. There is also an assortment of mambo, marimba, and tango tunes that sure to light a fire under your feet.

To add to the lasting quality of Samba de Amigo, there are several different modes that offer up variations of the single-player option, where you would unlock majority of the additional songs Of course you play the regular versions of each song, or rock out to dance-focused versions of the same tunes, offering a bit more variety. You can also play co-operatively with a friend and find out how compatible the two of you are. There are also mini-games that can be fun at times, but also can be easily conquered without much effort.

When it comes to visuals, Samba de Amigo is about color as oppose to details. All on-screen characters have a cartoonish appearance to them, similar to the Dreamcast version. Putting the two versions side by side, you can tell the Wii version is a bit more polished in terms of details, but not by that much. Each and every tune you are jamming to features a very colorful backdrop that have characters jumping and dancing all over the screen. Even the music moves to the mighty beat of the song being played. For those who don't focus on hitting the correct motions can easily be distracted by the lush backdrops.

While there are more than enough songs and modes built into the game to jam to, the desire to continue to play this game comes from the ability to rock out your fellow friends and being able to download additional tunes via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, putting this game within the same category as current greats Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The overall experience can be a bit shakie at times, but overall there are several hours worth of replayability within this title.

Some may argue that the original Smaba de Amigo is the best version of the title, while others will say the Wii version is the best. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the experience and enjoyment factors, which will certainly have eager gamers coming back for more.


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