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Samba De Amigo

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GF Rating
5.9

667 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
5

Fair

Live the life of a maraca mega-star

posted by JCDenton (FREEDOM, NH) Oct 1, 2008

Top Reviewer

Member since Mar 2006

13 out of 13 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

In the pantheon of music games, drums, vocals and guitars have been the main focus. Samba de Amigo puts it's focus squarely on the overlooked maraca.
The first thing you'll notice is the colorful landscape and quirky characters. And to it's credit, the game has a style befitting it's medium.
Also impressive is the wide array of music. Samba features some songs which seem inherent, like Lowrider, Smooth, La Bamba, Mambo Number 5 and Living La Vida Loca. There are also some songs that work, although you might not expect them, such as Pon De Replay and Take On Me.
Unfortunately, like so many games dripping with style, the main problem is the substance. Controls turn your Wiimote and nunchuk into maracas. Shake them while pointing up, down or the the sides to hit the corresponding dots as they appear on screen. Sometimes, you'll need to do a pose or a dance move using your controller. The dancing part works well, but the other gameplay mechanics are very unstable. There are far too many times when you'll have the controller in the right position and shake at the right time, but nothing registers with the game. As you try to get your controllers to do their thing, the game ignoring you the whole time, your score will slowly drop and cause you to fail. At these points, you'll likely experience a "giant question mark over your head" feeling.
It soon becomes apparent that you get better results by constantly shaking the controls in the general direction of the corresponding dots. This becomes less successful as you reach higher difficulty levels, at which point completing songs becomes downright aggravating.
The big problem is that you'll fail more songs because of the game rather than your ability. That's disappointing, because it's fun and upbeat. The concept is interesting, the music engaging and the presentation fitting. But if the controls don't function perfectly, the rest matters little.

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GF Rating
7

Good

"Samba de Amigo" means frustrating fun

posted by JMichaud (BETHESDA, MD) Oct 2, 2008

Top Reviewer

Member since Jan 2008

11 out of 11 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

It's the maraca shaking game that made a big splash on the Gamecube.
This time, you use your Wiimote and Nunchuck as the maracas, and the game will know which hand you have the Wiimote in (great for us left handed players).
The calibration of the maracas, on the other hand, is troubling. Samba de Amigo doesn't let you calibrate it to your style, it forces you to adjust to it's settings. Not very user friendly.
This can lead to major problems and many frustrated players, especially with the hard and super hard stages. In those stages, you have a very short time to move the Wiimote/Nunchuck in the right position and shake it. Early on, I was sorely tempted to chuck the Wiimote/Nunchuck in anger as I missed several shakes due to this stiff interface.
Another cause of missed shakes is the player not snapping their wrists when they use the controls.
But these problems can be reduced with lots of practice. Samba de Amigo has plenty of songs to get the feeling of the maracas right, and it's one great fiesta when you go through it's song list with a group of people.
Speaking of the song list, it is good with some songs you may recognize (Macarena), and others you may not. There are downlodable songs, but I couldn't get any information as to how many songs or what the title of those songs were.
But with any song you play, you don't get the complete version of that song - you get about a two minute sample of them. It feels incomplete.
To try to make up for that, Samba de Amigo has several minigames. But most of those games have you shake your maracas wildly with no rhyme or reason, and playing against the AI isn't that fun.
There are also unlockable maraca sounds like punches, lasers, and shouts. But I found them irritating, so I didn't use them.
Samba de Amigo is one game you should rent and try out, then decide for yourself if you want to buy it.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Great Music & Funky Characters Make a Great Game

posted by Mster24 (PROVIDENCE, RI) Oct 1, 2008

Member since Jan 2008

9 out of 9 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

I was excited when this came in the mail, but was surprised by the okay-ish reviews that it got. Nevertheless, I popped the game in and grabbed my Wiimotes to see how funky this monkey really is. The first thing I noticed were the controls. With two Wiimotes, it takes some getting used to, but are easy overall. But with the Wiimote and Nunchuck, the controls are incredibly picky. Tilt the nunchick one degree upwards, and the upper circle is selected. Either way, they're not that good. But enough about that. The music selection is vast and amazing, everything from Latin classics like "Macarena" to Rhianna's "Pon de Replay". Although some of the less-latiny songs have been remixed to fit the rest of the game, they're still okay. My only complaint besides control is the backgrounds. They're so bright and vibrant, but you can't appreciate them without looking away from the playing field. And, the first time I played, the background was so distracting I could barely see the orbs to hit. But overall, this is on great game that, along with Ghostfire's Helix, could be ushering in a new era of music gaming.

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