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Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (GCN)
Publisher:  Nintendo Developer:  Nintendo
Genre:  Music Action Release Date:  March 14, 2005
ESRB:  TBA More Info on this Game
By Phil Theobald | March 8, 2005
Nintendo's prime primate returns to platforming, but keeps his funky jungle rhythm.
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Pros Cons
Makes great use of the DK Bongo Controllers; the stages are well designed around the drum controllers. Your arms will definitely get tired; it's too darn short and not terribly deep.

This is something extremely cool about playing a music game with a funky, instrument-based controller. Whether you're pounding on your Taiko Drum Master drums, stepping out on your Dance Dance Revolution dance pad, or even shaking it up with your Samba de Amigo maracas (ain't you hardcore?), there's quite a bit of satisfaction in making virtual music (or dance routines). Unfortunately, once you're done playing those games, you're left with a bulky piece of molded plastic that looks impressive, but not much else.

Hoping to curb this trend of wasted specialty controllers, Nintendo has created Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, the game designed to give you something else to do with your Donkey Konga DK Bongo Controllers.

Donkey Kong loves a little tongue action.

Beat a Hasty Retreat

Instead of a music game, however, Jungle Beat is an old-school style, side-scrolling platformer. The trick, of course, is that you control the action with the drums. Slapping the right drum makes DK run to the right. The more you hit it, the faster he runs. The left drum, obviously, moves the ape left, and hitting both drums at the same time makes him jump. Clapping (or smacking the side of the drum) acts like an all-purpose action command, causing DK to clap his hands, grab onto vines, or reach for items.

The game is broken up into several worlds, each one comprised of two stages and a boss encounter. The goal is simply the traverse through each stage, collecting bananas as you go. The bananas add to your Beat meter, which doubles as your health indicator. So the more you collect; the stronger you'll be when you face off against the boss. At the end of each stage, you're also awarded medals based on how many Beats you've earned. These medals are required to advance to other worlds.

Drum Master

Jungle Beat isn't a deep platformer, but it's full of technique. By pulling off multiple moves without touching the ground, you build up combos, which multiply the Beats that you earn. Once you get into the groove with the bongo controls, the feeling of rapidly switching back and forth between pounding the drums and clapping your hands to make DK run across the screen, jump over a pit, grab a monkey's hand who tosses him into the air, rebounding off a wall onto a giant flower that flings him across the screen onto an awaiting enemy who he beats into submission before colleting the enemy's dropped bananas in mid-air is one of deep satisfaction (and slightly tired hands).

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