Donkey Konga (GCN)

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“One day, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong were strolling along the beach when they found a pair of mysterious barrels. ‘What weird little barrels. I wonder where they come from.’ Diddy decided to take their discovery to the wise, old Cranky Kong. ‘That there’s what they call a Bongo,’ Cranky told them. Donkey Kong named their discovery the DK Bongos, and soon he and Diddy were caught up in drumming, clapping, and dreaming of becoming famous musicians with all the bananas they could eat!”

After getting this game you too will find yourself getting caught up in drumming and clapping, and maybe to a certain degree you may even feel like some bananas (they do give you energy, of which you will need a lot of for this game).

Donkey Konga is a rhythm game played with the DK Bongos controller, which comes with the game, or which you can buy separately. As you can imagine, the controller is in the form of a pair of bongo drums and has a left and right bongo skin (for you to drum on) as well as a microphone to pick up when you clap (you can also play with a standard GameCube controller, but it’s not nearly as much fun).

The gameplay is pretty straight forward. Do well in the songs in order to progress and unlock more songs and more difficulty levels.

The way in which the game plays is similar to that of a DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) game. Your prompts scroll from the right hand side of the screen towards a target, and as it rolls over the target you must execute the command that it is indicating which can be one of the following: Left drum, Right drum, Both drums together or a Clap. They have all been arranged in time to music so that you will be playing along with the beat of the songs. If you can do the required command perfectly in time you score a “perfect hit,” if it’s a bit off you’ll get a “good hit,” and so on with an “ok hit” and “bad.” Scoring a “bad hit” will break your combo you are trying to build up and ultimately effect your scoring in the end.

There is a good song list of about 30 songs, ranging between popular classics such as Lady Marmalade and Wild Thing, as well as popular Nintendo themes, Zelda and Mario theme songs. Each song has a banana rating which indicates the difficulty as well as the tempo of the song, all making it harder for you to pass it to move on.

Although this game can be enjoyed alone, it is best played with two or more people (up to a maximum of four). You will find yourselves in one of three gameplay modes: Challenge, where everyone plays the same thing to see who is better; Jam, where each player gets their own set of music and when all players perform it fits in with one another; or Attack, a mode where you can hit certain power up blocks to effect your opponents scores.
I’m telling you that there is something about this game that takes people over when they play it, especially at a party. Firstly, it is very quick and simple to pick up so no one will be intimidated by it and secondly, once you are in the “zone” you will find it hard to put down. The players will be laughing at each other as well as themselves and the spectators will be having a blast watching all this action. I mean what can be funnier than four people beating wildly on “toy” bongos and clapping in time with the music, then shouting at each other to not clap so loud as it sets off the other player’s clap sensors!

There are also a few other side games they have thrown in, like juggling and climbing using the bongos, but they are hardly worth mentioning as they are really bad compared with the main game, and then just as a mini-game when you have spare time.

Some people might not like the idea behind the game and may only fall in love with it after having played it, which is sad because these people might not go out and buy it for themselves without having experienced it before. Trust me, no matter who you are you will enjoy this game! Hell, even if you are bad at it, it’s still a blast to play!

Pros: Excellent Multiplayer action; clever use of a new controller.
Cons: You need to buy extra DK Bongos to get the most out of the game’s multiplayer feature.

Final thought: Definitely the best rhythm based game for the GameCube – that’s why they brought out a second installation of this game as well as an adventure game where the movements of Donkey Kong are controlled by the DK Bongos. You will be seeing this game on the Wii too, and will most likely use the same controllers so they will be worth getting!