Wii: Samba de Amigo

Sega’s hit franchise hit’s the Wii and revives the maraca shaking game play of the original Dreamcast game but does the game end up producing a rhythm or does it end up as an annoying instrument?

Back in the glory days of the Dreamcast, Sega produced a hit sleeper title called Samba de Amigo, a game which used a pair of maracas as a controller. Fast forward five years and with the capabilities of the Wii, you’d think that combination would be a success. Little did we know that we were so so wrong.

The game play at its core is a music game similar to Guitar Hero and Namco’s Taiko no Tatsujin. The fun pick up and play casual title delivers at its core a fun experience to many casual gamers and many will find the title to be an enjoyment and will enjoy playing through it’s normal difficulty setting. The game handles by presenting six shake points on the screen where three are for each hand. Basically the player shakes the controllers when a ball hits one of those points through a variation of shaking while tilting up, straight and down. Further adding to this formula is gesture moves where it requires the player to point the controller in some pose to register a hit. While this is all manageable in Normal, the problem is that players of the first game will most probably ramp up the difficulty to Hard and that is where the problems begin. The control scheme allows you to use either two Wii Remotes or a Remote and Nun Chuck and both do alright at first on normal but on Hard mode the game is simply impossible to play. The motion sensor of Wii Remote and Nun Chuck is always off and you’ll find that you’ll be getting “bad”s even though you had the right angle. It’s simply frustrating trying to pull through hard mode and I foresee that many players both old and new won’t even bother playing through the higher difficulties.

Visually the game runs smoothly though it doesn’t push any of the Wii’s graphical capabilities in anyway, but it presents an overall satisfying diversity of bright colours and decent textured models though we would have preferred something that would differentiate it more from the dreamcast game.The game is still visually appealing to most audiences and pulls of a constant frame rate which is required in all music games.

Audio is also upheld with a playlist of Mexican style music ranging from obscure to popular songs which has been covered into that style. All play as you’d expect from a music game of this type.
Beyond finishing story if you manage to beat hard is a bunch of multiplayer modes and some collectables. Other than that you’ll have some fun replaying some stages but other than those there isn’t really anything else.

The game brings some new ideas during its conversion over to the Wii but the end result is still a struggle to handle but many casual players will like the simpleness of Normal difficulty and enjoy playing with friends. Veteran Gamers however will need to take a step back and wait for a more refined version should there ever be another.

Gameplay: 6.0
Video: 7.5
Audio: 8.0
Replayability: 6.0
Overall: 7.2