In Donkey Kong Jungle Beat you can feel the beat of a completely new Donkey Kong adventure as you drum and clap your way through vast jungle kingdoms.
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat takes the big ape through an incredible new adventure, using the most unexpected controllers: The bongos. The totally unique action game let’s you put your hands together and beat the bongos to control Donkey Kong and his powerful combos. You’ll guide DK by drumming your way through fantastic jungle environments, full of ravenous enemies and challenging obstacles. Battle enormous beasts, collect bananas, get in boxing matches with rivals and even ride animals and vehicles in a jungle gone wild!
Genre: Platformer, Action
Release dates: December 16th 2004 (JPN), February 4th 2005 (EUR), March 14th 2005 (USA)
Save: 3 Blocks
Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo
Creator: Yoshiaki Koizumi
Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+) for Cartoon Violence
Nintendo first introduced the GameCube’s bongo controller for play with the Donkey Konga musical drumming game series. The last game that ended up using them is the platformer Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Jungle Beat comes bundled with a set of DK Bongos (or, if you already have the bongos from Donkey Konga, there’s a standalone version). The game uses the drums to control Donkey Kong’s (DK’s) actions. Hitting the left drum causes DK to move left, while hitting the right drum causes him to move right. Hitting both drums at the same time causes Donkey Kong to jump. Clapping one’s hands also causes Donkey Kong to clap, which has various consequences depending on the situation. Also notable is that control over Donkey Kong is granted to all plugged in controllers, allowing other players to perform these actions as well.
With these percussion-based controls you can shepherd Donkey Kong around the perils and pit-traps of a hazardous jungle environment by thumping the DK Bongo controller — tap, clap or perform a drum roll to negotiate each enemy-infested area. Outwit belligerent beasts, collect bananas, take to the boxing ring and even ride animals and vehicles on your safari sojourn!
Watch the Donkey Kong Jungle Beat launch trailer.
As a result of its control method the game has rather unique gameplay. It’s a platformer where the goal isn’t simply to get to the end of the level. The goal is to get as many points, or “beats,” as possible. Beats are obtained by grabbing bananas during gameplay, and lost by getting hurt or falling. The player can obtain additional beats by performing combos while grabbing the bananas. For example, three combo moves will earn four beats for each banana collected. Combos can go as high as 30, meaning that 31 beats can be earned from a single banana. Time records can also be earned for stages and for racing sections of stages.
DK can perform a variety of moves, including backflips, the ground-pound, vine swinging, corner hopping, and wall jumping. He can also use other objects and animals in the game to add to the combo score. When performing “combo-moves”, a counter is started, rising with each successive combo move acquired before landing. The combo counter is lost when DK is hurt or falls, and all beats are lost.
The level system consists of many different “kingdoms”. Each kingdom contains three platforming levels. The first two may contain racing and puzzle elements, which the final “boss” stage contains a fight against a large enemy. There are many different types of bosses, including other gorillas in a Punch-Out!!-style bout. The gameplay relies heavily on timing and rhythm elements, such as clapping at exactly the right time to get all of the bananas in an area, or to incapacitate the boss.
Clapping or making any other noise that the microphone in the Bongos picks up makes DK clap his hands. The hand clap produces two rings, a small red one and a giant green one. Enemies in the small red ring are usually defeated, and those in the larger green ring are usually stunned. Any bananas in the small red ring are grabbed in a chain, each incremented in value relative to the last. (e.g., If you’ve done 3 combo moves when DK clap-grabs 5 bananas, the bananas are worth 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.) This makes for a surprisingly deep combo system.
Watch the Donkey Kong Jungle Beat TV ad.
What are Donkey Kong Jungle Beat’s main features?
* An action/adventure platformer game like no other! Grab a DK Bongos controller and use it to guide Nintendo’s mascot Donkey Kong through wild jungle environments brimming with ravenous enemies and challenging obstacles.
* Control is in the bongos! Tap the right drum to walk right and the left one to walk left. To run, you’ll have to play a drum roll, and whacking both drums at once makes the great ape jump. Clapping or tapping the sides of the bongos makes Donkey Kong emit destructive sound waves and a slew of other things!
* Precise and intuitive context-sensitive controls, depending on the timing of your drumming.
* Use the simple controls for a world of great game moves — jump around on elastic vines, ride animals pals, pound enemies with your fist and more.
* Interact with all sorts of enemies, obstacles and challenges with the bongos — from soaring in a homemade parachute to bouncing off the walls like a pinball.
* This jungle’s gone wild! Battle enormous beasts, collect bananas, put together combo strings, and even get in boxing matches with rivals!
* 3D levels pay homage to the classic side-scrolling style of classic 2D platformers.
* Runs in progressive scan and supports Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound.
* On-screen help nudges players in the right direction.
Watch a Donkey Kong Jungle Beat gameplay video.
As a conclusion let’s rate this game on its fun-basis.
FUN FACTOR – 9.0
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat has 16 platformer levels of varying locales, challenges, and difficulty, as well as boss fights, that will all seem to pass by far too quickly. This is because of how much fun they are to play through thanks to the GameCube Bongo controller that will make you drum and clap like a crazed monkey with a grin on your face. Donkey Kong Jungle Beat director Yoshiaki Koizumi sums it up best when he said: “We didn’t need a superfluous story for the game. The only thing Donkey Kong needs is to be the best, and to become the king of the jungle.” It definitely shows the development team did some quality work on Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, they even went on to create Super Mario Galaxy! With a focus on on presentation and easy gameplay, the game delivers with a high fun factor as Kong runs, jumps, rides and swims across his fantastically designed kingdom. If you can get your hands on the game and bongos, definitely try it out its unique concept.
Graphics – 8.5
The game’s animations are smooth and the colorful visuals are clean and move around slick, the 60FPS framerate takes care of that, whether you’re zoomed in on Kong or zoomed far out on the varied environments during chase scenes. There are plenty of special effects and the character models consist of a high polygon count and will have glossy reflections and/or fur shading. While the game is basically a 2D side-scroller with 3D graphics, you definitely won’t mind with the attention to detail everything’s been given.
Audio – 8.0
The game’s music consists of tropical upbeat tunes (no pun intended). The cartoon-like sound effects fit the title perfectly. Overall it’s a very charming game to listen to.
Ingenuity – 9.0
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat introduces a new kind of game control. Ditch your control pads and joysticks, because bongos are what you’ll be playing with! It’s amazingly fun as you’ll use it to control DK on-screen. Tap the drums to run in different directions (simply drum faster to run faster), hit both drums together to jump, and clap your hands (the bongos include a sound sensor) to summon an enemy-stunning shockwave. Part of Jungle Beat’s fun lies in its surprisingly deep combo system. You can rack up huge scores by stringing together moves in the air while gathering bananas, gain enough bananas and you can unlock the next level, after defeating the bosses first of course.
Worried about waking the neighbors from making to much noise playing the game? Don’t worry, alternatively from drumming and clapping loudly, you can make the bongos respond with just a light tap and if you don’t want to clap — tapping the sides of the bongos works just as well. You can also alter the sensitivity of the sound sensor. it’s all incredibly intuitive and you’ll be playing the game like a pro within minutes.
Replay Value – 7.0
Expect to play through the game in up to four hours. You’ll have to earn bronze, silver, gold and platinum medals on each level in order to unlock more stages. Luckily the gameplay is so addictive you’ll be playing it again and again to improve your banana grabbing skills and scores.