Sega show you just can't go wrong with the irresistable combination of monkeys and maracas.

User Rating: 8.3 | Samba de Amigo DC
Humans are evolved from monkeys. We do lots of things they do. Both communicate, have sex, scratch parts of their anatomy, eat bananas and shake maracas. What? You think monkeys don’t shake maracas?! You’re obviously not a Dreamcast owner. For those with incredibly high budgets or magazine purveyors will know all about Amigo and his primary coloured friends. Yet in reality it appears humans don’t shake maracas either judging from the miserable efforts of some! The premise of the game is simple. You shake the maracas with perfect timing and precision when and where the blue dots go. The saying is the easier part as much frustration and puffing ensues. So for your budget blowing £100 you get said game, two maracas complete with sensor technology and mat. This is both the ultimate party game and a pure example of sheer Japanese bonkerness. Only they could try something so far removed from anything else on the market. Those that couldn’t handle the fishing rods should prepare to explode. It also manages to be the combination of simple and infuriating at heart. The music consists of reams of latin rhythms and more hits than John Prescott. You shake your maracas like a loon while Amigo dances. Basic but really colourful and extremely enjoyable. People that don’t usually care about games will play it, probably first consuming some level of alcohol. See your mum groove on for all of 2 minutes but it shows that Samba can unite people. If any game was going to cause world peace it would be this one. Dance George Dubya dance! A game for friends and night long fun, smiling all the way. Despite that Samba de Amigo is more than just a party game. Included by the generous collective at Sega Japan is a Challenge mode that can be used to hone your skills and then some. Like returning to school the mode is divided into five sections. In these sections you then get up to seven challenges ranging from finishing with a certain grade to getting the teeth gnashingly hard 100% success rate. It’s safe to say you’d be plugging away at this section for weeks but just rewards arrive with the unlocking of new songs and maraca sound effects. Beware the mad teddy bears and funked up leopards! Music wise there is an impressive yet cheesy selection. From Ricky Martin to beats from summer of three years ago and all new mixes of classics such as La Bamba and Take On Me. Addiditional tunes can also be downloaded from the net, piling on the points for replay value. The majority of the songs all include the trumpets and whistles that we adore. Besides Challenge mode there are also Arcade and Original, which are quite similar in style with more choice available in the exclusive Dreamcast mode. Plus Party, training and further options. The Party section is certainly an intriguing one and features a battle and couples mode, as well as some distracting mini games. Battle involves two players collecting bombs faster than each other so to improve your strength. Fail and your monkey behind is blown sky high. Couples involves you shaking both you maracas in time and see how compatible you are. These can be played against the computer as well so you can find out...um...how much you love your Dreamcast! Problem is you’d need to fork out for two copies of the game to play them properly or one will have to make do with the joypad. That’s £200 for those rubbish at maths. Cough! The mini games are then a more viable option. Whether you rush into all five or tackle one at a time there is fun and ultimately rewards. Guacamole is a version of the infamous arcade game Whack the Moles but instead of a hammer you have to launch your maracas everywhere. Power Rush involves repeated shaking in a certain area to crumble a rock whereas 1-2-Samba! requires the hitting of plates in order rather than getting chargrilled. Strike a Pose! is a certain editor’s favourite and - quelle surprise - you have to match the pose. Undoubtedly the hardest and will catch out Jessica Simpson is Monkey See, Monkey Do which requires perfect timing and memory to remember a pattern. Yerksome indeed. There is no doubt that Samba De Amigo is excellent fun and fantastic exercise. But there is no escaping that this game is £100. Which is a big shame as most people will never get the chance to play it. It also happens to be rare and there are very few copies left. Your best bet is shopping on the web for a discount but it isn’t likely. Playing with the pad isn’t an option either as all the entertainment is sapped out though it does make it easier but that’s irrelevant. Those with the budgets however should not be passing such joy as this. This is the most enjoyable, bizarre and original peripheral and game, combining the dancing genre with that Sega special sauce (eh?).