Samba de Amigo


Samba de Amigo

Infobox VG
title = Samba de Amigo


developer = Sonic Team
publisher = Sega
designer =
engine =
released =Arcade
Dreamcast

genre = Music
modes = Single player, multiplayer
ratings = ESRB: Everyone (E)
platforms = Arcade, Sega Dreamcast, Wii [cite web|url=http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/207210/samba-de-amigo-wii/|title=Samba de Amigo Page|publisher=GamePro|accessdate=2008-09-24]
media =
requirements =
input = Sega Maracas, Dreamcast controller

"Samba de Amigo" is a rhythm game originally developed by Sonic Team and released in 1999 by Sega in arcades, 2000 for the Dreamcast video game console, and developed by Gearbox Software in 2008 for the Wii. The player uses controllers shaped like maracas with the goal of matching a series of patterns displayed on-screen. It can be played by one or two players simultaneously.

The music in "Samba de Amigo" is made of of primarily popular latin music songs rather than common or traditional samba.

Gameplay

"Samba de Amigo" is played with a pair of maracas. As a song plays, the player, guided by on-screen graphics, must shake the maracas at high, middle, or low heights with the beat of the music, or occasionally must strike poses with the maracas held in various positions. The player is represented on-screen by Amigo, a monkey. If the player does well, the scene around the monkey (usually a concert or a dance) will attract more people and become more vividly animated; if the player does poorly, characters leave and eventually all that's left is the monkey alone, looking sad.

In the primary game mode, each player has six spots arranged in a circle on the screen: two red meaning 'shake high,' two yellow meaning 'shake middle,' and two green meaning 'shake low.' Blue dots will appear in the center of this circle and move towards the spots; as soon as the blue dot touches a spot, the player must shake a maraca at that location. For example, if a blue dot touches the upper left spot, the player must shake either maraca above his left shoulder. If both maracas are shaken in that location, the player gets an 'Amigo' bonus. Occasionally a long line of dots will flow into a spot and the word 'Shake' appears, telling the player to continue shaking his maraca rapidly there. Sometimes a stick-figure (named "Pose") appears on the screen holding its maracas in a certain position; the player has a second or two to match the figure's pose for points.

Game modes

In the original arcade game, the player is given two or three stages to play through, depending on how the options are set. Each stage has three songs to choose from. If the player does well enough on each stage, an additional Special stage is enabled, where three of the more challenging songs are made available.

In the Dreamcast port, this version of the game is playable as Arcade mode. Original mode is the same game, except that instead of being limited to three songs in each stage, the player gets to choose from any song in the game that has been unlocked. Initially, six songs are available in this mode, while more can be unlocked by playing the Arcade or Challenge modes.

The home game also adds a Party mode, with minigames such as Guacamole (pronounced and played much the same as "whack-a-mole"), Strike A Pose (consisting of a long sequence of poses to make), and 1-2-Samba! (where spots must be hit in sequence - the Japanese version's name for this minigame, "Ichi Ni San-ba," is a pun on counting to three in Japanese). Also included in Party mode is the Battle game, where two players compete to score high combos and knock out their opponent, and the Couples game (known as "Love Love" in Japan), where two players play through a song to test their "compatibility". Along with this, the home version has features which can be unlocked, such as alternate sound effects and downloadable songs.

Finally, a Challenge mode has been added, where the player is given specific goals in order to proceed through stages. These goals include having to reach a certain letter grade or to pass a certain score while playing a song. There are 25 challenges total, separated into five stages.

Maraca controllers

The original arcade game used red maraca controllers modeled after their in-game design. Magnetic sensors were used to determine their position. As this was an expensive process, it had to be reworked for the home version.cite web |title=Samba de Amigo "Behind the Screens"|author=Jared Matte|accessdate=2008-07-08 |publisher=Green Hill Zone |url=http://www.theghz.com/samba/samba/samba.html#behind]

In the Dreamcast version, each maraca has a cord which is plugged into to a bar that lays in front of the player's feet. The bar is slightly more than two feet in length and has a sensor at each end, and each maraca has an ultrasonic transmitter mounted on its cord; this allows the system to triangulate the position of each maraca. The rattle part can be unscrewed from the top of each maraca for quieter play. Included in the box is a plastic mat with two brown footprints, which helps players properly position themselves in relation to the sensor bar.

With the exception of the "Ver. 2000" sequel, the maracas were never officially used for any other games, though they can be used with Namco's "Mr Driller" for approximate control of the player's character. A single maraca could also be used to control the SNK produced game "Cool Cool Toon".

In the Wii version, players use the Wii Remote, in combination with either the Nunchuk or another Wii Remote. Optional maraca attachments are also availible.

Version 2000

Infobox VG
title = Samba de Amigo Ver. 2000


developer = Sonic Team
publisher = Sega
designer =
engine =
released = vgrelease|JP=December 14, 2000
genre = Music
modes = Single player, multiplayer
ratings =
platforms = Arcade,Sega Dreamcast
media =
requirements =
input = Sega Maracas, Dreamcast controller
"Samba de Amigo: Ver. 2000", a follow-up to this game, was released in Japan for the arcades and the Dreamcast. As the name suggests, it is more of an upgrade than a sequel, and it contains 14 new songs, as well as six new downloadable songs for the home version. Whereas in the original game, there were only three songs to choose in each stage, this version allows the player to choose several. "Love Love/Couples" Mode, originally available only in the home version of "Samba de Amigo", is included in the arcade version of "Ver.2000". A new character named Amiga joins the cast. She is Amigo's sister, and wields a tambourine. In the home version, a new volleyball game replaces the original minigames. Survival mode was also added, where the player must finish as many songs in a row as they can. In addition, the Challenge mode has new goals, as well as five new secret stages that are quite difficult.

Hustle Mode

The most significant addition to "Ver. 2000" is the new "Hustle Mode". In this mode, the player must still follow the dots and shake the maracas in the appropriate location, but this is done a lot less often. Instead, Pose appears frequently, and in addition to making the player do static poses, he will be shaking his maracas in certain patterns that the player must mimic. These patterns include either shaking one or both maracas back and forth between two of the six positions, or doing a full 360° rotation starting from one position, and looping all the way back around. All the songs in the game, including the ones previously found in the first version, have both Original and Hustle Mode patterns.

"Samba de Amigo Ver. 2000" was announced for North American release, under the name "Samba de Amigo Ver. 2001", but it was among the games that were canceled when Sega discontinued support for their console.

After "Ver.2000"

That same year, Sega released a spiritual successor named "Shakatto Tambourine". It was very much the same game as "Samba de Amigo", except played with a tambourine controller, and featuring popular J-pop music. "Samba de Amigo" also made a comeback of sorts in the EyeToy game "Sega Superstars", where player movements recorded by the EyeToy camera were recorded in place of the original maracas.

Wii version

Infobox VG
title = Samba de Amigo for Wii


developer = Gearbox Software
publisher = Sega
designer =
engine =
released = vgrelease|EU=September 26, 2008
genre = Music
modes = Single player, multiplayer
ratings = ESRB: Everyone (E)
platforms = Wii
media =
requirements =
input = Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
In mid-2007, veteran developers Gearbox Software came up with the idea to port the game to the Wii console, and upon Sega's approval, began working on the new version with Sonic Team as consultants.cite web |title=Samba de Amigo Developer Diary 1 |author=Allison Berryman, Matt Casamassina|accessdate=2008-08-22 |publisher=IGN |url=http://wii.ign.com/articles/897/897866p1.html |date=2008-11-08] The default setting of the game uses the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to simulate the maraca-shaking from the original game, with the option to use two remotes for completely wireless play. Optional maraca-shaped attachments will also be available to provide the full experience. [http://www.amazon.com/Wii-Maracas-Nintendo/dp/B001ELEXPW]

All the characters and stage designs from the original game return with enhanced graphics. Many of the additions from "Ver.2000" that were not available to people outside of Japan are included, such as Hustle Mode and the new character Amiga. A "Career" mode exclusive to the Wii version is included, to bring the game in line with modern rhythm games. New stages based on other Sega games were added, including ones based on "Sonic the Hedgehog" and "Space Channel 5", complete with cameos of Sonic and Ulala. Nearly all the songs from the original game are included, as well as most of the songs from Ver.2000. 23 Wii-exclusive songs were added, bringing the total to 44. The game supports Miis and displays them next to the player's score. Their expressions will change based on performance (Bad, Medium, or Good). Online leaderboards and friends lists let players post their best scores and compare them.

In addition, downloadable songs are available for an extra charge. The first pack includes the songs "I Want Candy", "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?", and "Mambo Mambo" cite web |title=E3 2008: Samba De Amigo Officially Announces Downloadable Content|accessdate=2008-07-15 |publisher=IGN |url=http://wii.ign.com/articles/889/889690p1.html |date=2004-07-15] (all master tracks), and were available upon the game's release. New download packs will come in sets of 3 and will cost 500 Wii points.

Characters

*Amigo: The protagonist of the game, a monkey who wields the maracas.
*Amiga: An energetic tambourine player and Amigo's sister. Introduced in "Ver. 2000".
*Linda: A beautiful "butterfly girl" who loves to dance.
*Bingo and Bongo: Two small twin bears that control huge mechanical bears that play bongos.
*Rio: A male animal of indeterminate species who wears cheetah pattern clothing. He carries a horn.
*Chumba and Wamba: Two male cheetahs who play mandolin (Chumba) and conga drums (Wamba). They were named for the band Chumbawamba, whose song "Tubthumping" appears in the games.
*Mr. Pose: A stick-figure-like character who tends to only appear as player instructions, although he is a computer opponent in one of the minigames.

Cameos

Amigo also appears in "Sonic Pinball Party", "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg" and "Sega Superstars". He is playable in "", and "Sega Superstars Tennis". He also makes a small cameo appearance on the cover of issue 15 of the Sonic X Comic and in the Sega Carnival track in "Sonic Riders".

ong list

The original game contained mostly classic Latin songs, while "Ver.2000" added a few more contemporary songs from the time. Finally, the Wii version doubled the soundtrack, adding styles from both genres. Covers for the arcade/Dreamcast games were done by Sega's in-house musicians at Wave Master, while the Wii covers were done by WaveGroup Sound, the team known for providing covers and original songs for several modern music games such as Guitar Hero.

Blue rows indicate master tracks featuring the original artist;Green rows indicate original tracks.

Reception

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The Dreamcast version of "Samba de Amigo" was met with nearly universal positive reviews, garnering a 89% average at Metacritic. [ [http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/drm/sambadeamigo?q=samba%20de%20amigo] ] Critics praised it for its unique and addictive gameplay, while the most common criticism was how the game could not be enjoyed without the expensive Maraca controllers.cite web |title=Samba de Amigo|author=Various|accessdate=2008-07-05 |publisher=Metacritic |url=http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/drm/sambadeamigo?q=samba%20de%20amigo] Eurogamer gave the Wii version 6/10, citing "the imprecise nature of the controls", while admitting that "There's still a decent amount of daft fun to be had out of this joyous little game". [ [http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=239694 Eurogamer review] ] Gamespot gave the Wii version 6/10. [http://www.gamespot.com/wii/puzzle/sambadeamigo/review.html]

In addition, "Samba de Amigo" won the following awards:
*E3 2000 Game Critics Awards: Best Puzzle/Trivia/Parlor Game
*GameSpot's Best and Worst of the Year: Best Console Puzzle Game, 2000
*1st Annual Game Developers Choice Awards: nominated for the Excellence in Audio award and for a Game Spotlight Award. [ [http://www.igda.org/awards/archive_2001.htm] ]

References


=See also=
* Music video game

External links

* [http://www.sega.com/sambadeamigo/ Samba de Amigo] on Sega.com
* [http://conexiongamer.com/2008/08/14/samba-de-amigo-de-vuelta-al-carnaval/ Samba de amigo returns for Wii]
* [http://www.gamespot.com/dreamcast/puzzle/sambadeamigo/index.html GameSpot entry]
* [http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/dreamcast/data/198539.html GameFAQs entry]
*


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