Review by Finalark
"Shine on you crazy monkey!"
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (DKJB from here on) is one of those Game Cube gems that most people missed. It was the shinny diamond at the bottom of the treasure chest that most peopled didn't see because they didn't notice it among useless trash or were too busy being distracted by the equally as shinny diamonds called "Metroid Prime" or "Star Fox Assualt" or (the biggest and shiniest of these diamonds) "Super Smash Brothers Melee." So now we have DKJB, an almost impossible game to find these days possibly because it was one of the three games that used the DK Bongos controllers, the others being the two "Donkey Konga" games.
In DKJB you move the big ape around with bongs, smack the left bongo to run left, and the right one to run right. Both and once make him jump. There's also a clap sensor that picks up sound. When you clap Donkey Kong grabs at things (usually) and sometimes some other.... interesting effects. At the end of each Kingdom (level) you have to fight a boss in which the bongos become your fists and clapping makes you dodge if your fighting one of the gorilla bosses. Throughout these levels you'll be collecting bananas that are called beats (got me why they called them beats) which also act as your heath. Whenever you're hit, you'll lose beats. No more beats means no more monkey. One problem I had with the bosses though is that if you know how to beat one of it's kind, you can beat them all. Same basic strategy each time. With the gorillas you have to dodge until you have the opportunity to strike, with elephants you have to get an explosive into him when he's reloading, with boars you have to catch the melons that they throw then toss it back at them, vultures you have to grab onto their metal ball and smash the heck out it. Oh well, each incarnation of these bosses provides a mostly new challenge anyway.
There's no music that I can really say is anything worth mentioning, same with sound effects. Just does it's job and sets the mood for each level.
The graphics aren't anything out of the ordinary, just some recycled characters here and there. Actually, seeing a bit more variety in characters would have been nice. Most of them are just recolors of other characters. This happens even with the bosses (with the acceptation of the gorilla bosses). Shame, but that really doesn't matter because you don't even notice it when you're too busy pounding their faces in.
You may have noticed that so far I have made no mention of the story line. That's because the game doesn't have one. Seriously! There's no explanation on why Donkey Kong is going around to these different kingdoms knocking kings off their thrones. You just do it. And it doesn't matter, what this game lacks in story it makes up for in fun!
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is one of those games that you should buy if you ever find it. You will never find any other game like it. How it got missed is beyond me. I honestly am sad that Nintendo is re-releasing it on the wii with Wii Controls, which probably aren't going to be as fun as the bongos. Anyway, to wrap it up, go back to that treasure chest called "the Game Cube game library" and dig through the muck until you find this game. It's worth it if you can find it.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/26/08
Game Release: Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (US, 03/14/05)
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