Let’s start with a look at the controllers via IGN Dreamcast:
Once you open the box, you’ll find two wired maracas, a long metal base that plugs into the Dreamcast, a “monkey foot” pad, and some Velcro stickies. Assembly is simple- attach the foot pad to the base, plug in both Maracas, and you’re on your merry way. There’s no calibration required, only minor height adjustments from the in-game menu.
While the arcade version of Samba de Amigo worked on a magnetic sensing system (or simple magic), the Dreamcast controllers work optically. The base is able to “see” how far away the maracas are, thanks to the tiny inch-long sensors located under each maraca. This makes for much more accurate maraca height detection – just make sure you don’t accidentally cover up the base sensors. It’s also worth noting that tall people like myself can play the game without crouching – the maximum player height has been raised from 170cm to 190cm.
The Dreamcast maracas are a bit smaller and lighter than the arcade, making them slightly easier to handle. There’s also a start button on each maraca, and a soft reset can be performed by holding down both buttons and shaking the maracas downwards. Here’s another trick: if you play late at night and don’t want to wake your spouse, just unscrew the top, and remove the plastic “shaker.” Don’t worry, it’s totally reversible.
Downsides? There’s no VMU port, so you’ll need to plug in a second controller to save any Samba-related action. But aside from that, the only disappointment is the price ($75US) -especially when you consider that Samba de Amigo is sold separately.
But if you must play Samba the way it was meant to be played, this is your only choice – and it’s not a bad one at all. With sturdy construction, outstanding accuracy, and a damn good feel, this is a one-stop solution for the true gaming fruit in all of us. Now let’s just hope that Sega of America will have the guts to bring it out in the States…
We now switch to GameFan, and info about some extra modes:
This mode is easy enough to explain; the first player shakes his/her ‘boom boom’ in an allotted amount of time, and the second player has to copy the first player’s moves. Think of it as Ricky Martin says… Bombs also come into play somehow; basically, it sounds like a dancing game of “Hot Potato”–if you don’t follow the leader, you lose health points. Interesting indeed…
Love Love mode
The name really says it all; this mode’s been described as a compatibility test similar to those weird ‘love testers’ you sometimes find in bars. You and your ‘lover’ each take one maraca and ‘shake shake shake’ your booty in synchronized motion; the computer then tells you how compatible you are by judging how accurate your motions were. You’ll never have to take another silly Cosmo test again! (Tristan’s note: Now if I only had a lover to play the mode with…)
These are just plain wacky! We don’t yet have the full details on each one, but we do know for sure that they’ll all use the maracas in some interesting fashion. Roughly translated, the mini-game list looks like this:
Monkey Panic: Hey, it has the word ‘monkey’ in it, so it has to be fun!
Power Rush: Samba de Amigo on speed?
1, 2 and Samba: I’m not even going to guess…
Pose & Pose: A little Vogue action, perhaps?
Monkey Replay: Again, the word ‘monkey’ equals hours of fun!
Finally, word that we will see Samba @ E3:
Here’s a hot little tidbit of information: GameFan Online learned today that Sega of America is not only contemplating bringing everyone’s favorite maraca-shaking dance game, Samba de Amigo, to the U.S., but also that Sonic Team’s home conversion of the title will absolutely make an appearance at E3. Unfortunately, details like the maraca controllers and song licensing may be a problem–but just remember, Sega of America will be showing the game at E3, so anything can and more than likely will happen!
That’s it for now; but stay here for the latest.