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Samba De Amigo Review

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Shake it like a Polaroid picture...

★★★★★

While only the hardest of hearts would fail to be charmed by a sombrero-wearing monkey shaking maracas to an effervescent assortment of Latin beats, whether you love or despise Samba De Amigo is wholly dependent on what you crave from your gaming sessions.

For casual players who bought a Wii for the occasional blast of gaming goodness, Samba is perfect. Using the Wii remote and nunchuck as makeshift maracas, the game sees players shaking their thang at the various heights indicated on screen; a simple game of Simon Says where quick reactions pumps your score, impresses the funky locals and unlocks brand new tracks. Demented visuals – including a grinning Mexican sun, transsexual rodents and dancing cacti – make Samba one of the nuttiest Japanese games to make it to British shores in years, and the sublime silliness that drives the action is beautifully infectious and will make any party go with a bang.

But if you’re the sort of player who’s piqued by shoddy controls and shallow gameplay, Samba De Amigo is the stuff of nightmares. While the Dreamcast version in 2000 mimicked the original arcade game’s controls with panache, using the Wii controls is often inaccurate and frustrating, especially in later levels when the action becomes insanely fast and the dodgy controls mean you’ll keep missing your beat. The action itself is also woefully similar throughout – aside from rubbish minigames that are even less polished than the main event – and the roster of jubilant tunes from the likes of Ricky Martin and the Gipsy Kings will drive hip-hop, rap and My Chemical Romance fans to despair.

But for gamers of a sunny disposition – for whom gaming is simply for fun, and not a way of life – Samba’s positive attitude and colourful action will leave you grinning from ear to ear and clamouring for more.

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