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If any game deserves a second chance, it's Samba de Amigo. Previously released on Dreamcast, it had two major obstacles in its path. Firstly, Dreamcast was dead on its feet by the time the game arrived and so the user base it needed just wasn't there. And secondly, anyone left in the Sega camp who might actually have bought the damn thing would have been put off by the £100 recommended retail price. Yes, £100 (about $200). Its ground-breaking, space-sensitive maraca controllers pushed the price up so high no-one could afford it.
But just look how things have changed. Wii is selling like hot cakes (exactly why aren't there more hot-cake businesses, eh?) and the motion-sensitivity is built into the Wii-mote and Nunchuk. Most crucially, the game itself is perfect for Wii. It's immediately fun, can be enjoyed by casual gamers because it's like any bemani game, yet still offers a hardcore challenge to anyone wanting to get 100%. It's Guitar Hero for the Ricky Martin crowd.
Above: One of the happiest games ever made - Amigo's having a ball
Thankfully, despite some graphical spit and polish, the game looks just like it did on Dreamcast. Bright, bold colours light up the screen like a carnival and the grinning monkey and sexy rabbit girl (yes, sexy rabbit girl) are back in full effect. As before, gameplay consists of shaking the 'maracas' to your left and right in either low, middle or high positions, corresponding with coloured circles on the screen. Shake the maraca over the right hole as a blue circle moves over it and you score the points. Simple.
Occasionally, you'll be asked to 'strike a pose!' and then you have to quickly move the controllers to two of the six circles within a short time limit. This was the only section that seemed a bit iffy in our play, as the space recognition seemed to be a bit more shaky when both controllers were over one side of the play area - or maybe we were just being imprecise. Still, it feels great when you get it right.
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