Samba de Amigo
|Samba de Amigo|
North American Dreamcast cover art
Samba de Amigo (サンバDEアミーゴ Sanba de Amīgo?) is a rhythm game originally developed by Sonic Team and released in December 1999 by Sega in arcades, 2000 for the Dreamcast video game console, and developed by Gearbox Software and Escalation Studios 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.
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.
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 "Whac-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.
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.
In the Dreamcast version, each maraca has a cord which is plugged into to a bar that lies 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, unlicensed third-party maraca attachments are also available.
In a Flash version mini game used for the promotion of the Wii version of the game, keys W, D, and C, then O, J, and N is used to tap the drums. The mini game also played an introductory movie showing a family playing the Wii version of the game.
Samba de Amigo: Ver. 2000
Samba de Amigo: Ver. 2000, was released in Japan for the arcades and the Dreamcast. It is an upgraded version, 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.
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, 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.
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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. A pair of Samba de Amigo themed levels appeared in the 2012 Nintendo 3DS game, Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, which are played using buttons and the system's gyroscope.
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. 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 are also available to provide the full experience. Unlike the maraca controls of the Dreamcast version which could detect the height at which they were shaken, the Wii sensor bar is not capable of this. Instead, the angle at which the Wii Remote is being shaken determines if high, mid or low notes are hit. The rotation of the controller also has an effect on note detection, especially when doing cross-over moves.
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 Japan are included, such as Hustle Mode and the new character Amiga. A "Career" mode exclusive to the Wii version is included, consisting of challenges in which players must clear songs to earn various unlockables, including maraca effects and additional songs. Unique to the Wii version, 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 respectively. Nearly, but not all the songs from the original game are included. It also includes many 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 as well as showing two random ones in-game during stages. Their expressions change based on performance (Bad, Medium, or Good). Online leaderboards and friends lists let players post their best scores and compare them, but only when an original, player-created Mii is used. This feature cannot be used with the guest Miis.
In addition, downloadable songs are available for an extra charge. These additional songs come in download packs. The first pack includes the songs "I Want Candy (cover version)" by Bow Wow Wow, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" by Jet, and "Mambo Mambo" by Lou Bega  (all master tracks), and were available upon the game's release. Download packs come in sets of 3 and cost 500 Wii points. As of December 2008, three download packs have been released.
- Amigo: He is the most popular maracas artist in the music scene today and is still hungry to become even greater. With his rhythm and perhaps luck, nothing can hold him back once he grabs the maracas. His soul food is none other than the baked bananas from his home town. Also appears as a cameo in other Sonic franchises and uses the Gravity Manipulation.
- Amiga: She made her Pop debut at a very young age and now she is one of the premier Pop idols. She is a precocious girl who might appear to some as a spoiled kid, yet many adore her just the way she is. Even Amigo must give in when his little sister starts whining at him. Her lucky charm is a pink flower she wears as an accessory that Amigo gave her as a present. Amiga also plays the tambourine.
- Linda: She is one of the hottest samba dancers in town who acts very mellow, but she has very high professional standards. She loves dancing by finding the groove and will often tell others that "if you're gonna do it, do it like a pro!" To remain in tip-top shape, she is currently dieting on veggie sticks.
- Bingo and Bongo: The wacky twin dancing bears work inside stuffed animal costumes that play drums. Bingo operates the blue mechanical bear while Bongo operates the pink mechanical bear. They love comedy shows, and when Bingo starts clowning, Bongo is right there to poke him around for a quick laugh. Although they seem rather young, the duo has been making a living in this business for quite a while doing what comes naturally to them. Occasionally they will get into a scuffle over a marshmallow snack.
- Rio: Rio was formerly the most popular Pop idol and he can't help but to act like a show-off. But once you get to know him better, he is actually an all around good guy who's always chasing his dreams. To bring him the luck he needs, he continues to eat onion rings every morning. He also plays a silver trumpet and usually has a rose in his hand. Due to his appearance, most players mistake Rio for being female.
- Chumba and Wamba: Chumba was the former boss of a street gang who turned his life around to become a mandolin player. Wamba owns a bar where Chumba frequently hangs out and he turns into a different kind of cheetah when he stands in front of a set of congas. During the daytime, Wamba is happy to serve up a refreshing tropical smoothie with some pistachios on the side. Chumba and Wamba were named after 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.
Amigo also appears in Sonic Pinball Party, Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg and Sega Superstars. He is playable in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Sega Superstars Tennis, and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. In the latter, Amigo drives in a Maraca-shaped cart and his All-Star move creates a conga line with other characters as he speeds through the track, then he pushes them back. He also makes a small cameo appearance on the cover of issue 15 of the Sonic X comic. Two Samba de Amigo-themed levels appear in Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure. Amigo also appears in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, where his vehicle bears resemblance to a toy train.
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. Stage types are organised by which characters (besides Amigo) appear during that song.
|"Al Compás Del Mambo" / "Mambo Beat"||Perez Prado||5||Amigo and Bingo & Bongo|
|"Arriba Allez"||Bellini||1||Amigo and Linda|
|"Aserejé" / "The Ketchup Song"||Las Ketchup||1||Amigo and Bingo & Bongo|
|"Baila Me" / "Dance With Me"||Gipsy Kings||1||Amigo and Linda|
|"Bamboleo" / "Wobble"||Gipsy Kings||2||Amigo and Linda|
|"Borriquito" / "Lil' Donkey"||Charo||1||Amigo and Bingo & Bongo|
|"Cha Cha"||Chelo||1||Amigo and Bingo & Bongo|
|"Cha Cha Cuba"||Matt Bianco||1|
|"Como Ves" / "As You Can See"||Ozomatli||1||Amigo, Rio, and Chumba & Wamba|
|"Conga"||Miami Sound Machine||1||Amigo and Amiga (Theme Park)|
|"The Cup of Life"||Ricky Martin||4||Amigo and Linda|
|"Djobi Djoba" / "I Come, I Go"||Gipsy Kings||1|
|"Do It Well"||Jennifer Lopez||1||Amigo and Ulala|
|"El Mambo" / "The Mambo"||Solemar||2||Amigo and Bingo & Bongo|
|"El Ritmo Tropical (El Bimbo)" / "The Tropical Rhythm"||Dixie's Gang||4||Amigo|
|"Games People Play"||Inner Circle||1|
|"Gonna Fly Now" / "The Theme of Rocky"||Bill Conti||2||Amigo|
|"Groove is in the Heart"||Deee-Lite||1||Amigo and Ulala|
|"Hot Hot Hot"||Arrow||2||Amigo and Amiga (Airship)|
|"Jump in the Line"||Harry Belafonte||1||Amigo and Amiga (Theme Park)|
|"La Bamba" / "The Bamba"||Ritchie Valens||5||Amigo, Rio, and Chumba & Wamba|
|"Livin' la Vida Loca"||Ricky Martin||4||Amigo, Rio, and Chumba & Wamba|
|"Love Lease"||Masao Honda||4|
|"Low Rider"||War||1||Amigo and Sonic|
|"Macarena"||Los Del Mar||5||Amigo and Bingo & Bongo|
|"Magalenha"||Bellini and Mondonca Do Rio||1||Amigo and Amiga (Airship)|
|"Mambo de Verano"||Masaru Setsumaru||1|
|"Mambo No.5"||Lou Bega||1||Amigo and Sonic|
|"Mambo No.8"||Perez Prado||1||Amigo and Amiga (Theme Park)|
|"Mas Que Nada" / "More Than Nothing"||Jorge Ben||3||Amigo and Bingo & Bongo|
|"Mexican Flyer"[Note 1]||Ken Woodman||1||Amigo and Ulala|
|"Oye Como Va" / "Hey, How's It Going"||Santana||1||Amigo and Amiga (Theme Park)|
|"Papa Loves Mambo"||Perry Como||1||Amigo and Amiga (Airship)|
|"Pon de Replay"||Rihanna||1||Amigo and Amiga (Theme Park)|
|"Ran Kan Kan"||Tito Puente||1||Amigo and Amiga (Theme Park)|
|"S.O.S. (The Tiger Took My Family)"||Dr. Bombay||1|
|"Salome"||Chayanne||2||Amigo, Rio, and Chumba & Wamba|
|"Samba de Janeiro" / "Samba of Janeiro"||Bellini||5||Amigo and Linda|
|"Samba de Amigo (Samba de Janeiro 2000)"||Bellini
P.K.G. *authorship under dispute by Hugo Fattoruso of Uruguay* Production (remix)
|4||Amigo and Linda|
|"Smooth"||Santana||1||Amigo, Rio, and Chumba & Wamba|
|"Solo Tu"||WaveGroup||1||Amigo and Amiga (Airship)|
|"Soul Bossa Nova"||Quincy Jones||5||Amigo|
|"(Mucho Mambo) Sway"||Shaft||[Note 2]||2||Amigo and Amiga (Airship)|
|"Take On Me"||Reel Big Fish||5||Amigo, Rio, and Chumba & Wamba|
|"Tango With Me"||WaveGroup||1||Amigo and Amiga (Airship)|
|"The Theme of Inoki" / "Ali Bombaye"||Michael Masser||4|
|"Tout Tout Pour Ma Chérie" / "All All For My Sweetheart"||Michel Polnareff||1|
|"Tubthumping"||Chumbawamba||5||Amigo and Linda|
|"Un Aguardiente / "A Brandy"||WaveGroup||1||Amigo and Sonic|
|"Vamos a Carnaval" / "Let's go to Carnaval"||Naofumi Hataya, Tomoko Sasaki||2||Amigo and Amiga (Airship)|
|"Volare"||Gipsy Kings||2||Amigo, Rio, and Chumba & Wamba|
|"Wedding March"||Felix Mendelssohn||2||Amigo|
- Although listed as such in the game, the track itself is not "Mexican Flyer", but rather "Introducing Ulala!!", which bases its backbeat and melody on Mexican Flyer.
- The cover versions for these songs, initially done by Wave Master, were redone for the Wii version by WaveGroup.
Since the Dreamcast release, the internet connectivity of consoles allowed additional songs to be unlocked or downloaded.
In the original Dreamcast games, by selecting the "Internet" option in the menu, the player could visit the Samba de Amigo home page using the game's built-in browser. Here, additional songs are available to unlock, all of which are taken from various games in Sega's library. The songs were not actually downloaded; accessing the internet site simply unlocked hidden songs that were already on the disc.[clarification needed] Some could also be unlocked in the Sega superstars version.
|"After Burner"||After Burner||Hiroshi "Hiro" Kawaguchi|
|"(Angels With) Burning Hearts"||Burning Rangers||Naofumi Hataya||Dennis St. James|
|"Can You Become Rent-A-Hero For Mankind's Sake?"||Rent-A-Hero no.1||Hiroshi "Hiro" Kawaguchi||Takenobu Mitsuyoshi & Hironobu Kageyama|
|"Dreams Dreams"||Nights into Dreams...||Tomoko Sasaki||Curtis King Jr. & Dana Calitri|
|"It Doesn't Matter" (Theme of Sonic)||Sonic Adventure||Jun Senoue||Tony Harnell|
|"Lazy Days (Livin' in Paradise)" (Theme of Big)||Sonic Adventure||Jun Senoue||Ted Poley|
|"Let Mom Sleep"||Jet Set Radio||Hideki Naganuma|
|"Let's Go Away"||Daytona USA||Takenobu Mitsuyoshi||Eric Martin|
|"Magical Sound Shower"||Out Run||Hiroshi "Hiro" Kawaguchi|
|"My Sweet Passion" (Theme of Amy)||Sonic Adventure||Fumie Kumatani||Nikki Gregoroff|
|"Opa-Opa!"||Fantasy Zone||Hiroshi "Hiro" Kawaguchi|
|"Open Your Heart"||Sonic Adventure||Jun Senoue, Kenichi Tokoi||Johnny Gioeli (Crush 40)|
|"Sonic - You Can Do Anything"||Sonic the Hedgehog CD||Masafumi Ogata||Keiko Utoku|
|"Super Sonic Racing"||Sonic R||Richard Jacques||T.J. Davis|
|"We Are Burning Rangers"||Burning Rangers||Naofumi Hataya||Marlon Saunders|
Unlike the Dreamcast games, the downloadable content for the Wii version of Samba de Amigo are pay content that includes master tracks of popular songs, available in packs of three. These are true downloads, saved to the Wii internal memory. Since the game's release, three packs have been released.
|Song Title||Artist||Release Date||Stage Type|
|"Are You Gonna Be My Girl"||Jet||Sep 23, 2008||Amigo, Rio, and Chumba & Wamba|
|"I Want Candy"||Bow Wow Wow||Sep 23, 2008||Amigo and Amiga (Theme Park)|
|"Mambo Mambo"||Lou Bega||Sep 23, 2008||Amigo and Bingo & Bongo|
|"Love Shack"||The B-52's||Nov 8, 2008||Amigo and Ulala|
|"Walking on Sunshine"||Katrina and the Waves||Nov 8, 2008||Amigo and Amiga (Airship)|
|"Can't Stop"||Ozomatli||Nov 8, 2008||Amigo and Linda|
|"Jerk It Out"||Caesars||Dec 21, 2008||Amigo|
|"Mickey"||Toni Basil||Dec 21, 2008||Amigo and Amiga (Theme Park)|
|"Rockafeller Skank"||Fatboy Slim||Dec 21, 2008||Amigo and Sonic|
The Dreamcast version of Samba de Amigo was met with nearly universal positive reviews, garnering an 89% average at Metacritic. Famitsu magazine scored the Dreamcast version of the game a 32 out of 40. 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.
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.
The game has received mixed reviews overall, ranging from mediocre to positive reception. 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". GameSpot gave the Wii version 6/10 as well. Other reviews disagreed, with WorthPlaying saying "the controls are spot-on 95 percent of the time" and rating the game an 8.5/10. Nintendo Power also gave the game high marks, awarding it a 9 out of 10. And Gamepro gave the game a 4 out of 5.
- "Samba de Amigo Page". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
- Jared Matte. "Samba de Amigo "Behind the Screens"". Green Hill Zone. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
- "Samba de Amigo Review". GameGoldies. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Samba de Amigo Official Mini Game". SEGA UK. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
- AllGame Review
- ドリームキャスト - サンバDEアミーゴver.2000. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.52. 30 June 2006.
- Allison Berryman, Matt Casamassina (2008-11-08). "Samba de Amigo Developer Diary 1". IGN. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "E3 2008: Samba De Amigo Officially Announces Downloadable Content". IGN. 2004-07-15. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- ドリームキャスト - サンバdeアミーゴ. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.41. 30 June 2006.
- Various. "Samba de Amigo". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
- Eurogamer review