Pros: A good expansion pack for people who liked the first game.
Cons: Not that many new songs and not enough to draw in new players.
Nintendo and Namco's Donkey Konga became an instant hit with
gamers. The unique and surprisingly durable taruconga drums, four player
support, and mini games added to the game's diverse soundtrack. With a
US and European release of Donkey Konga on the horizon Nintendo releases
the next Donkey Konga title. Unlike the first game that was designed to
draw new gamers in, Donkey Konga 2: Song Parade is an expansion pack
that will satisfy gamers that purchased the first game.
The premise of Donkey Konga is a simple one you play the game with a
set of conga drums known as Taruconga. The taruconga is a set of congo
drums with a microphone in the middle to register clap sounds. When you are playing with the conga drums Donkey Konga is a blast to
play. Partially because it is so simple to learn that you can just open
the package up and play. On the screen there is an icon that indicates
your congas. Colored circles move scroll towards the left side of the
screen until they reach the conga icon. A red icon indicates you should
hit the right drum and a yellow icon prompts you to hit the left drum.
If it's pink you hit both of them and if there is a light blue aura
around the drum you clap. The conga's have a tiny microphone built in
the center to sense the sound when you clap. Alternatively, you can use
the controller to play the game, but it just isn't as fun as using the
Players that own the first game will feel right at home playing
Donkey Konga 2: Song Parade. The game's mechanics are the same. For
players who pick up Donkey Konga 2 for the first time may find it a bit
frustrating. The difficulty in Donkey Konga 2 is a bit higher than the
first game. This should please fans of the series, but it also deters
newcomers. In the song list you have a total of 32 new songs to try out.
You have a blend of J-Pop songs like Overdrive and Dynamite that have an
upbeat dance rhythm. You also have classical music mixed in from
Tchaikovsky and Chopin. Of course there are video game tunes, which
include the Donkey Kong Country theme song and a neat Latin mix of the
Legend of Zelda theme. The rest of the mix consists of anime songs such
as: Viva Rock from Naruto, the Doraemon opening and Realize the Gundam
Seed opening theme. The most surprising addition to the mix has got to
be Yankee Doodle. Playing through that song with the conga beat in the
background is something different.
Just like in the first game, playing through the game's single player mode nets you
coins to spend. The better you perform in story mode and the harder the
difficulty you play the more coins you earn. One of the neat items you can purchase at
the store are new sound effects for the drums. You start out with two
sound effects, the standard conga sounds and 8-bit Famicom (Nintendo)
sounds. Selecting a different sound effectively allows you to "remix" a
song and with the wide variety of sound effects you can certainly do
that. Coins also let players purchase "expert" mode, an extra difficulty
level for the songs. The expert mode is a truly challenging
affair that even the best congo-ers will have to spend time to master.
Coins also have a new role, each time you want to play a mini game you
need to use your coins. There are two brand new mini games to try out.
The first one is a rhythm keeper game. When you start the game it gives
you a rhythm to learn. Once you play a few measures with the rhythm your
free to play it on your own without any visuals. As you complete one set
of rhythm you get a harder one to do. This mini game is a test of memory
and your rhythm skills. The other mini game is something best played
with other people. The second game drops down a set of notes for you to
play as fast as you can. Whoever can complete all of their notes the
fastest wins. The notes that are dropped down are random, which means
you can't just memorize patterns. When you play with another player and
not the slow computer you're in an intense competition.
Just like the mini games Donkey Konga is multiplayer friendly. You
can play the game with up to four people and each person gets a slightly
different version of the song. If each player has a different set of
sounds you can come out with interesting mixes. Donkey Konga 2's story
mode also supports four players so you can earn multiplayer coins while
playing with other players.
Donkey Konga 2's graphics aren't much better than the first game. The
background animations have been improved. One of the backgrounds takes
you through an underwater area and another one takes you through a
beehive. Donkey and Diddy Kong still beat their drums or hands according
to your controls. Rhythm games aren't known for their graphics most
players will disregard background graphics in favor of paying attention
to the notes. Even though better graphics would be a benefit to the
Donkey Konga 2: Song Parade effectively doubles the number of songs
that players have. As an expansion pack to a solid music game, Donkey
Konga 2 does a great job. If player is really interested in checking out
the Japanese version of the Donkey Konga series they should get the
Donkey Konga 1+2 pack. The pack contains both games and one of the
taruconga drum controllers. That pack is a good deal for newcomers to
the series, while Donkey Konga 2 is designed for veteran players.
Donkey Konga 2 has more menus to navigate through than the first game,
but understanding how to play the game doesn't require any language
Donkey Konga 2 doesn't have a release date in the US. The first game
is going to be released in 2004 and if they do release a Donkey Konga 2
you can bet this anime / J-pop heavy song list will be replaced.
Donkey Konga 2: Song Parade is a great addition for players that are
into the series.