In this series I will go over all the games I remember playing as a kid on my Gamecube. Some were good, but most were bad, but all of them have a special place in my heart.
Before Guitar Hero became Guitar Hero, rhythm based games were restricted to arcades with games like Dance Dance Revolution, with rare console appearances that sold few copies and were seen as instant money waster. Nintendo made the console rhythm game a staple of the 2000’s with the hit Donkey Konga, which came packaged with a set of plastic bongos with rubber drum heads that the player would hit to play the game. I first got this game at Christmas in 2003 and I remember being blown away at how fun it all was. Looking back now, that magic hasn’t changed all that much.
I was really young when I first played this game, and even then the way to play this game is straight-forward and simple. Press the left and right bongo to sift through the song choices, select the difficulty and the song has started. The game has three difficulty modes and 30+ songs to choose from which can range between Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G Minor to All the Small Things. The track list is small compared to rhythm games in the future, but what they have is a mix of virtually every musical genre.
In the game, players are awarded coins based on their performance in the song. These coins could be exchanged for a boat-load of extras like different sounding bongo sets and mini-games. There were only three mini-games available, but they were very fun and addicting. The 100m Climb was my favorite as it was fairly difficult but easy enough to keep me coming back.
Most of my nostalgia for the game actually comes from my first year of college, when my friends would bang away on the bongos instead of studying for midterms. This game was very much a staple of my freshman year along with Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. My friends and I had a rough first year and we really needed something to make us laugh and forget the life we had. We always used to play on the hardest difficulty and see how far we would make it, which was never that far. This game really does mean a lot to me, but not from a childhood perspective, but from the perspective of young adults trying to get by in life.
Next week, we double up.