Samba de Amigo


Samba de Amigo is a video game developed by Sonic Team and released in 2000 by Sega in arcades as well as for the Sega Dreamcast video game console. It can be played by one or two players simultaneously.

A rhythm video game similar in theme to Dance Dance Revolution, 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 a grinning monkey with a square head and a sombrero. 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. 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-kun") 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.

The home game adds a "party mode," with minigames such as Guacamole (pronounced and played much the same as "whack-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). The home version also has features which can be unlocked, such as sound effects and hidden songs.

For the home version of the game, the Sega maracas controllers are red, and the rattle part can be unscrewed from the top of each for quieter play. Each maraca has a cord which is plugged into to a bar that lays 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 infrared transmitter mounted on its cord; presumably this allows the system to triangulate the position of each maraca as the player holds it. The game can also be played with the standard Dreamcast controller, but this makes the game trivial to play.

Songs in the game (mostly covers) include "Macarena," "Mas Que Nada," "Soul Bossa Nova," A-ha's "Take On Me, Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping," Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" and "Cup of Life," and "El Ritmo Tropical" (which also appeared in Dance Dance Revolution). Hidden songs include themes from other Sega games such as Sonic Adventure and OutRun.

Samba de Amigo was named Best Puzzle Game of 2000 by GameSpot. It also was nominated for the Excellence in Audio award and for a Game Spotlight Award in the 1st annual Game Developers Choice Awards. [1]

Samba de Amigo 2000, a sequel to this game, was released in Japan for Dreamcast. The maracas were never officially used for any other games than these two, although they can be used with Namco's Mr Driller for approximate control of the player's character.

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