thebobby's Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat (GameCube) review

Where did Rare go?

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat for the GameCube is the latest installment in Nintendo’s long-running Donkey Kong franchise. In this game Donkey Kong is on a quest to find all of the bananas he possibly can in 40 different levels. To control Donkey Kong, you use the Bongo Drums that Nintendo has put out. This sounds really weird but it is very vital to having fun with this game. You can use a regular GameCube controller but the buttons are mapped really weird and it’s not very appealing.

The graphics in the game are decent. The enemies look amazing and the bosses have a very unique look. That said the game seemed a bit dark on my screen. To make sure it wasn’t just my screen, I tried it on another and it looked the same. But these graphics do resemble some of the best you’ll find on the GameCube. The background music in the game is appropriate, but is drowned out by you pounding on the drums. The music sounds very wild and monkey-like so if you do get a chance to hear it, you’ll agree that it is appropriate. Donkey Kong also makes plenty of ape-like cries as he defeats enemies or does something special (like beating a boss or a level).

To explain the Bongo control scheme further, you tap the right bongo to go right, the left one to go left, both to jump, and clap to start pounding on enemies. There is also a “Start/Pause” button to pause your game and make menu selections. The neatest thing is that there is a microphone on the Bongos that detects clapping. But, it’s not that smart. If you have the right-pitched voice, or make a sound with the right pitch, you can trip the sound sensor and mess up whoever is playing. Aside from that, the Bongos do a good job of adding to the fun in the game. There are two package types for the game: if you just want the game with no Bongos, it’s around 40 dollars; but if you want the Bongos included it’s 60 dollars.

The three biggest problems with Jungle Beat are the length of the game, the difficulty factor, and the fact that you start seeing the same bosses and levels over and over again. The game doesn’t take very long to finish, about five hours. And over these five hours you will start to see the same bosses and levels over and over again. Sure they may have a new twist or gimmick to them, but you see right through it and beat it just the same. The game is also super-easy. You may find yourself playing strait through and not dying once.

To access different “Kingdoms” (Which are each made up of two levels and a boss fight) you need to collect the right amount of bananas to fill up a tree and get as many as three crests. The number of crests you get depends on the number of bananas you collect throughout the game. This design works in the beginning but you quickly realize that you don’t need to collect too many bananas to get the minimum crest, which is all you need to unlock the next level. All in all, Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat is in the rental category. It controls nicely, it’s fun for a little while, but there isn’t a lot of replay value here.

11 Comments
Posted by Suicrat

I would argue that this is a poor review because the reviewer neglects to mention the immense enjoyment that can be had from attempting to retrieve platinum crests from the ends of levels. This is the most challenging and fun aspect of the game. Yeah it's hard to die, but it isn't all that easy to get platinum crests (especially in the later levels.)

Posted by Willy105

Interesting review. This game is made by the guys that did Super Mario Galaxy. And from what I played, it felt a lot like a sequel to the Donkey Kong Country games.

Rare was bought by Microsoft a long time ago. So Donkey Kong will now be made by Nintendo. For the first time in 20 years, too.

Posted by DrRandle

I would say that Rare, while they made great 2D Donkey Kongs, really dropped the ball with 64. I think the development studio that made this game and Mario Galaxy is not to be overlooked. This game looks more than decent, for a Gamecube game, it looks absolutely amazing. (And even on the port of Wii, it looks better than most Wii games.)

Posted by insanejedi

Poor presentation and not very informative. Remember, the only edge you have as a user reviewer against a professional reviewer like Jeff is the amount of insane detail and time you can spend in the game compared to them. If you are going to be non-descriptive about the graphics than at least supply a screenshot,

Posted by EpicSteve

Why are we featuring reviews on old games? I guess it's cool for people to read user reviews on games they may have missed, but still. The review before this was on Mario Bros. 3, which I'm sure we've all played. 

Posted by Crono
@EpicSteve said:
" Why are we featuring reviews on old games? I guess it's cool for people to read user reviews on games they may have missed, but still. The review before this was on Mario Bros. 3, which I'm sure we've all played.  "
Personally I am glad they feature reviews of older games because to me it sticks with the theme that this place is about ALL games and not just the most current / relevant games.
Posted by iAmJohn

If I wanted to read terrible, non-descriptive reviews that read like feature lists, I'd go to GameFAQs.

Posted by agentboolen

Wow I have this game, I got it on clearance for like 20 bucks with bongos I played this and Donkey Konga for a very brief moment then kind of stop playing because the bongos where p*ssing people off in my house.  Seemed very fun, and also points out that Nintendo should make a new Donkey Kong Country style game on the Wii or DS with out Rare.

Posted by Aaron_G

The review was not detailed enough. 

Posted by KRS

The above review of the review is not detailed enough.  :D

Posted by Kyle

How can you say it's a rental when you need a bongo controller to play it? Also, what do you mean "Where did Rare go"? They still exist and make awesome games - Viva Pinata, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts??

Other reviews for Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat (GameCube)

    Classic Donkey Kong Platformer...Minus the DK Rap 0

    Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat was easily one of the best games for Nintendo’s criminally underplayed Gamecube. The game is a basic 2D platformer in the style of the old Donkey Kong Country games, but in this game you control Donkey Kong with a pair of bongos. Tapping on the right bongo moves him to the right, the left one to move to the left, both to jump and clap to make Donkey do a sonic boom clap to subdue enemies. After playing through a level or so, you’ll encounter a boss battle. To fight you...

    0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

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