Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is a 2.5D platformer in the Donkey Kong series for the Nintendo GameCube. The game was developed by Nintendo EAD's Tokyo division, who would later develop Super Mario Galaxy; this game was the first to be developed by the group. The game's main gimmick stems from the use of the DK Bongos controller, previously affiliated with Donkey Konga, as the recommended controller, though a standard Nintendo GameCube controller may still be used. Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was the first game to be given the "E10+" rating from the ESRB.
In 2008/2009, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was ported to the Wii as part of the New Play Control! series of games. The port of the game features Wii Remote and Nunchuck controls as well as new levels, additions and changes to the existing stages, and some gameplay mechanics having been altered from the GameCube version to accommodate the Wii controls.
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is the first console Donkey Kong platforming game since the release of Donkey Kong Country to not be made by Rare Ltd. After the company was bought by Microsoft, Rare lost the rights to the Donkey Kong series due to the fact that it was trademarked by Nintendo. Due to this, Jungle Beat was very different than the Donkey Kong Country games in gameplay, characters, and, perhaps most notably, the personality of Donkey Kong, who is shown to be more aggressive than in past titles.
Story from instruction booklet:
One day, the peace of the jungle was disrupted by a rampaging pack of wild baddies who wreaked havoc on the residents of the jungle.
Story from Nintendo website (New Play Control!):
Donkey Kong sets out to prove he's king of the jungle and beyond. He rampages through lava caves, savage seas and crazy locales like a ninja-chimp fortress. Only when Donkey Kong defeats all the kings of his world – by boxing with apes, rabid warthogs, ballistic elephants and giant birds – can he call himself king.
Story from European website (New Play Control!)
When an army of invaders infiltrate Donkey Kong’s jungle home and help themselves to every banana they can get their hands on, you know there’s going to be trouble. With a rumbling stomach and the support of some fellow banana-starved buddies, the agitated ape sets out to reclaim what’s rightfully his and liberate the kingdoms he passes through in the process.
During the events of the game, the jungle and various fruit kingdoms are overrun by the various minions of Ghastly King and Cactus King. The bananas from the jungle are also all stolen, scattered throughout the various kingdoms. Donkey Kong decides to help by facing and defeating the kings of each kingdom to both liberate the kingdoms and reclaim the bananas.
During his journeys, in which he defeats the kings in each kingdom, Cactus and Ghastly King both claim to rule the world. However, their plans are thwarted when Donkey Kong arrives and beats Cactus King, and later Ghastly King. The Helper Monkeys and Ninjapes, as well as the four Kongs under Ghastly King and Cactus King, then celebrate the defeat of the duo, with Donkey Kong being named the new king.
When the GameCube version of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was released, it was stated by game director Yoshiaki Koizumi that "The only thing Donkey Kong needs is to be the best, and to become the king of the jungle." The statement was made due to the game having nearly no story surrounding or in it.
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is unique in that the player may use not only a standard Nintendo GameCube controller but also the special DK Bongos peripheral as the controller. Hitting the left bongo repeatedly will send Donkey Kong running to the left, and hitting the right will send him right. To jump straight into the air, the player must hit both bongos at once. To jump diagonally, the player must hit the bongo in the direction he or she wants to jump, while using the other bongo to run. Hitting both drums in midair causes Donkey Kong to perform a ground pound. The Animal Buddies are also controlled by using the drums.
When playing with a Nintendo GameCube controller, the actions performed by the bongos are mostly incorporated into the . To move, the player must tap the in the desired direction in order to move Donkey Kong. To jump, the player must press the or tap the upwards, and to move in midair, the player must tap the in the desired direction. To punch, the player must tap the back and forth repeatedly. Moving any of the Animal Buddies can be achieved once again by tapping the .
Donkey Kong is given a new move in this game in the form of the Sound Wave Attack, which can be used by clapping or hitting the sides of the drums when using the bongos, or by tapping on a standard controller. The Sound Wave Attack consists of an outer green ring and an inner red ring; the inner ring is generally used to defeat enemies and grab beats, while the outer ring is mostly to stun enemies. The Sound Wave Attack can also be used for various other purposes depending on the situation.
The main goal throughout most of the game is to get to the end of a stage while also trying to collect as many beats as possible. At the beginning of each kingdom, the player starts with twenty beats (two hundred in the VS. stages), and may obtain more by collecting the beats scattered throughout the stage and defeating enemies. These beats act as health throughout a kingdom. Losing all beats collected in a level and being damaged results in a Game Over, and the player must restart from the beginning of the kingdom.
Using the clap grab move the player can collect all the beats in a general area with once move, which increases the beat count by a greater number then by simply running into them individually. In additon, Combos, which are obtained by performing special actions (backflips, ground pounds, riding an animal buddy, etc.), also give Donkey Kong more beats than he would be able to obtain normally. When one such move is performed, a counter starts, and performing additional moves increases the counter by one for each action. When combo increases the amount of beats earned by simply collecting collecting a banana by the combo number (i.e. running into one banana at a combo ten increases the total number collected by ten). A combo continues as long as Donkey Kong is airborne and ends when he lands on the ground again; the number of beats collected during the combo is then added to the total. However, if the player is damaged while a combo is active, the player loses all the beats accumulated during the combo.
Most of the Kingdoms in the game contain three stages: two standard levels to earn beats, followed by a boss battle. At the end of each level is a fruit, which DK must bite into to complete a level. The player can then play a minigame involving attempting to eat as many bananas as possible in a few seconds; the player then receives extra beats equal to the number of bananas eaten. During boss battles, the player must defeat the boss by depleting their health bar to zero. There are four different types of bosses: Kongs, Rocs, Hogs, and Tusks, each with their own battle types and weaknesses. Bosses in later barrels gain the attacks used by that type of boss in the previous barrel, and depleting a boss's HP to below half causes them to start attacking with their own additional attack.
At the end of each kingdom, the player's total remaining beat count is tallied at the Sacred Tree. By earning a certain number of beats, the player can earn up to four crests from the tree. These crests are used to unlock new kingdoms, as each one can only be unlocked when a certain number of crests have been obtained. By default, the player earns a Bronze Crest no matter how many beats they have, though the others can only be earned by collecting the following amounts of beats:
Like the Donkey Kong Country games, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat features four Animal Buddies to assist Donkey Kong.
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat features a total of eighteen bosses. There are four basic types of bosses, one of each occupying each of the main kingdoms in one barrel, while the other two occupy the last levels.
Kingdoms and bosses
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat contains a total of 16 kingdoms, all of which are named after a fruit. In addition, there is the Opening Ceremony, as well as the Cactus King and Ghastly King stages (in the port there is also Banana Banquet and Kong of the Mountain), adding up to 19 (21 in the port) total kingdoms. Kingdoms are unlocked by clearing each barrel (and in the D Barrel's case, by clearing Opening Ceremony and the Banana Kingdom), but may not be accessed until the number of crests on each plaque is obtained. As stated above, the kingdoms each contain two levels followed by a boss battle, with the only exceptions being the levels listed above. In total, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat contains 50 total levels (52 in the port, not counting Kong of the Mountain).
Each Kingdom is selected by choosing one of six "barrels", with each barrel containing four kingdoms; in the GameCube version, the moon barrel only has two kingdoms, and Opening Ceremony is in its own barrel. The four barrels containing the game's sixteen main kingdoms are the "D", "K", "J", and "B" barrels, the letters composing the acronym for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.
"New Play Control!" series
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was later re-released on the Wii as part of the "New Play Control!" series, a series of Nintendo GameCube titles remade specifically to take advantage of the Wii's motion controls. This version of the game was released in Japan on December 11, 2008, North America on May 4, 2009, and in Europe on June 5, 2009. The game is played with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, supports widescreen TV display, and several changes to the levels as well, such as new enemies, like line-guided balls of electricity, and obstacles, like cacti. Gimmicks and enemies may be found at different places than the original game. There are no completely new levels, but there are two new locations in the Kingdom selection screen: a boss rush (Kong of the Mountain) and the ceremony stage from the GameCube version (Banana Banquet). As such, this is the only New Play Control! game to feature content exclusive to this version.
In this version, Donkey Kong is controlled with the Analog Stick of the Nunchuk, and to clap the player must flick the Wii Remote. Unlike the original game, Donkey Kong's claps can face different directions. Punching enemies is accomplished by shaking the Wii Remote and Nunchuck repeatedly. The Animal Buddies are all controlled using the Analog Stick.
Rather than use beats as health throughout the kingdom, beats only serve as health in boss battles, In standard levels, the player is given three hearts as health, as well as a life counter, which can be increased by collecting 1-up tokens. These can be found through various circumstances and by collecting specific numbers of beats (200, 500, 1000, 1500, etc.). If the player loses all of their hearts, they lose a life rather than automatically getting a game over; because of this, checkpoints have been implemented into the levels.
The crest system has also been revised - there are no longer different crests, but a number of crests the player can still win by getting a certain number of bananas. The player can earn up to three crests from each kingdom; 200 beats earns the player one crest, 500 two, and 1000 and above three. Collecting all of the crests in one barrel results in the player unlocking the fourth kingdom in that barrel. The other Kingdoms are unlocked after the previous one has been completed, as opposed to gathering a certain number of crests.
New Kingdom and Barrel locations
In the New Play Control! version, there are three kingdoms per barrel, with a fourth one that is unlocked by obtaining all nine crests in the first three. The three kingdoms in each barrel are unlocked by clearing the previous one. The unlocked kingdoms are the kingdoms that were originally in the B Barrel from the original game. The order they appear in is as follows:
Development on the game started after after director Yoshiaki Koizumi and producer Takao Shimizu attended a meeting featuring the bongo controller developed for Donkey Konga. The team spent some time thinking of mechanics that would fit the controller.
After working on several titles using a traditional controller, Koizumi wanted to make something a different input method. He also heard various complaints that controls in contemporary games were becoming too complex and thus desired to develop a simpler game. As such, he was pleased when the game's E3 2004 demo was well-received by female and "casual" players .
The development team wanted to keep the game's mechanics and presentation as simple as possible to appeal to players intimidated by the complexity of modern games. Characters from previous Donkey Kong games except Donkey Kong himself and "the banana" (whom Yoshiaki Koizumi apparently considered to be a character) were ignored, as EAD Tokyo felt the aesthetics of the series were not "fresh enough".
Reception and legacy
Both versions of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat were received well by critics. Rated the 95th best game made on a Nintendo system in the Top 200 Games List by Nintendo Power in its February 2006 issue, the game's main criticism was its short length and departure from the classic Donkey Kong Country gameplay. Jungle Beat mainly received praise for its graphics, as well as for the unique use of the DK Bongos as the primary controller, which many critics have called innovative. The original game currently holds an 80 on Metacritic and an 81 on Gamerankings, while the Wii version has a 78 on the former and an 80 on the latter.. IGN gave the GameCube version an 8.8, and the Wii port an 8.4; GameSpot gave the game a 7.0,  and GamesRadar gave it 4/5 stars. As stated above, the game's primary criticism is in its short length.
Many aspects of the development of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat would later be used when the team would go on to develop Super Mario Galaxy. Many assets from this game can also be found on the Super Mario Galaxy game disk.
References to other games
References in later games
Name in other languages