Donkey Kong Jungle Beat

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Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
Dkjunglb.jpg
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Tokyo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube
Release date Japan December 16, 2004
Europe February 4, 2005
USA March 14, 2005
Australia March 17, 2005
Genre Platform
Rating(s)
ESRB:ESRB E10+.svg - Everyone 10+
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
Mode(s) Single player
Media
Gamecube:
Media CD icon.png Optical disc
Input
GameCube:

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 is the first console Donkey Kong since the release of Donkey Kong Country to not be developed by Rare, since the company was bought out by Microsoft. 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. Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was also the first game to be given the "E10+" rating from the ESRB.

Story[edit]

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.


Not only that, but they laid claim to every kingdom and stole each one's precious bananas!

"This calls for the one and only Donkey Kong!"

Join forces with your jungle buddies to face an array of powerful enemies and restore peace to the jungle!

During the events of the game, the jungle and various fruit kingdoms are overrun by the 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.

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."[1] The statement was made due to the game having nearly no story surrounding or in it.

Gameplay[edit]

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; holding down on the bongo causes him to walk. 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 Jungle 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 Control Stick. To move, the player must tap the Control Stick in the desired direction in order to move Donkey Kong; holding it causes Donkey Kong to walk, and repeatedly tapping it causes him to run. To jump, the player must press A Button or tap the Control Stick upwards, and to move in midair, the player must tap the Control Stick in the desired direction. To punch, the player must tap the Control Stick back and forth repeatedly. Moving any of the Jungle Buddies is done once again by tapping the Control Stick.

Donkey Kong is given a new move in this game in the form of the Sound Wave Attack, which can be used by clapping into the microphone or hitting the sides of the drums when using the bongos, or by tapping Camera stick on a standard controller. The Sound Wave Attack consists of an outer green ring mostly used to stun enemies and an inner red ring generally used to defeat enemies and grab beats. 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 final levels), 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. 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, giving them extra beats equal to the number of bananas eaten.

Donkey Kong about to fight Dread Kong, the boss of the Banana 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 addition, combos, which are obtained by performing special actions (backflips, ground pounds, riding a Jungle Buddy, etc.), also give the player more beats than they would be able to obtain normally. When one such move is performed, a counter starts at "Combo 2", and performing additional moves increases the counter by one for each action; the counter does not increase, however, for actions performed twice during one combo. Combos increase the amount of beats earned from bananas by the combo number; in the case of banana bunches, this number is also multiplied by three. 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 in which the player must deplete the boss' 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:

  • Any amount - Bronze Crest
  • 400 - Silver Crest
  • 800 - Gold Crest
  • 1200+ - Platinum Crest

Characters[edit]

Donkey Kong.

Main[edit]

Jungle Buddies[edit]

Like the Donkey Kong Country games, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat features four animals to assist Donkey Kong.

Animal Image Description
Hoofer Hoofer the Wildebeest.png Hoofer the wildebeest is only found in ice-based levels. When controlling Hoofer, he continuously moves forward; the player must pound the right drum to run faster, and both to jump, like Donkey Kong. Hoofer is either found at the end of a level, or at the beginning of one, and depending on which determines what minigame is played at the end of the stage. If Hoofer is ridden from the beginning, the player must make as far a jump as possible. If Hoofer is at the end, the minigame involves jumping across as many gaps as possible. Both games earn the player additional beats.
Flurl Flurl2.jpg Flurl the squirrel acts like a parachute, causing the player to slowly float downward when encountered. Flurl is controlled by pounding the drums to make him move in that direction; this also causes him to slow down.
Orco Orco the Killer Whale.png Orco the killer whale is only encountered in Pristine Sea. Orco moves along a set path, and the player can only use the Sound Wave Attack when riding him; pounding the drums causes Donkey Kong to dismount Orco.
Helibirds Helibird1.PNG Helibirds are first encountered in the Strawberry Kingdom and are common afterward. They are controlled by pounding the bongos in either direction to make them fly upward in that direction.

Bosses[edit]

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.

Promotional artwork showing off the game's four Kong bosses.
D Barrel K Barrel J Barrel B Barrel
Kongs Dread Kong Karate Kong Ninja Kong Sumo Kong
Tusks Turret Tusk Grave Tusk Torch Tusk Double Tusk
Rocs Scruff Roc Fleet Roc Hard Roc Thunder Roc
Hogs Rogue-Hog Mo-Hog Bloat-Hog Gloat-Hog
Moon Barrel
Cactus King
Ghastly King

Other[edit]

Enemies[edit]

Kingdoms and bosses[edit]

The selection screen, allowing the option to play any of the 16 kingdoms.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat contains a total of 16 kingdoms, all of which are named after a fruit. Each kingdom also contains two levels followed by a boss battle, with the only exceptions being Opening Ceremony and the moon barrel levels (all one level each), making 50 total stages. In addition, there is the Opening Ceremony, as well as the Cactus King and Ghastly King stages, adding up to 19 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 shown on each plaque is obtained.

Each kingdom is selected by choosing one of six "barrels", with each barrel containing four kingdoms, while the moon barrel only has two kingdoms and Opening Ceremony is in its own sun 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.

Barrel Kingdom Levels Boss To Unlock
Sun Barrel Opening Opening Ceremony N/A N/A
D Barrel Banana Kingdom Dawn Savana Dread Kong Clear Opening Ceremony.
Jungle Deeps
Orange Kingdom Silver Snow Peak Scruff Roc 1 Crest
Sky Garden
Watermelon Kingdom Monkey Fest Rogue-Hog 2 Crests
Desert Oasis
Apple Kingdom Massive Canyon Turret Tusk 3 Crests
Ice Warren
K Barrel Strawberry Kingdom Helibird Nest Mo-Hog 6 Crests
Spirit Tree
Pineapple Kingdom Rumble Falls Karate Kong 7 Crests
Pristine Sea
Lemon Kingdom Chopperbird Race Fleet Roc 8 Crests
Cactus Mine
Grape Kingdom Sweet Paradise Grave Tusk 9 Crests
Primeval Ruins
J Barrel Cherry Kingdom Aurora Glacier Hard Roc 12 Crests
Grim Volcano
Peach Kingdom Arctic Plunge Torch Tusk 14 Crests
Ancient Foundary
Melon Kingdom Iguanagon's Realm Bloat-Hog 16 Crests
Banshee Swamp
Durian Kingdom Battle for Storm Hill Ninja Kong 18 Crests
Arie Fortress
B Barrel Pear Kingdom Deep Sea Sprint Gloat-Hog 25 Crests
Clock Tower
Lychee Kingdom Helibird Dash Thunder Roc 29 Crests
Lava Cavern
Chili Pepper Kingdom Cloudy Heights Double Tusk 34 Crests
Magma Coliseum
Star Fruit Kingdom Ninjape Rally Sumo Kong 41 Crests
Asteroid Belt
Moon Barrel VS. Cactus King Cactus King 22 Crests
Clear D-J Barrels
VS. Ghastly King Ghastly King 51 Crests
Clear B Barrel

"New Play Control!" series[edit]

Donkey Kong fighting a Nap Butapoppo in the New Play Control! version.
Main article: New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat

In 2008/2009, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was ported to the Wii as part of the New Play Control! series of games, a series of GameCube games remade to take advantage of the Wii's motion controls. In addition to the new control style, the port also features new levels, additions and changes to the existing stages, and some gameplay mechanics having been altered from the original version to accommodate the change in controls.

Derivatives[edit]

In Japan, two Donkey Kong Jungle Beat-themed medal games were developed by Capcom and released on Sega's Triforce line of arcade machines:

Development[edit]

“Our manual writer had an easy job on this one.[2]
Takao Shimizu

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[3]. 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[3] 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 [3].

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[2]. 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"[2].

Reception and legacy[edit]

At release, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was well received by critics. The game's main criticisms were its short length and departure from the classic Donkey Kong Country gameplay, as well as a lack of replay value. Donkey Kong Jungle Beat mainly received praise for its advanced graphics, as well as for the unique use of the DK Bongos controller, which many critics called innovative. The game was rated the 95th best game made on a Nintendo system in the Top 200 Games List by Nintendo Power in its February 2006 issue, and in the final issue the game was rated 130 in the 285 best Nintendo games of all time list.[4] EAD Tokyo would also use the experience from developing this game when they went on to develop Super Mario Galaxy[5].

Reviews
Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
Matt Casamassina, IGN 8.8/10 "Jungle Beat is a surprisingly addictive and well-made platformer with a unique control twist. Anybody who says differently either didn't take the time to really play it or has no business playing games."
Jeff Gerstmann, GameSpot 7/10 "Overall, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is a scream...for the first eight levels. Once you've seen what the game has to offer, though, there's not a lot to come back to. Anyone with moderately developed action game skills will finish this game in one day, probably without actually dying once. That makes this a rental, at best, but if you're shopping for young children that like to smack stuff, or if you already picked up the bongo drums and are desperate for anything else that uses them, you could make a case for adding this one to your permanent collection."
Brett Elston, GamesRadar 4/5 "Nintendo’s Revolution is promising something crazy unique, but for now the bongo controllers offer enough gameplay diversity to show that the innovator has its heart in the right place: making games accessible and exciting for everyone. Jungle Beat may be the only game to make good use of the bongos, but it does one hell of a job."
Tom Bramwell, Eurogamer 8/10 "But, as we glance around for a cymbal to cap things off, it would be cruel to hold these things against Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Nintendo's burgeoning Revolution means it's barely even the most innovative 2D platform game we've played this month, but compared to the last two decades' output it's gloriously refreshing, and it's only the lack of longevity that leads us to hesitate in recommending it. If you can stomach the cost though, you'll soon see that it's far more than a gimmiEEEEOWWW. A suitable drumroll for the Revolution, then."
Game Informer 7.5/10 "A gorgeous game with a couple examples of spectacular level design, but it doesn't have any tricks up its sleeve once the novelty wears off."
Aggregators
Compiler Platform / Score
Metacritic 80
GameRankings 81

References to other games[edit]

  • Donkey Kong: At the very beginning of the Cactus/Ghastly King battles, part of the music that plays is a remix of the tune that plays when Donkey Kong climbs atop the construction site with Pauline.
  • Donkey Kong Country: The entire concept of collecting bananas and riding Jungle Buddies originated from this game. Additionally, the background music that plays in Dawn Savanna, after clearing any boss stage, and the ending are remixes of the Jungle Hijinxs theme. Lastly, voice clips from Funky Kong's theme can be heard towards the end of the Opening Ceremony.

References in later games[edit]

  • Mario Kart DS: Many of Donkey Kong's voice clips from Donkey Kong Jungle Beat are reused for this game.
  • DK: Jungle Climber: Many voice clips from this game are reused. Also, the pose that Donkey Kong strikes after completing the bonus stage (where the player has to catch bananas with a barrel) is identical to the pose that he strikes in Jungle Beat after completing the banana-eating bonus at the end of each stage.
  • Super Mario Galaxy: Several gameplay mechanics and elements from Donkey Kong Jungle Beat are reused in this game, including sound effects. Several assets from this game have also been found that go unused in the final game.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Rumble Falls is a default stage that can be selected in the game, and the background also changes rapidly, with one of them being the background that was used in the Sky Garden stage. Also, the song, "Battle For Storm Hill", in its original form, may be selected as background music for that stage and custom stages. Lastly, the Party Monkey, Gale Hawg, Hoofer, Karate Kong, and Donkey Kong's appearance in this game appear as Stickers, and Helibird and Turrent Tusk appear as Trophies.

Gallery[edit]

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.

Beta elements[edit]

Main article: List of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat beta elements

In the E3 2004 demo, the Party Monkeys are shown to be normal brown monkeys, similar in appearance to Donkey Kong. The Dread Kong boss did not exist, the stand-in boss being a grey clone of Donkey Kong. Most of Donkey Kong's voice clips for the demo were also reused from Donkey Kong 64.

Staff[edit]

Main article: List of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat staff

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo. The game's producer was Takao Shimizu, and it was directed by Yoshiaki Koizumi. Koichi Hayashida, Kimiharu Hyodo, Futoshi Shirai, and Toshihiro Kawabata were the assistant directors. Donkey Kong's voice clips were provided by Takashi Nagasako, and Mahito Yokota composed the game's music. Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka were the general producers, and Satoru Iwata was the executive producer.

Name in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ドンキーコングジャングルビート
Donkī Kongu Janguru Bīto

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Donkey Kong Jungle Beat - IGN
  2. ^ a b c NSider translation of an interview (original Japanese interview available here
  3. ^ a b c IGN: Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
  4. ^ Brain (December 12, 2012). Nintendo Power ranks the top 285 Nintendo games of all time. Nintendo Everything. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  5. ^ Iwata Asks: Super Mario Galaxy (accessed March 07 2012)