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 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 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.
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." 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; 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 . To move, the player must tap the 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 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 Jungle Buddies is done 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 into the microphone 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 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.
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:
Like the Donkey Kong Country games, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat features four animals 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. 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.
"New Play Control!" series
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.
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
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. EAD Tokyo would also use the experience from developing this game when they went on to develop Super Mario Galaxy.
References to other games
References in later games
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.
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