Support Clare, click to buy via us...
When you've known, loved and completed an original game it's always a bit of a risk to try a re-release, but we thought that Jungle Beat would probably make a good port onto the motion controllers on the Wii. So when my son asked for it as a birthday present we bought it for him, and he's been attached to the Wii ever since it arrived!
The game is a simple platformer, and at first glance it hasn't changed much at all from Donkey Kong Jungle Beat Gamecube. The levels are the same, with the addition of one or two extra levels at the end, apparently, but we haven't unlocked those yet.
As in the original game, you play as Donkey Kong, going through each level collecting bananas and bashing enemies on your way. It's totally fun, addictive gameplay, and the simplicity of the progression through levels and kingdoms has really appealed to my eight year old. Having not played the first version of the game, he's found the controls very intuitive to pick up, and I've had a lot of fun watching him battle the bosses at the end of each level with great energy!
You can't really play this one sitting down, you have to get up and engage physically.
When I picked up the controllers for my turn, I struggled a bit more - the bongo controllers were very simple, and the port onto Wii controllers has added a fair bit in terms of how you can control the character - this is good, but it just took a bit of getting used to! For example, what used to be a simple clap attack is now a directional clap attack, as you hold the control stick and shake the Wiimote, so it takes a little more thought and precision on the controls to make DK perform the action you were intending. I'd also like to think that using the Wiimote to hit enemies burns a few calories along the way, because it's a lot more fun to play this than to go to the gym, in my opinion! I'm certainly going to give my son a bit of competition and see if I can earn all the crests before he does!
The graphics and sound on the game don't seem to have changed at all, but this is no bad thing - it's still clean, bright and fun both to look at and listen to. The game is still relatively easy, short and sweet, but definitely a winner for children because it is so much fun to play.
Not only that, but you can't really play this one sitting down, you have to get up and engage physically, so you don't need to worry about the kids spending too much time in front of the screen; it's okay if they're jumping about at the same time!
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: