While perusing the RFD forums, I came across a post which mentioned that Futureshop was clearing out their bongos for $20! It was an old thread from before the new year, but there was some recent reports that FS had them back in stock, so I stopped by the FS on the way home from work.

Unfortunately for me, they didn’t have any in stock. So I left it at that, I didn’t really need bongos anyways. Anyways, I was down at the local Staples last week, printing out my thesis, where I had a 30 minute wait; so I decided to check out the (much more convenient than the original one I checked) Futureshop. Lo-and-behold, they had not one, but two pairs of bongos left. I was tempted to buy both, but I decided against it.

If you are at this point, scratching your head wondering why I would goto Futureshop to buy bongos or why I would want bongos in the first place, maybe you should read this review of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat first.

DKJB was Nintendo’s answer to DDR or Guitar Hero, but based on their strong brand lineup. I suppose bongos were the best they could do unless you wanted a game where you strum a plunger or hit a triangle with a sword. The interesting thing about DKJB was that it wasn’t a music game (I actually wanted to get Donkey Kong Konga which was the music game), it’s an adventure game. In the vein of Sonic, you have to guide DK to pick up bananas and then fight a boss at the end of each level. I had in the past tried to play normal games using a DDR pad, which doesn’t work out so well, but this game was designed to be played with bongos!

I put DKJB through a quick playtest over the weekend, and it’s a hoot. It’s not intuitive that you have to clap (or hit both bongos? I can’t remember now…) to jump so usually when I have to do stuff, I just end up bongo-mashing. But it is still quite cool and fun, because DK does all sorts of chaotic stuff on the screen and eventually I end up at the end of the level. At that point, there’s a boss fight which usually entails figuring out the attack pattern, and then paralyzing the boss. When this happens, it’s CRAZY TIME where you have to hammer on the bongos as fast as you can to do all sorts of critical hits — quite hilarious and tiring.

I’m glad I got this game, and it was a pretty good deal. Here are some random things I want to say, but couldn’t fit in:

  • The graphics are pretty advanced because DKJB was released in 2005 (one of the last GC games); there are some Monsters Inc-type hair effects!
  • I saw a set of bongos only (i.e. no game) for $40 when I bought this. That didn’t seem to make much sense since packaging the game was like -$20.
  • It’s too bad there’s no multiplayer mode, because this seems like a neat party game.