I Tried The New Samba De Amigo Game And Boy Are My Arms Tired

I Tried The New Samba De Amigo Game And Boy Are My Arms Tired

Samba De Amigo: Party Central is the upcoming newest title in the 23-year-strong series from SEGA. You are a maraca-playing monkey.

The maraca-wielding monkey’s humble beginnings existed on arcade machines, but is most notable for its Sega Dreamcast appearance which garnered very favourable reviews back in the day. I mean, who wouldn’t want these in their home?

Image: eBay

But alas, it’s been a long time since those shakers shook their way into the homes of many a monkey maniac. And then, all of a sudden, Sega decided to drop on the unexpecting public that they had plans for a new game in the series, Samba de Amigo: Party Central. They were so crazy for that.

I think the big question here is how does Samba De Amigo: Party Central, the newest title in the series for the Nintendo Switch, hold up now, though? Does it still hold the same magic as before? I would argue… Yes. I’m a freakin’ maraca-wielding monkey maniac.

Now, the game isn’t out yet. In fact, it was only announced today that Samba de Amigo: Party Central would be making its way to the Nintendo Switch on August 29th, 2023. However, I was lucky enough to be one of the folks that got to try the game in a hands-on preview, so I’d like to talk about it.

Monkey business

samba de amigo
Image: SEGA

In my hands-on preview session with Samba de Amigo: Party Central, I pretty much got to try a bit of everything except for the World Party mode (I’ll get to that later). Let’s start with the basics, a la the standard single-player mode of the game.

The standard mode of the game allows one to play through any of the 40 songs on offer at any difficulty level they like. On starting a session, you’re presented with six circles on the screen that you’ll need to shake your maracas in the direction of when the game asks. Seems simple enough, right?

Wrong. Well, not entirely wrong. When you’re playing on the easiest mode, it’s a walk in the park. You’re given the opportunity to learn how it all works, and the motion sensing is pretty forgiving. Every now and then, you”ll also be asked to strike a pose, and put your Joy-Cons in the right direction. It rocks to me.

But when you’re in hard mode? Jesus Christ. Oh my god, my arms. If you’ve ever played Just Dance even once, you might remember how unexpectedly hard it was on your soft, shitty body. Let me tell ya, Samba de Amigo: Party Central is a workout. Do some stretches beforehand.

But other than that, it’s so freakin’ fun. I especially loved going Ape Mode to I Really Like You by Carly Jepsen and Plastic Hearts by Miley Cyrus before absolutely losing it to Escape from the City from Sonic Adventure 2. The best part about that track is, as you can see above, you’re in the city. As an added bonus, the GUN Military Truck shows up mid-way and dances with you. Perfect.

Monkey business (for two or more)

Image: SEGA

The various 2-player modes are a hoot. You can, of course, do the standard Rhythm Game with a friend (or enemy), but it’s the other modes that really stand out. There’s the Showdown, where you battle to see who’s the best, the mini rhythm games that get chosen from a roulette, and then there’s the Love Checker.

The Love Checker had to be my favourite mode. In it, you play through a track with your Player 2 to determine your compatibility via synchronisation levels. Arguably the best part of this mode is specifically the poses that you do with your partner, which you have to jump into super quickly. It’s silly, goofy fun.

As well, you’re also given the option to play the Rhythm Game with 4 players through online play, and then there’s World Party. We didn’t get to try World Party as, of course, nobody in the world was playing. However, the team showed us a clip of the mode, which works a bit like Fall Guys in the sense of there being qualifying rounds until a winner is chosen.

From the looks of it, you’ve gotta really show your stuff and shake those damn maracas like your life is on the line if you want to win. You have to become the monkey. These maraca players are good. I am personally terrified of being shaken at like the loser I am, but I also think that I could win. Practice makes perfect, after all.

Other monkey business

Image: SEGA

Finally, we’ve got the StreamiGo! mode, which one could argue is essentially Samba de Amigo: Party Central‘s campaign mode. Taking a leaf out of modern-day society, you (the monkey) are essentially a maraca-shaking Twitch streamer that must prove they are the best of them all. Completing missions and defeating other shakers will get you more followers, and there’s even a ‘live chat’ box on the side of the game. It’s cute, I get it.

Then there’s the shop, which I will admit had me a bit worried for a second. You can deck out your monkey in all sorts of outfits that you do have to buy. However! Thankfully, all the costumes are purely bought with in-game currency that you can win by completing songs and levelling up. There are a lot of different outfits, including classic Sega fits. Even the old monkey costume! The sombrero and everything!

So what’s the verdict, then? Honestly, I really like it. If you remember just how big of a deal Nintendo made out of the rumble mechanics of the Joy-Cons, especially with 1-2-Switch, you’ll find that Samba de Amigo: Party Central takes full advantage of those features. You’re really shakin’ those freakin’ maracas! It’s a treat!

Samba de Amigo: Party Central really could be a game that sees the return of playing active party games with friends. It’s got the movement aspect of games like Just Dance and Beat Saber with the unique visual stylings that made the original Samba de Amigo so beloved. I can’t wait to sweat my ass off to this.

Samba de Amigo: Party Central releases on August 29th, 2023, for Nintendo Switch.

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