Top critical review
35 people found this helpful
Severely let down by faulty controls
on 19 October 2008
This is -or rather SHOULD be - one of the best music and rhythm games available. When it was released in 2000 on the Sega Dreamcast, it came bundled with a couple of maracas and was phenomenally expensive (about £100 if memory serves, which was nearly as dear as the console itself). However, it was loved by all who played it, and players marvelled at how the console `knew' where the maracas were. One of the last hurrahs for Sega's dying DC console, RIP.
That was then, and this is now. Samba is as sanguine as it ever was - at least when it comes to the visual and aural presentation. Trouble is, if you try to play on anything other than the Easy level, the controls do not work. The issue seems not to be with the positioning of the controls, which is pretty accurate. If you point straight ahead or to the sides, the centre circles are correctly selected, as are the lower and upper circles when you tilt the controls down or up respectively. The trouble is with the shaking. When you shake the controls, errors occur. For instance, you inadvertently select one of the wrong circles because the controllers act as though you're tilting them rather than shaking. Or, the controller doesn't `reset' quickly enough between shakes, so shakes register in the wrong place, or do not register at all. They are even less accurate when you try to double your hits by placing both controllers on the same side of your body. The problems only happen on songs where the up-centre-down positioning of the balls changes very rapidly, as it does on harder levels and faster songs, but that means that you won't be able to complete the harder songs because the controls thwart you, regardless of how skilful you are! I get the sense that the Wii remotes are not able to register position changes quickly enough. In fairness to the game developers, I think this is a problem with the controllers themselves: Wii Sports boxing suffers from similar problems, but at least on that game accuracy was less of an issue.
I think that Sega / Gearbox have released an incomplete and faulty game here, and they would have been better off charging a few more quid for it and bundling it with the old maraca controls, which WORKED. Given the popularity of games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, I don't think people would baulk at paying an extra £20-£30 for the game, providing it worked! As it is, the lifespan of this game is artificially shortened by its unplayability on hard levels. Such a shame.
Oh and by the way - any Sega / Nintendo fanboys who give this review a 'not helpful' rating - just check out the other reviews here. Many of them mention problems with the controls. My point is not that SDA is a BAD game, it's a GOOD game let down by bad controls. Buyer beware - as you progress through the game, you don't 'get used' to the bad controls, the controls can't cope with the pace of the game and make it unplayable !