Be prepared to ice your hands after playing this party game. Based on the Donky Kong license, this innovative new game utilizes plastic conga drums as controllers and believe me, you will beat them like there is no tomorrow.
The game consists of hitting the appropriate drum pad, right or left, and clapping along to the color-coded beat. Sound repetitive? It is, but once you go head to head with a friend with songs such as “Whip It” and the Mario Brothers’ theme song, you will soon find yourself beating and clapping away whilst screaming and trash talking.
There are a plethora of songs to choose from at first, and skilled or patient players can earn coins in the single player campaign, which can be traded in for more songs. Up to four sets of congas can be used at one time for a confusing yet fun melee.
There are several mini-games that can also be purchased with coins, none of which I had the patience to acquire, but the fact that I enjoyed this game without them speaks volumes.
My real reservation is that once you come down off of your ape-drumming induced high, you can’t help but realize that you just spent an hour and a half looking like a total idiot. Warning: You need friends to enjoy this game.
Four out of five Bongos
Tony Hawk’s Underground 2
If you are a fan of the slew of gross out programming on MTV, such as Jackass and Viva la Bam, you will love this title. The subtitle of the game is actually “The World Destruction Tour,” which is appropriate because this game is more about destruction than it is about skating.
There are a ton of characters with which to tackle each stop of the destruction tour – a plus in most video games – but here the sheer volume of goals for each character in each city obscures the story element. The play mechanics of the game are almost identical to its predecessors, but one must be familiar with the Game Cube controller, otherwise the learning curve is steep.
Skating in the game is responsive and crisp, but I often found that the scenery flew by too fast to see where I needed to go. The tricks are even more ridiculous than ever and, as in previous Tony Hawk games, are completely inconceivable in the real world. Here aspiring skaters can live out their fantasies without skinning their elbows or landing in jail. The cut scenes leave a little to be desired with sub-par graphics and over the top stories, but the in-game graphics are cutting edge and the frame rate is fast. All this said, THUG 2 is an extremely fun game with immersive game play and near unlimited re-playability. Who doesn’t get a kick out of riding around as a retarded, quadriplegic kid?
Three out of five Skate Boards