[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/donkeykonga2/cover.jpg[/floatleft]When [i]Donkey Konga[/i] first hit the shelves, I will admit that I was more than a bit uncertain as to how that game would be accepted in my household. The idea of a music-based [i]DK[/i] game just seemed wrong on all levels. In the end, it turned out to be a fresh idea that became an unhealthy addiction. Enter [i]Donkey Konga 2[/i], the much-welcomed sequel.
[i]DK2[/i] looks and plays almost identically to the original game. It is accompanied by a brand new set of 32 tracks. The songs themselves don’t cover as much of the musical spectrum as the original songs, but they provide a nice variety and even throw in a few harder songs like ‘Headstrong’ that make a surprisingly nice transition to the game. The songs are not performed by the original artists, so the game itself isn’t quite as good as it could have been, but you do get used to the cover bands after awhile.
[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/donkeykonga2/ss08_thumb.jpg[/floatright]Much like the original, [i]DK2[/i] is a relatively simple game to pick up and have some fun with. The early songs are quite easy and allow beginners to get into the grove, with later songs proving to be a challenge for even a [i]DK[/i] veteran like myself.
[i]DK2[/i] comes with a nice variety of gameplay options. Street Performance is where you spend your time collecting coins to unlock additional songs as well as mini-games. Challenge mode is a slight variation of Street Performance that tests your endurance with a nice run of varied songs. Concert mode challenges three players to either play cooperatively on a single controller or on your own controller if there are four players. Battle mode is a head-to-head competition for points that throws in a few random elements to mix it up. The addition of the random elements such as a slot machine, a rock-paper-scissors game, and a POW icon from the original [i]Mario Bros.[/i] can highly sway an otherwise close match and cause a lot of frustration.
[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/donkeykonga2/ss04_thumb.jpg[/floatleft]The mini-games that come with [i]DK2[/i] aren’t nearly as fun as the first game, and I didn’t find myself spending too much time with them.
All in all, the sequel brings new songs to the table, and that is really all that we needed. The slight changes in the interface were unnecessary considering you spend most of your time ignoring everything but the beats you have to hit. For you fans of the original, I’m going to recommend to pick this one up, but wait until it drops in price. I honestly wish Nintendo would release expansion song packs and not muck with the interface too much. Japan already has a third [i]DK[/i] game, and I can’t wait for yet another set of songs to master.