New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is a 2.5D platform video game released to the Wii in 2009. It is a remake of Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat for the Nintendo GameCube, using New Play Control! technology to accommodate for the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. The Remote and Nunchuck replace the DK Bongos used in the original game. As with all NPC games, Jungle Beat has reversible cover art. The secondary artwork features a larger picture and a more subdued "NEW PLAY CONTROL" indicator.
In contrast to the original Nintendo GameCube version, the game was given a different, expanded story.
Story from the instruction booklet:
One day, the peace of the jungle was disrupted by a rampaging pack of wild baddies who wreaked havoc on the residents of the jungle.
Not only that, but they laid claim to every kingdom and stole each one's precious bananas!
"This calls for the one and only Donkey Kong!"
Join forces with your jungle buddies to face an array of powerful enemies and restore peace to the jungle!
Story from American website:
Donkey Kong sets out to prove he's king of the jungle and beyond. He rampages through lava caves, savage seas and crazy locales like a ninja-chimp fortress. Only when Donkey Kong defeats all the kings of his world – by boxing with apes, rabid warthogs, ballistic elephants and giant birds – can he call himself king.
Story from European website
When an army of invaders infiltrate Donkey Kong’s jungle home and help themselves to every banana they can get their hands on, you know there’s going to be trouble. With a rumbling stomach and the support of some fellow banana-starved buddies, the agitated ape sets out to reclaim what’s rightfully his and liberate the kingdoms he passes through in the process.
During the events of the game, the jungle and various fruit kingdoms are overrun by the various minions of the Ghastly King. The bananas from the jungle are also all stolen, scattered throughout the various kingdoms. Donkey Kong decides to help by facing and defeating the kings of each kingdom to both liberate the kingdoms and reclaim the bananas.
During his journeys, in which he defeats the kings in each kingdom, Ghastly King claims to rule the world. However, his plans are thwarted when Donkey Kong arrives and beats Ghastly King. The Helper Monkeys and Ninjapes, as well as the four Kongs under Ghastly King, then celebrate the defeat of the duo, with Donkey Kong being named the new king.
New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is played using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Donkey Kong is controlled with the analog stick of the Nunchuk, and to clap the player must flick the Wii Remote. Unlike the original game, Donkey Kong's Sound Wave Attacks are directional rather than based on a radius. In addition, while the Clap Grab is still available, the player can no longer Clap Grab while in the air or underwater. Punching enemies is accomplished by shaking the Wii Remote and Nunchuck repeatedly. The Jungle Buddies are also all controlled using the analog stick. Donkey Kong is also able to duck by holding down on the analog stick; this action was not in the original game at all.
Rather than use beats as health throughout the kingdom, beats only serve as health in boss battles. In standard levels, the player is given three hearts as health, as well as a life counter, which can be increased by collecting 1-up tokens. These can be found through various circumstances and by collecting specific numbers of beats (200, 500, 1000, 1500, etc.). If the player loses all of their hearts, they lose a life rather than automatically getting a game over; because of this, checkpoints have been implemented into the levels.
The crest system has also been revised; there are no longer different crests, but a number of crests the player can still obtain by earning a certain number of bananas. The player can earn up to three crests from each kingdom; 200 beats earns the player one crest, 500 two, and 1000 and above three. Collecting all of the crests in one barrel results in the player unlocking the fourth kingdom in that barrel. The other Kingdoms are unlocked after the previous one has been completed, as opposed to gathering a certain number of crests.
Kingdom and boss changes
In the New Play Control! version, there are three kingdoms per barrel, as well as a fourth one that is unlocked by obtaining all nine crests in the first three. The kingdoms in this version are unlocked in a sequential order, the next kingdom being unlocked by clearing the previous one rather than having to have a certain number of crests. The unlockable kingdoms are the kingdoms that were in the B Barrel in the original version. Two new kingdoms have also been added to the game, and some of the bosses and stages have been swapped compared to the original.
Critical reception for the New Play Control! version of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat game was positive, though not as much as the original. The game still received praise for its graphics, and while the new style of gameplay received some praise for retaining, it was also criticized for lacking the ingenuity and feel of the bongo controls. Like the original, this release also received criticism for its short length and lack of replay value.
- The first game in the New Play Control! series of GameCube-to-Wii ports, Jungle Beat is the only one to be released in 2008 (Japan only). It still released in 2009 as with most other NPC! games internationally.
- The Wii version's director, Futoshi Shirai, was also the co-director of Mario Kart: Double Dash‼ and worked on several 3D Mario games.
- This version of the game was developed by the No. 2 division of Nintendo EAD Tokyo, which later developed Super Mario Galaxy 2. Coincidentally, the original version was developed by the No. 1 division which developed the original Galaxy game.