Shakka to Tambourine 2001


Publisher: Sega
Hardware: Naomi GD Rom
Year: 2001
Controls: 1 Tambourine Per Player
Number of Players: 2 players
GD Rom Image:
Ported To: N/A


Dedicated Cabinet:


Using a similar arcade cabinet, the gameplay is oddly reminiscent of Samba de Amigo, requiring you to shake a single tambourine in one of six positions. Colored dots show you where to shake, and where to smack the bright, yellow button located on both sides of the musical peripheral to make a clapping sound. Since the arcade game's sensors are capable of tracking the maraca in 3D space, you'll also be required to make circular, sweeping motions with the maraca while shaking it (similar to painting graffiti in Jet Set Radio). Is it fun? Yes. Oh, hell, yes. If you don't move your butt to this game, there's something seriously wrong with you.

The music threw us for a loop at first ? instead of the funky Latin beats of Samba, Shakka's tunes are all J-Pop songs from Nipponese super groups like Morning Musume and Ayumi Hamazaki. Ranging from traditional Japanese melodies to fast-paced techno, the song selection is great... if you're Japanese. If Sega's considering an American release, 99% of these songs are gonna get the axe (though I hope they leave in the Gatchaman theme).

Shakka appears to use the same engine as Samba, sporting 60fps, cartoony visuals with stoopid-crazy amounts of background animation. And oo-wee, is it fruity! Seriously, this is one of the brightest, shiniest, happiest games we've seen since Super Magnetic Niu-Niu. Think the dancing monkeys in Samba de Amigo were weird-ass creations? They ain't nothin' compared to the white tuxedo-clad freaks who smile insanely as they shake their tambourines in a fit of ecstasy. These guys scare me.

There are a few minor technical tweaks that make the game easier to play. The game supports players of varying heights (up to 190cm), blasting through the 170cm limitation of the original Samba de Amigo. Another minor addition is the inclusion of up and down directional buttons on the arcade cabinet, foregoing the irritating "wave your maracas" menu-selection process.

The only downside is that the game instills record amounts of physical pain. The maraca button you smack with the palm of your hand is soft... but not soft enough. My hand was in agony at the end of one song, and I can only imagine the deep hurting that would result from a Shakka marathon. Sonic Team: FIX THE CONTROLLER! I ain't playin' this as-is!



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