Donkey Konga trilogy

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 2302
Joined: August 27th, 2012, 4:28 pm
Location: Liverpool, Europe, Earth

Donkey Konga trilogy

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions of the Donkey Konga Trilogy for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder to all that where feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but self-editing (brevity) is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mainly reading. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

User avatar
Posts: 9
Joined: December 20th, 2019, 7:24 am
Location: UK

Re: 405: Donkey Konga trilogy

Post by RinseWashRepeat »

I can’t help but feel like this game started off as a joke at Nintendo and somehow came into existence. Like someone made a typo one day, got a big laugh, someone wouldn’t let the joke die and years later, I’m buying two pairs of plastic bongos and clapping along to a dodgy cover of Supergrass’ ‘Alright’.

I only ever played the first Donkey Konga, so keep that in mind if I forget to mention the 30 hour RPG they put into Donkey Konga 2 (did they?) or the gratuitous violence of Donkey Konga 3 (was there?).

The bongos themselves were pretty well made, sturdy enough to survive a good banging (ahem…). By design though, the instrument is incredibly basic, as there’s only so much you can do with two pads to strike. To the developer’s credit, I feel they got the most out of the bongos that they could. At least that’s how I remember it - keep in mind this was all pre Guitar Hero, so maybe it was just novelty.

With the ability of hindsight though, you can see that unlike plastic guitars or drums, which offered a much higher skill ceiling, the plastic bongos were never more than a bit of a laugh and never something I wanted to spend hours getting ‘good’ at.

Adding to the argument that the game was nothing more than fun was the fact that you didn’t need to clap for the controller to register a ‘clap’. Pro tip - you can shout a swear word loudly and it works just as well as a clap. Hilarious when you’re 17. Still pretty funny when you’re 33.

All in all, it’s fair to say that Donkey Konga instrumental (HA!) in getting the plastic instrument craze moving. Maybe it didn’t lead the way or even start the movement, but it was certainly involved. Not bad for what is essentially a typo that somehow turned into 3 games.

3WR - Bongos And Soundalikes

User avatar
Posts: 711
Joined: May 29th, 2018, 11:57 pm
Location: London, ON, Canada

Re: 405: Donkey Konga trilogy

Post by Magical_Isopod »

I played these games - the ones that made it to Canada, anyway - but it was more my brother's game. And let me tell you, this game is loud and irritating. Not as bad as Rock Band drums - sharing a home with someone addicted to that is a special sort of Hell. But hearing hours and hours on end of "boom boom clap" is just... Ugh.

That being said, I do have some interesting commentary for this. My brother actually created custom tracks for this game. He found some kind of online utility that would allow people to import their own music and design their own charts - very similar to what would later come for Guitar Hero and Rock Band. I'm fairly confident this would have been homebrew on the Wii, as that system was significantly easier to mod and burn discs for. I know he started making and playing these custom tracks around the same time Smash Bros. Brawl came out, to give a rough idea of timeline.

Maybe it'll come up during research for this episode, but I like to hope the homebrew community for this game is still going strong. I haven't paid any attention to it. But my brother was so addicted to this game back then that my mom had to ask him to stop buying bongo controllers. He had like 6 of them. Why? Who knows. I doubt he brought them with him to Japan when he moved there.

User avatar
Posts: 17
Joined: April 18th, 2017, 3:57 pm

Re: 405: Donkey Konga trilogy

Post by brazenhead89 »

I only had a chance to play the original, but...

For a game so simple, so limited when compared to the music games that would emerge in years since, Donkey Konga has somehow endured all 3 console generations since to become a game I still come back to and introduce new people to.

I remember buying my own copy after playing it at a friend’s house. I took it up to university with me, and introduced it to a couple more of my Wii-owning friends; they too sought their own copies of Donkey Konga, and we soon had a dorm room lined up with DK bongos and multiple copies of the game. My sister lived in the same city, and ended up buying a copy of her own after an impromptu visit to one of our late night, drunken Donkey Konga marathons.

Anyway, long story short; it’s over ten years later and I still have 5 of these bloody plastic bongos cluttering up my cupboard. I’m pretty sure I only paid for 2 of them, but I’ll be damned if I’m getting rid of them. Donkey Konga is cute, simple and silly enough to remain an excellent party game. It’s also a smash hit with my non-gamer friends; as many of them never owned any console before or since the Wii, I can bring it to parties, plug it into their dust-coated Wii console, and have a living room of people hopelessly addicted thanks to its dirt-simple playstyle. Also, as somebody mentioned earlier in the comments, it's fun to shout swear words instead of clapping.

I certainly don’t play it as often as I used to, and can no longer cane Supergrass’s ‘Alright’ on the hardest setting, but I’ve too many memories of the joy it's bought to me, and my friends old and new, to ever part with my copy; it’ll stay with me for the foreseeable future. So too will this professional-level playing advice: don’t clap when the game asks of it, simply flick the side of the bongos. It’ll activate the microphone and you’ll almost look like a competent percussionist in the process.

User avatar
Posts: 1296
Joined: November 22nd, 2017, 7:17 am
Location: London

Re: Our next podcast recording (9.2.20) - 405: Donkey Konga trilogy

Post by Simonsloth »

I only started playing the Donkey Konga games in the last 6 months and much to my wife’s displeasure the bongos have become a piece of the living room furniture.

Having absolutely no idea what to expect I was quite surprised to find the first two games were essentially packed with cover versions of popular music with a few curios added for good measure. As much as I enjoyed these there is only so much you can do with the limited variety of inputs. It’s a charming diversion and I’m glad I was able to give them a whirl.

The third game which was never released in the west is much closer to what I thought the Donkey Konga games would be. I managed to negotiate the menus with google translate but still the majority of the time I had no idea what song I was choosing. The track list borrows quite a few from previous games but the remainder are delightfully bonkers. I couldn’t help but smile when playing each new track although it must be said the game seemed markedly more difficult than its predecessors so sometimes that joy gave way to frustration.

All in all the bongos are a pretty crazy peripheral and the trilogy is a whole lot of fun.

Post Reply