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The Jungle Book Rhythm n' Groove

Developer: Ubisoft Shanghai | Publisher: Ubisoft
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 02/04/03 | Genre: Music

Just when you thought it wasn’t possible, Disney came up with yet another exploitation of a current gaming genre and infused it with characters that we have all come to love. Sometimes, these ventures into easy money are disasters for the gaming world. This time, Disney actually surprised a gamer tired of the typical fodder by releasing a pretty good rip off.

Not that DDR is the hardest game to emulate, Disney (and Ubi Soft) took what was great about the Konami series and created one for little brothers and sisters everywhere. I started the game on the easiest level to ensure I wouldn’t get outplayed by the game. Big mistake… it consisted of using one foot on each of the seven levels. I upgraded quickly to the normal level. This is a great game of progression. Unlike DDR, the levels do not get too fast too quickly. This game caters to its audience beautifully and truly “takes careâ€? of the kids that will learn to love this great genre of gaming. I know that there are some that will argue that the rhythm games do not truly represent a great gaming genre, but if you have the dance pad and truly get caught up in the experience of the game, this is a genre (and workout) that you will never forget.

The game play is simple even if you are not experienced at the genre, which is easily the best feature of the game. Another great feature of the game is the cut scenes. They portray an updated and concise version of the original movie. It is great to see some of your favorite characters from the great days of the Disney studios if it had been done by Pixar (well, a sub par Pixar, anyway.) The characters are all updated into CG and are a pretty cool treat for getting through the next level. The only thing that I would change is that I would form them into one big treat for beating the game. I was very tempted to skip through them because of their length. Okay, so I am lazy, but I just didn’t want to stand up for that long.

The graphics in the game are fine. This is one game where you don’t really pay attention to the graphics. If you do pay attention, you lose. The one part that I did see was the rolling arrows on the left side of the screen. That is all you really have to pay attention to. Those arrows are the best! The characters follow your movements, just as in other games of this genre. Backgrounds and other pieces of the game that make it a whole are good enough not to detract from the game play and not great enough to tear you away to look away from those fabulous arrows. The best contribution to graphics is the aforementioned cut scenes.

The game is pretty simple. Dance your feet off and you will win. It has the major features of other dance games and adds the funky (and a bit repetitive) spunk of Disney music. Come on, where else can you boogie down with Baloo, Bagheera, and King Louie? For once, Disney has done their name proud by employing some good graphics, fun music, and captivating cut scenes. This game is best for younger players that want to get into the feel of rhythm games and the other versions out there might be a little tough and not quite catchy enough for their discerning tastes.

By Emily Rutherford - 03/23/03
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