The original Samba De Amigo was a mix of exercise, cool game play, and some messed-up stuff going on in the background you weren’t really supposed to be paying attention to. The second installment builds on these points and tries to add some more things. Most of which fall short.
Again, you simply will only be playing half a game if you use the standard Dreamcast controller, plain and simple. This game is all about jumping around and trash talking your friends in multi-player. Without the maracas, it’s like you’re just being a dick. Plus we gamers need exercise. Enough with the maracas.
What the game adds are the match maker game, the Hustle move, new songs, and more mini games. Match maker is good to try and get girls to play that think you look like an ass playing this game, which you do, since they can play it with someone and see how "compatible" they are with someone. You play two rounds and both players have to shake their maracas at the right time, at the right spot, in unison. When both players do this a little "boo-woop" sound is played which can seriously throw off your counting. At the end of each round you are graded as a pair and go on to the next round. After both rounds your "compatibility" is measure. Basically it’s how often you both hit the mark at the same time and at the correct time. If you both score an A on each round you go to the third round which is the same thing except, and I swear I’m not lying, you have to shake your maracas to "The Wedding March" song. Not a techno remix, the actual slow song a bride walks down the isle to.
While the match maker game might be fun to play to see how "compatible" you are with your friends, the Hustle move just sucks the fun out of the game. The Hustle consists of either moving 1 or 2 maracas between 2 points on the screen or rotating one around in a circle through all the points. This simply does not work. Maybe Sega tried this out using a controller, which uses the D-pad and works great, but using the maracas is such a frustration it will turn people off of the game. The maracas have slight issues picking up 1 point at a time, so switching between 2 points quickly is like playing fetch with a dog and throwing two tennis balls at once; it just gets confused as to which one to go for. At least your Dreamcast won’t piss on rug.
The main reason for plopping down your cash to import this game is the extra songs. All the songs are there from the original plus even more. The Rocky Theme remix is outstanding with a sub-woofer. You get Soul Bossa Nova (it was the opening song in Austin Powers where they’re dancing down the street), more latin music, some crazy songs like S.O.S. and if you can find a save file online you can even unlike wacky Sega songs from Segs games like Sonic Adventure and NiGHTS Into Dreams.
If you know Japanese or are like me and knows somebody that knows Japanese get this game. Make sure you get the whole package; game and 2 sets of maracas. You’re talking about $150 if you can find the maracas at a good price, or well over $200 if you use eBay. One tip is to not try to use one set of Sega maracas and one set of 3rd party maracas, they have issues with the way they "see" the sensor on the floor. Now go find some friends and sweat like an Everquest fanboy after an all nighter.