Position:Lead QA Tester
Release Date:2008-09-19
Genre:Rythem Action
Platform(s):Nintendo Wii

Samba De Amigo

Samba De Amigo was developed by Gearbox Software on the Nintendo Wii in 2008, and published by SEGA. I worked on this title as a Lead Quality Assurance Tester for SEGA Europe.

About the Game

This crazy maraca shaking game originally appeared on the SEGA Dreamcast from Japan by Sonic Team in 1999. In 2008, Gearbox Software bought it back to life on the Nintendo Wii, making great use of the Wii Remote motion controllers. The player had to shake the maracas and pose in time with the music and psychedelic visuals.

All the characters and stage designs from the original game return with enhanced graphics were included in the Wii version. Many of the additions from Ver.2000 that were not available to people outside Japan were also included, such as Hustle Mode and the new character Amiga.

A "Career" mode exclusive to the Wii version is included, consisting of challenges in which players must clear songs to earn various unlockables, including maraca effects and additional songs. Unique to the Wii version, new stages based on other Sega games were added, including ones based on Sonic the Hedgehog and Space Channel 5, complete with cameos of Sonic and Ulala respectively. Nearly, but not all the songs from the original game are included. It also includes many of the songs from Ver.2000. 23 Wii-exclusive songs were added, bringing the total to 44.

The game supports Miis and displays them next to the player's score as well as showing two random ones in-game during stages. Their expressions change based on performance (Bad, Medium, or Good). Online leaderboards and friends lists let players post their best scores and compare them, but only when an original, player-created Mii is used.

Skills and Experiences

This game was weird to test, but very good fun. When we first got it into the office, the testers were moved into a meeting room, to give them enough space and privacy to dance around, without causing a big distraction. At the time, I remember discussions in the management team about how testing facilities would need to be updated, as motion controls were seen as the future back then.

It was initially embarrassing testing this game, but soon enough we lost our inhibitions and enjoyed it. The songs were really catch and would stick in your head for days. The game was very uplifting and surprisingly not very tiring testing for a whole shift.