Sega is bringing back 2000s arcade hit Samba De Amigo to the Switch with Samba De Amigo: Party Central.
As indicated on Nintendo’s store page, Samba De Amigo: Party Central will be releasing in June 2023.
Samba De Amigo debuted in December 1999 on the arcade floor, and a Dreamcast port followed in the next year. In the years before the Xbox Kinect and Just Dance, music games were usually found in arcades, and did not have a hands-free motion sensor component. Instead, games needed to be grounded with some physical controls of some kind. That could either be the input dance pad of Dance Dance Revolution, or the colorful buttons of Pop’n Music. Dance Maniax came closest to predicting the future of dance games, but its infrared motion sensors still required you to move your hands and arms across them to be detected.
Samba De Amigo innovated by having you used a pair of wired maracas as controllers, for both the arcade and Dreamcast. The arcade version had magnetic sensors in the cabinet to sense where you placed the maracas. For the Dreamcast version, this was adapted to ultrasonic sensors, found in a bar you had to place next to your feet, and ultrasonic transmitters placed in the maracas themselves.
In 2007, it was not Sega but Gearbox that had the idea to bring back Samba De Amigo, particularly for the casual friendly million selling console, the Nintendo Wii. While the Wii was innovative technology for its time, its motion controls were not capable of simulating the arcade or the Dreamcast controls accurately. In specific, the Wii Sensor bar couldn’t detect the height of your Wiimote, in the same way that the Dreamcast controller’s ultrasonic sensors could. Instead, the Sensor bar tracked the angle and rotation of the Wiimote.
While a Wii port seemed good on paper, in practice the game earned a Metacritic score of 68. Today, the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons has the potential for a better play experience for a game like Samba De Amigo. Both Joy-Cons each have an accelerometer, gyro sensor, and camera. The right Joy-Con also has an infrared motion camera, that can detect the shape, distance, and motion of nearby objects. These technologies do not rely on a sensor bar to accurately gauge motion.
The Switch mostly has a good reputation when it comes to its motion control based games. While 1-2-Switch missed the mark critically and commercially, other games like ARMS, Nintendo Switch Sports, Ring Fit Adventure, Just Dance, and Fitness Boxing proved it can implement the control scheme successfully, for successful games.
The Nintendo store page also indicates that Samba De Amigo: Party Central will launch with 40 songs from multiple genres, with more coming as DLC. It will also have a StreamiGo! Challenges mode, ‘to help Amigo rise to fame’ and let you earn costumes and accessories. There will also be a World Party Mode that will allow you play with 12 friends locally and 8 friends online. It’s all very interesting new content that implies Samba De Amigo has caught up with Just Dance for 2023.
You can watch the official trailer below.