May 20th, 2009, 22:50 Posted By: wraggster
SEGA fans that long hoped Jambo! Safari would make the jump from arcade to Dreamcast can smile wide today with the news that the game is now en route to the Wii and DS. Jambo! Safari is an animal herding-capturing game where you roar across the savannah in a jeep and wrangle big game into custody with a lasso. (If you have ever seen the John Wayne classic "Hatari!" then you essentially know the score in Jambo! Safari.) However, the Wii and DS versions of the game, while based on the arcade edition, are expanded ports with additional objectives and updated visuals.
In Jambo! Safari, you choose from four different safari rangers and slide them behind the wheel of a jeep. The game employs licensed vehicles, including the Land Rover Defender 90. Your rangers are both customizable and upgradable. Once you are ready to go, drop the hammer and zoom out into the wilds to look for hurt animals that need your help. Many of the missions in Jambo revolve around locating animals in distress and treating their problems, however you will also head out on photo safari runs and the occasional hot air balloon ride.
In the arcade game, you not only had to worry about driving your jeep, but you also needed to focus on launching your lasso at just the right time to bring in your target animal, such as a rhino. These mechanics are instantly compatible with the Wii remote. The Wii edition of Jambo! Safari, sub-titled Animal Rescue, indeed uses the remote as a virtual lasso to snare animals while the nunchuk drives. The Wii game also includes extra events, like ostrich racing, as well as co-op missions for two players. No word yet on if co-op is online.
Jambo! Safari (Arcade)Hopefully, Jambo! On the Wii does not sacrifice the crazed careening of the jeep as you attempt to zero in on a sprinting giraffe. The intense balancing act of throwing the lasso and keeping your jeep upright was what made the arcade game such a charmer... for those that could actually locate a cabinet. However, you can appreciate SEGA's desire to change the objectives of the rangers. Instead of hunting the animals for sport and captivity, you are now trying to help them.
The DS version, also sub-titled Animal Rescue, seems oriented toward younger players with an emphasis on caring for the animals. Gary Knight, European Marketing Director SEGA Europe, reinforces this impression. "Jambo! Safari makes learning fun, whilst children are playing the game and rescuing the wild animals they collect information cards, meaning they learn the characteristics of the animals and their natural habitat as they play."
Look for more information about Jambo! Safari to come out of E3 next month. But in the meantime, check out the first screens from the Wii game.
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