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Super Monkey Ball

Reviewed by Yardbird Super Monkey Ball is possibly best as a "party" game. There are a lot of things to do in the game and most of them can be played with 1 to 4 players. However, it's still a great game to play for the single player, but it's obviously meant for multiplayer enjoyment. The presentation of the game is also excellent, with very bright menus. The loading times are almost non-existent. This is a very quick game and it's one of those pick up and play games. No sitting around and waiting. There's something about the game I don't quite "get". Even after reading through the instruction manual it wasn't explained to me. How did a monkey get inside a ball anyway? I think Sega neglected to mention the concept of the game, but that's okay since the fun factor more than makes up for that. So, I can't quite give you the story to the game, because as far as I can see there is actually no story. There are three main ways to play the game. There is the main game, mini games, and party games. Each of these selections are divided into many other options as well. In main game the goal is to get the monkey inside the ball from start to finish. There are four monkeys you can choose to play as. The main difference with this game, you aren't actually controlling the monkey. Instead you are controlling the movement of the platform. You move the platform and the monkey moves. I expected the movement to be faster than it is and more free moving, but it's still pretty fun. Underneath main game you can play with only one player or up to four. There are three different difficulty levels. There is beginner, advanced, and expert. Under beginner you play only 10 stages and it's a good introduction to the game. Most of the stages are really easy, but the last few are a bit tougher. The advanced level has 30 stages and expert has 60. If you fall off the platform, you lose a life. You have a few lives per continue and a few continues. If you pick up 100 bananas, you get an extra life. If you play this mode with only one player, you earn points and you can use these points to unlock the mini games. The games are monkey bowling, monkey billiards, and monkey golf. They require 2500 points each and there's nothing really to say about the games. They are what they are. Bowling is bowling, golf is golf, and billiards is 9 ball. It's really fun and unique, however. The party games can be played with one player, but obviously they are meant for more than that. There is monkey fighting, monkey racing, and monkey target. Monkey racing is a bit like Mario Kart games, because you can pick up items and use them against your opponents. You can race a single race, or race a circuit. Monkey fighting has you on a platform and the goal is to knock the other monkeys off. This element of the game remind me a bit of Super Smash Brothers. In monkey target you have to shoot the monkey off a platform and land on the target, shaped like a dartboard. The scores depend on where you land. To make this harder, you have to spin a wheel first. If it stops on bomb, the targets will be covered with bombs. There are also spikes, and the wind has a lot to do with it. You can get a clear target, however, if you are lucky enough to stop the wheel on the empty space. The game has that classic Sega look to it. Some of the game reminds me of parts of Nights, the old Saturn game. Some of the game reminds me of Dreamcast games, like Sonic Adventure 2. Everything is ultra colorful. Colorful to the cartoon degree. However, it's not really that childish looking. The game's music isn't quite as much of a standout as the graphics are, but the games sounds good enough. The monkeys react when they almost roll off the platform, or when they actually do. My bottom line on this game is, that it is one of the best launch titles. I don't like the game as much as Wave Race, but I like it a lot more than Luigi's Mansion. This is a game that should be played, but try to not feel like you're in the twilight zone when you turn on the Gamecube and see the Nintendo logo, followed by the presented by Sega logo. Probably best with more than one player, but still a lot of fun to play alone.

Overall: 10 out of 10

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