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
Overall: 10 out of 10