Super Monkey Ball is a game for the Gamecube console that features, quite simply, a monkey in a ball.
This game is aimed at young people (with the dexterity to keep the ball on the track!)
This game has lots of different games within it, but there is one main game.
The idea of the main game is to move the surface on which the ball rolls, and therefore, move the monkey in the ball! The aim of the game is to collect the bananas, but you also have to avoid things.
I liked playing this, because I do like puzzle type games, and I think that this is one of the better ones that I have played.
However, I think that the mini games were disappointing. There is simply not enough to do- they are not interesting enough. I think that this is common when a game always features mini games.
I thought that the soundtrack was appropriate for the game, but I thought it was kind of childish (as oyu may expect with such a game) and I prefer to play with it turned off.
This game is one of the best out there for the Nitendo Gamecube.
The game appeals to a wide age range from younger children to adults. It has a one player mode where you work your way through the various mazes rolling your chosen monkey around the track in a red and white ball. You can choose from 4 characters all of which have their own attributes.
The levels get progressively harder and as you go along you pick up points which allow you to open up a number of extra multiplayer games.
It is very playable and very addictive. I love it!
The multiplayer levels offer Monkey boxing, Monkey golf and Monkey Target (the best by far) amongst others.
You can have up to 4 players either on a split screen for racing, or taking turns for Monkey Target.
The game is cute and fun and I couldn't reccommend it more highly!
What are you waiting for? Buy it and invite your mates round, your in for the night!
Ever since the launch day Ive had Super Monkey Ball and whenever a few mates have been around the house Super Monkey Ball has always been loaded up and played on. The simple game controls and fun party games makes it a hit with both the seasoned gamer and casual one plus even people who havent picked up a joypad in their whole life. As a single player game it also shone through with ingenious level designs that made it a tough, yet fair, challenge. It has become one of my top favourite games on the GameCube that I own.
Following on with the success of the first, AV (a department of Sega) worked hard on the sequel and it comes with us less than a year after the original. Dont think that this is a rush job however as there are enough new features to keep you well entertained. For those unfamiliar with the concept its dead simple. You control a monkey in a ball and you need to get that cute little monkey from the start to the goal on each level. The levels range from the basic to the immensely difficult as narrow ledges; big drops and risky high speeds can always send your little hairy friend flying off into oblivion. As well as the main game multiplayer is also a crucial part to the game, which can see you pit fights, race and fly with other fellow players. Both elements have been expanded on in the sequel but whether they have been improved remains in the playing.
First lets start with the main single-player game. There is a new addition to this in the form of Story Mode. This is just like the normal main game of running through each level but it is also tagged along with a story through ten different themed worlds. The story is as cheesy as they come, with the evil Dr. Bad-Boon travelling from the future and stealing all the bananas in an attempt to stop Ai-Ai getting with MeMee so he can claim her for himself. As Ai-Ai you must travel through each land and face Dr. Bad-Boon himself to claim back the bananas. Each world has ten floors, each varying in difficulty, and each time you get through a world an amusing little cut scene is played (well amusing in the way they get the monkeys to speak). The big advantage of this mode is the fact that you have an infinite number of lives. Falling off a floor wont result in you starting from the beginning as you can save your progress up each time you complete a floor, which is a lot easier than starting afresh all over again. You can, of course, go through the main game as you would with the original. Each set of stages is divided into Beginner (10 floors), Advanced (30 floors) and Expert 50 floors) you will have a limited number of lives and you will have to start from the beginning when you run out of lives and continues. Apart from that difference the two modes are practically the same as they both feature the same floors, just ordered in a different way, this may annoy some people wanting a different experience for each one but 90 new floors is nothing to be turned down. There are an additional 10 floors which are exclusive to the Story Mode, however, and there are also the Extra floors you can achieve by completing the normal main game stages without using a continue.
It doesnt take long, however, to notice another different enhancement to the game. The floors in Super Monkey Ball 2 are a lot less natural than those in the original. AV have added switches, portholes and moving blocks to some of the floors. Some people will call this natural progression, as it is adding something new to the game, some will hate it. From my point of view it doesnt ruin the game for me but it does make it, at times, far more harsh and unfair. In the original every time you fell off the floor you knew it was your fault and so it was just a case of being that little bit more careful or getting a bit more skilled. This time, with all the fancy new additions, a lot of it is seemingly down to luck. For example a much talked about level is Launchers where you must line up your ball and be flung up in the air by a said launcher and up onto this pole with the goal on top. However while some people say there is a way to do it I completed the level through sheer luck, with only a blind try and not only reached the goal but reached the secondary, harder to reach goal. This doesnt seem to bad on Story Mode but approaching this level on the normal stages can use up a lot of lives. Levels like Launchers are all around, though maybe not to the same extreme, and while more familiar original feel levels are there the others can somewhat break up the pace and annoy rather than prove a fair challenge. That said there is still the same sense of accomplishment when completing a level thwarting you for a long period of time and youll still be coming back for more goes just to see if you can beat a particular level.
Lets move on to the Party Games. These to some will be the biggest draw to the game and its not hard to see why. In the original game you had six party games with three locked until you had enough Play Points to access them. This time there are six more and all the original ones are now unlocked and ready to play straight away. I wont go into too much detail with the Party Games, most explain themselves, but here is the list.
Monkey Fight 2 The game remains largely unchanged but there are now different arenas to choose from (though still only three) however they are a bit more imaginative, one sees you fight in a box where the walls can be knocked down and another a flower where the petals rise and fall. Probably the most hectic of the Party Games but the most easy to get to grips to.
Monkey Race 2 New courses are the order of the day as well as far more monkeys on the track at any given time.
Monkey Target 2 Things have changed in Target and largely to make things simpler. Wind still plays a crucial role so control is paramount but bananas and special items now adorn the sky more than every before. Landing on your targets can still be tricky though. A welcome addition is that you can now fly with other monkeys in the air meaning that you can compete for bananas and try to knock other people off course.
Monkey Golf 2 Now not quite a simple. Holes have a less crazy golf theme about them and you know have to judge the wind and also have the option of including back-spin. Still a great game to play if you have a bit more time to spare.
Monkey Billiards 2 A few new modes of play have been added, you can play US 9 Ball, Japan 9 Ball and 8 ball. Control is still surprisingly good and realistic even if you are playing with a monkey in a ball.
Monkey Bowling 2 A stack of new lanes are ready to play on but control is still awkward thanks to a dial that moves left and right and you having to press A at the right time for the direction of the ball it means split second timing is still needed.
The six others are unlocked when you get 2500 Play Points which you accumulate in Story Mode and normal stages mode (one player)
Monkey Shot By far the most addictive Party Game and great for one player. It plays as an on-the-rails shooter where you monkey glides through three different stages and try and destroy all sorts of enemies including an end of level boss. It doesnt play as an afterthought either. It can be tough and emphasis on ammo conservation is always apparent. Youll lose many hours to this. Two players can play at the same time.
Monkey Boat Unfortunately fiddly controls means that this Party Game is not as accessible as others. You need to press L and R alternately to control the boat and it may sound easy on paper but not for the real thing but with practice it can become fun.
Monkey Tennis A great addition to the Party Games. Controls are simple, control stick to move left, right or up to meet the net and A to hit the ball and you can also include spin. You can play singly or with four people you can play doubles which is always fun. As with the real game, matches can last a while, but it is perfect for lazy days.
Monkey Baseball Although not quite as popular here in the UK this game can provide some good fun. Controls are kept simple and there are different modes of play. Like Tennis it can last a long time.
Monkey Soccer It may sound weird on paper but this mini game works well. Although there is no four player support its just a little letdown to a good party game. Controls are fluid and the action is high but never chaotic and it does require some skill. Easier to pick up and play than Baseball and Tennis and will last a shorter amount of time.
Monkey Dogfight This fun little game is basically Monkey Target but with guns. Control movement with the stick and fire with A. It can be initially confusing trying to keep yourself up in the air and aim at the same time but it provides great entertainment.
The six additional Party Games are a welcome addition to an already generous package. Some are more successful than others but its hard to find too much fault with them because youre getting so much for your money.
With new stages, a Story Mode and Party Games there is little else that has changed for the sequel. Graphically it has had a few little touch ups. The environments around the stages are now much more detailed and colourful that the previous ones. The ball is a touch more rounded than before but other than that there is little change to the looks. One problem I did not, however, was sometimes there would be slowdown, which is fairly odd seeing as this game shouldnt really push the GameCube to its limits. There doesnt really need to be any change in the looks anyway because the first one didnt try to dazzle with beauty but with the game itself. Sound also remains largely untouched save for a few new tracks added to the music library, which can be fairly catchy. The cut scenes where the monkeys are talking, though, have to be heard to be believed.
There is no doubt that this is a worthy sequel but because of the way the new stages are fashioned I would have to still say the original game did things better. There are some great floors in this game but there are also some that just ruin the feel of Super Monkey Ball its simplicity. However that is not to say this is a bad game, far from it. Despite the change in direction the game remains addictive as ever and youll be trying in vain to get to the new floors. Then there the Party Games. The sheer number of game and the hours of fun they provide remains unbeaten, even Mario Party 4 can suffer in light of this game. Thanks to simple controls and fun concepts it remains a game everybody can play and enjoy and when you think that these games are just bonuses to a pretty great main game it makes Super Monkey Ball 2 all the more appealing.
AV has done a good job with this sequel. Though they may have chosen the wrong direction to go in some areas they have surpassed the original in others. For the six new Party Games alone this game demands attention but the same old Monkey Ball charm is still there all over the game.
[8 out of 10]
SUPER MONKEY BALL 2 IS
SUPER MONKEY BALL 2 IS NOT
Going to be over in a weekend
Low on entertainment
Changed for the better
There you are, trapped in a ball that consists of two clear colours, you are situated upon a board that, for some reason, happens to be floating in mid air. You aren't in control but a god character is moving the board you are on rolling you towards a goal. Once that is done you are then transported to another board. This is silly, it is a silly idea, it looked silly, it played silly and what is really silly is that they made a sequel. But did I forget to mention it is also fun… very fun? Super Monkey Ball 2 is one of those predictable sequels. You have more mini games than last time and the old ones have been built upon, you have graphics that have been improved in every department, you have even more levels that follow even more unique ideas and you even have an extra mode or two. So is Super Monkey Ball 2 worth getting if you possess its prequel? Indeed it is, because despite it being the traditional upgraded sequel it is also very very different. First off is that the new mini games are new, the mini games always played differently to each other but these take that one step further… nearly every genre is covered in the 12 mini games. First off is the brand spanking new Monkey Soccer, this game is pure laugh a minute, you could be 8-1 down and still win… it is unpredictable, easy to pick up and hard to master, exactly what a multiplayer game is meant to be. Monkey dog fight is a star wars style space shooter, you fly around endlessly trying to destroy your opponent with a well placed missile, monkey shot is an on rails shooter and Monkey Tennis plays nearly identical to Mario Tennis. There are tonnes more (Monkey baseball and Monkey boat) and the older games have all been given excellent upgrades, Monkey Golf is now a serious golf sim as opposed to the crazy golf style game of its prequel, Monkey Race features far more obstacles and can have up to 8 competitors. Monkey Target is now a split screen, far more aggressive, high
er scoring and faster game (not sure if I prefer this though), Monkey Bowling has the addition of "crazy lanes" with undulating lanes and moving segments whilst the legendary Monkey Billiards has extra game modes including the ability to play pool (or 8-ball as it’s called). So the new mini games are all unique and even the old ones have had life injected into them… yet it is the main game that features the biggest changes. Monkey Ball has mainly been about skill of the controller, the ability to keep a steady hand. Monkey Ball 2 meanwhile concentrates on the puzzle elements, you must work out how to reach your goal and doing so is based more on luck than skill. If I ever have to do some of the levels I did again I doubt I could do them… I only completed them out of persistence and luck and this isn’t a good thing. Although it still retains that monkey ball essence the gameplay is radically different and being a veteran of the first game I’m not sure I like it. Nevertheless I am slowly warming to the style, I didn't expect to be playing something so different and a company willing to keep their title fresh is a good one in my books. Super Monkey Ball 2 is not like the last game, don’t expect the same thing, but it is still jolly good fun and with 4 players it is probably the best game out there. Just don't mention story mode.