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For the past number of years the Super Monkey ball series of games has been on of my favourites. For pure Arcade pick up and play, addictive fun there are few better franchises out there and I have spent many an hour playing these titles. Thus when I bought my 3DS recently I immediately managed to get hold of Super Monkey Ball 3D to go with it.
The main aim of the game remains the same in this version with you controlling a monkey in a ball over several levels. You have to guide him to the end of the level by rolling around an tilting the level. A bit like a balance game it requires a lot of skill and patience. Its very addictive, has the ultimate "just one more go" appeal and controls superbly on the 3DS. A perfect action puzzle title that is fun for all ages with a superb challenge to be had in conquering all the levels. Very few games these days make me want to conquer them all the way to the end but this does as the fun is so pure and simple yet so drastically hard in places. Do not worry though, its not too hard but for those who like a challenge there is certainly one here! The new controls using the normal 3DS circle pad or the tilting gyroscope tech built into the device both work although the former is probably the better of the two.
With in excess of 75 levels, all with new designs this will keep you busy and fans and new players alike will find this fresh and with plenty of great new ideas as you would expect from Sega. You also get a few mini games including monkey race and monkey fight but the sad thing is whereas previous titles have had 50+ mini games, this only has the two.
Now in terms of the actual 3D this works better than anything else on the system as the 3D gives you a more in depth feel for the level, makes you understand how to beat the course and also makes you more immersed in the game. It works a treat and if I was showing off the potential of the 3DS to friends this is the game I would use to demonstrate it.
All in all this is a wonderful pure gaming title that is fun to play for all ages, challenging for all ages and addictive. Maybes lacks the fun of mini games from other titles in the series but still a worthy addition to any collection!
Also on CIAO
I first played Super Monkey Ball back on the Game Cube many moons ago, and more recently purchased it for the iPhone which is awesome fun. When I saw that it was coming to the 3DS I was pretty excited and saw it as a day one purchase for my boyfriend and I when the 3DS was released in March.
There are several ways of playing Super Monkey Ball, first of all there is a difference in gameplay depending on how you want to control your little monkey and his/her ball. You can use the new mini analogue stick "circle pad" or you can use the Nintendo 3DS's new technology - the internal gyroscope which enables you to tilt your DS left right back and forward to control your Super Monkey and his ball. This way of playing is a little more challenging but for people who may have played Super Monkey Ball before, especially on the iPhone this may be more suitable for some players and a more challenging way to play. I preferred to use the circle pad on the DS instead of the gyroscope. Fair enough it's a little easier but the game really isn't that difficult either way.
So the various ways of playing Super Monkey Ball include;
Super Monkey Ball puzzles - Which most players will probably end up playing, this is basically like a single player story consisting of 7 worlds in which to play through. Easily completable within a couple of hours depending on experience. Each of these worlds has 10 levels for you to complete, once you have completed the 7 worlds there is an extra bonus of 10 levels playable after the end credits.
Monkey Race - A little added extra fun for players in which they can race against other players (via download play) or just the AI in car battles with their Super Monkeys. To be honest though it just seemed like a massive rip off of Mario Kart.
Monkey Fight in which players fight against eachother (via download play) or the AI monkeys in manic battles similar to Super Smash Bros - the aim of the game is to end up with the most bananas at the end of a match. Both Monkey Fight and Monkey race can be played via a wireless connection and download play, this is only locally this isn't against other people across the globe, but it is up to 4 players.
Very similar to the other Super Monkey Ball games, I first played it on the Game Cube and remember it being as colourful back then as it is today. So the graphics are a lot smoother and perkier but there really isn't anything that new and amazing apart from the graphics looking a bit snazzier with the 3D switched on. The screen quality of the Nintendo 3DS also makes the game look better than it probably would look on a different system. It reminded me a lot of Super Monkey Ball on the iPhone, if the iPhone had 3D then it would have been just like this.
Use of 3D:
The use of 3D varies in all of the games released for the Nintendo 3DS thus far, some games are a little more subtle than others, but Super Monkey Ball does look pretty stunning in 3D. However, when the 3D is on fully (using the slider on the right hand side of the top screen) I did feel a little nauseous whilst playing as your environment is constantly spinning and moving as you twist and turn around the levels. I ended up having to turn the 3D slider down to half way, or even off when I felt my worst. I must note that I do suffer from a bit of motion sickness, which was probably made a lot worse from this game, but this isn't going to be the same for everyone.
Just remember to take regular breaks when playing the 3DS just like every other games console, the rapid movements in this game may make people feel a little sickly whilst playing, remember to also read the health and safety information found on the Home Page of the Nintendo 3DS.
New users to the Super Monkey Ball series will enjoy it's colourful worlds and challenging puzzles, but veterans to the game like myself will be bitterly disappointed that there really isn't anything "new" apart from the 3D capability. The 3D is stunning, but maybe a little OTT in the gameplay as I stated it did make me feel quite dizzy as the game can be quite fast paced and your forever stopping, turning and spinning around to get a good view of the level your trying to complete.
Longevity just isn't there for this game, thus why i ended up taking it back. The addition of online play would have been a bonus but I doubt even that would have made me keep the game. I couldn't play Download Play of the extra bonus games like Monkey Race or Monkey fight as we only have the 1 Nintendo 3DS, I had to play these games against the AI which isn't as much fun. It just seems like they were ripping off Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers.
In my local Gamestation there is already a fair few copies of Super Monkey Ball on the shelves, including my copy and the price will come down quite quickly once the fuss has died down around the DS and more titles get released. I really would only recommend this game as a rental, or if you're made of money. It's definitely not worth paying full price for it.
I'd recommend you forking out a couple of quid instead buying the app for the iPhone instead of spending £20-£30 for it on the Nintendo 3DS. This was one of the first games my boyfriend and I purchased with our shiny new Nintendo 3DS and it's the only one we've taken back.
It may seem a little harsh only giving this game 2 stars but I really was that disappointed.