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Monday, October 18, 2021

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania review: I’m divided

When I was a kid, I remember spending hours playing Super monkey ball and Super Monkey Ball 2 on GameCube with my sister. The games are light-hearted and colorful, have fun single and multiplayer modes, and the monkeys look like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon. I haven’t played the series since, and I thought Banana mania it would be the perfect nostalgia trip for me. While it’s a lot of fun, I also found it surprisingly frustrating.

Banana mania is a remaster of the first three Super monkey ball games: Super monkey ball, Super Monkey Ball 2, and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe. If you are not familiar with the series, Monkey ball The games mainly consist of rolling monkeys in translucent balls through increasingly challenging maze-like paths. But instead of controlling the monkey on the ball, you control the course, tilting it to roll the monkey ball.

The early stages in Banana Mania’s The single player story strikes a good balance in terms of difficulty. When you feel like you have enough control of your monkey while descending a slope or over obstacles to carry it towards the finish line, the game is a blast. About halfway through story mode, however, Banana mania it became tremendously difficult for me. Many stages required a level of finesse, tact, and a bit of luck that I often just couldn’t pull off, which meant I regularly fell off a small balance beam or shot off a ramp because I wasn’t approaching it at the angle. right.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania review Im divided

A level of Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania.
Image: Sega

Fortunately, Banana mania offers an assist mode, which doubles the amount of time you have to complete a level, drops arrows along the optimal path, and lets you activate slow motion for more control. You can access help mode from the pause menu, or the game will ask you to turn it on if you fall off a stage enough times. In fact, it is very useful.

But as I progressed through the game, I found that I would often try a level once or twice before giving up, activating help mode, and moving forward in slow motion. Multiple times, I couldn’t get through a level even with help mode, so I’d just skip it, which you can also do from the pause menu. (Skipping a level costs some in-game money though, and if you don’t have enough of it, you’ll have to earn more by playing other levels or modes.)

I’m sure there are people who will delight in the challenge, but Banana mania it was too punishing for me. I admit I was surprised by the difficulty, but maybe I just forgot about it after years of not playing the original games. If the later levels were too difficult for me, they probably won’t be easy for the younger target market the game seems to be designed for. It’s nice that you can skip levels though, even if it comes at an annoying cost.

There is so much more to Banana mania Than the challenging one for a player, however. There are also 12 multiplayer party games, including things like bowling, billiards, and golf. (Yes, the beloved Monkey Target is back and it’s still great.) Most of these games are easy to play and each one allows you to customize some rules to your liking. I played them for a couple of hours with my sister and a family, and we had a great time riding our bikes. Many don’t have too much depth, but if we get bored with one, we just hop on one of the other 11.

I must also mention one of the most charming elements of Banana mania: Sega followed suit Super Smash Bros. adding a number of video game icons as playable characters that you can unlock or purchase as DLC. Many of them are Sega legends, like Sonic and Tails and real Sega consoles, but there are also some non-Sega characters such as Hello Kitty by Sanrio.

1633179346 597 Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania review Im divided

Sonic was my favorite character in the game, but you can’t play him in multiplayer.
Image: Sega

I loved wearing what I don’tMonkey ball characters while playing in story mode. My favorite was Sonic; rolling while the blue hedgehog almost felt like he was playing an extended special level in a Sonic the Hedgehog play. However, you can’t play as the additional characters in multiplayer, which is disappointing. I would love to be able to play a round of Monkey Billiards like Kiryu from Yakuza.

I am torn by Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, which seems to offer two very different experiences in one package. Many of the multiplayer party games are still as fun as they were when I played them as a kid, but the single-player mode didn’t stay the same for me. It’s often quite fun, but sometimes the difficulty can drive me crazy.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania It launches on October 5, although players who purchase the Digital Deluxe version can play it earlier. The game will be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam.

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