Review by AlienBabalien
"Who Knew Monkeys in Balls Were So Fun?"
Super Monkey Ball is an original game, that is fun and challenging in both the one player and multi-player modes. Most would imagine monkeys enclosed in balls would be quite cruel. However, these monkeys enjoy them, as they help them go where no primate has ever dared to roam. Although many would not expect this game to be fun at all, Super Monkey Ball is a unique and challenging game, which brings video gaming to a whole different level.
The story for this game is quite different compared to other games. Four monkeys are rolling around in two-colored balls. One monkey is a sort of handsome and well-balanced monkey, who leads the group. Another is a female, who seems to be less built, and quite weak. The third is a mere infant, who can keep up with the other three, though being quite small. A muscular, and mean-looking monkey is the fourth. Each of these monkeys go through several stages on different levels of difficulty, trying to make it through within a one-minute time limit. The story is quite good. However, there isn't anything special about it.
The game-play is much different than all the other games you're used to playing. There are different stages going through each of the different difficulties. You must get through the stage in the given amount of time. This time is either 30 seconds, or a minute. Messing up is not an option. If you mess up even the slightest bit, you might fall, and have to start the stage over again. Once you complete a stage, you go on to the next. As you progress through the game, each stage is more difficult than the one before. Once you complete an entire difficulty level, you must go on to the next. There are also mini-games that can be played with friends. The game-play is very unique, and quite enjoyable as well.
Three-dimensional games hardly get any better than this. The stages are all three-dimensional. They seem like they're just a pop-up book made of cardboard. The backgrounds are all excellent. They range from a forest to the inside of a volcano. The monkeys are all very detailed. You can see that their shirts are not attached, and their ears are not flat. The monkeys are capable of blinking, and their speech matches the pace of their mouth. The graphics seem like they took quite awhile to perfect. However, it looks like it was worth it, as the graphics are flawless.
There actually isn't too much sound in this game. The announcer simply says "go." The sound of the ball rolling against the ground can be heard. When a monkey hits the ground with great force, the monkey sort of makes a shrieking sound. The timer explodes when time runs out, and bananas make a shining sound when collected. There is also tunes playing in the background as you try to complete a stage. The sound is rather plain, but the overall sound is pleasant.
The control is way too simple. The only thing you really get to do is move the control stick to navigate around the stage. You get to do the same thing over and over again. If they added a few different buttons to the game, then maybe the control would be better. However, who would want to play a game where you just move a control stick around? There really isn't any techniques you can use, unless you hold the control a different way.
This game is by far the most difficult friendly game you'll find. There are 3 different difficulties, and an un-lockable master difficulty. Beginner is a 10-stage mode, where you simply get to learn how to play the game. Once you've mastered the basic skills, you're ready to take on the Advanced level, which contains 30 stages, where you need to put your skills to the test. If you've done well enough, try to defeat the Expert level, which has 50 levels of cruel training. When you've defeated them all, take down the Master levels to complete your journey. Though there are only 4 levels of difficulty, it takes quite awhile to defeat all of them.
If you think it's going to be extremely easy upon starting the game over, you've got another thing coming. This game takes quite awhile to master, and if you've decided to start over after a long period of time, it will most likely be as difficult as it was when you first started playing the game. This game is great for those people who want a good game that they can play repeatedly without getting bored. This game has an excellent replay value, and is quite addicting.
I found this game to be very good. It's not often you find monkeys in balls to be interesting. There are a few very minor flaws, but other than that, this game is one of the most difficult and enjoyable games you'll find out there.
Rent Or Buy?
There is a sequel out right now, so I'd recommend a rent for now. The other game may be enjoyable as well. However, if you don't plan on buying Super Monkey Ball 2, then you should definitely try this game out, and see if it's worth a few dollars to purchase.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/04/07
Game Release: Super Monkey Ball (US, 11/17/01)
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