Review by Bizarro Mulder

"Let's all stop kidding ourselves, hm?"

Yeah, I'm probably opening a can of worms, which I'll use to catch a load of flames. But I don't particularly care. I'm not going to gush about this game like so many others have. After some extensive playing, I've decided that, along with most of the other launch titles, Super Monkey Ball is just another sub-par game.

Graphics: 5
As many others have stated, SMB isn't exactly the gods' gift to gamers. It doesn't exactly need to be. It's a very simple game, no matter what anyone might say.

Sound: 1
Well, the music is all but nonexistant, and what music there IS quickly gets on your nerves. And I don't know about anyone else, but hearing the those accursed beasts screech got on MY nerves mighty quick.

Gameplay: 2
Here we go.

First off, the idea was a good one. But Sega isn't exactly known for being a SMART group of people. They've continually screwed their fans over for years and years. (It all started with the Sega CD...) This is just one more notch on their belts.

What's that I hear? It's innovative? It's not innovative! Tony Hawk is innovative. This game is BIZARRE! Now, I wouldn't mind so much if things were tuned up a bit, but there are two major gripes I have that've kept me from enjoying this even a tiny bit.

Number 1 - The floors. Um, did I miss something? Are ALL of the floors supposed to feel like there's ice on them? It's rather hard to keep your monkey in one spot, and in some of the later Expert levels, that poses a huge problem.

Number 2 - The camera. By the gods, I've never seen such a bad camera! Superman 64 had a better camera than this. Does that tell you guys anything? Whose rear-end did they pull this genius idea from? For all intents and purposes, you're pushing forward and a direction on the analog stick for most of the game. You don't GO backwards. But someone, somewhere, had an idea. They, for some reason, let the camera roam all over the place whenever the player tried to turn. Instead of keeping it BEHIND the player where it should stay. THIS also attributes to the near impossibility of Expert Mode. I can't count the times I've tried lining myself up along a REALLY thin ledge and start to roll, only to have the bloody camera start to sway on me! This, in turn, causes my monkey to vault off the ledge. Nuh-uh. This is just inexcusable. They really needed to tweak this up a lot.

Replay Value: 7
Despite the game's huge downfalls, this infernal thing does have replayability. Mainly because of this: When you play, and continually lose, you turn the system off. But it eats away that a game got the better of you. So after you calm down, you turn the system on, get PAST the level that was making you mad...get an ego, then go and launch your monkey into the abyss a few more times. Repeat ad nauseum.

...Nausea. Oh yeah. That word describes this game perfectly.

Overall: 4
Yup. As much as I love Sega (I've stuck by those idiots through the Sega CD, the 32X, the Saturn, AND the Dreamcast)...they've really dropped the ball on this. Like most of the other launch or near-launch games, this one's only about average.

Out of all the games on the Cube I've devoted some serious time to, only Tony Hawk 3 has been worth a buy in my eyes. Even Melee, which gamers have toted to be the best thing since the toaster oven, is a tedious bore in one-player mode after a certain amount of time. And let's face it, you can only kick Bowser around so much.

Rent or Buy?:
Rent. It's a fun little game to give yourself an aneurysm with for 5 days. But any more is hazardous to one's health. I never buy games without renting first and spending a good 8 to 10 hours on them. But unless Monkey Ball magically gets better with time, I'm taking this thing back to the video store to let it ferment a bit longer.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 12/18/01, Updated 12/18/01


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