Review by Burtis

"Super Monkey Ball brings "Old-School" gaming to the Gamecube"

I like to consider Super Monkey Ball the “Old-School” style Gamecube launch title. The graphics are nothing spectacular, the sound is not great, the story line is basically non-existent, but the gameplay is challenging and most importantly, fun.

SMB really shines in the gameplay department. The goal of the game is to guide your monkey (that’s trapped in a plastic ball) through a goal line in every level. There are 3 difficulties available to you when you start. The first one is extremely easy and only consists of 10 boards. The second difficulty level is pretty hard at first and it consists of 30 boards. The last difficulty level is really, really hard. It has 50 boards and unless you play it a lot, you won’t get to the 50th board.

To guide your monkey to the goal, you move the board with the control stick. You have no control of the actual monkey. As soon as you get the monkey through the goal, the monkey will cheer then fly up to the next goal with no loading time. That’s one cool thing about the game, there is no loading time between boards. There are 4 selectable monkeys, 2 of which seem basically the same (except one is male and the other is female). The third one is a baby (named baby), and the last monkey is a big gorilla. Each monkey handles differently. The gameplay is very good and fun in SMB, I’ll give it a 9.

Like I said before, the graphics in SMB aren’t that good. In fact, they are the worst of the Gamecube launch titles that I have played. I’m not saying that the graphics are horrible or anything, but the textures are very plain looking. All the floors look like checkerboards and the backgrounds are just the sky. The only real cool looking thing are the see-through balls with the monkeys inside of them. I give graphics a 6.

The sound in SMB is also nothing spectacular. The music is “cartoony” and gets old pretty quick. The monkeys grunt when they hit an obstacle, and cheer when you get them through the goal. They get pretty annoying after a while. That’s all I can really say about the sound….. I think the sound deserves a 5.

Super Monkey Ball has some good replay ability if you enjoy it. It’s a game that you can just pick up and play whenever you feel like it. As you play the game you collect “play points” that can be used to buy mini games (3 in total). Then after all mini games are bought, the points are used to buy extra continues. Once you get up to 9 continues (and you’ll need ‘em for expert mode), the play points don’t do anything. The replay value is a very difficult thing to score because this game is going to be hated by some and loved by others. For me the replay value is an 8.

Overall Score 8/10

Buy or Rent? Rent it first, if you like it enough you may want to buy it. This game is not for everyone.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/28/01, Updated 12/28/01


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