Review by Nemesissy

"Tricky controls.....too tricky?!?"

INTRO

Following the big success of previous Super Monkey Ball games on the no-so successful Gamecube, a sequel for the Nintendo Wii was always on the cards. So here it is. And what a mixed affair.

STORY

Please. Call that a story? Bunch of monkey's worshiping a bunch of golden bananas and a nutjob in a big flying machine steals them. And for some reason, the only way to get them back is to roll around obstacle courses in a ball. Not a big story, or a great one, but this kind of game doesn't really need a story.

GAMEPLAY

As previous Super Monkey Ball games, you must moves your monkey around the course within the time limit, collecting bananas while you're at it. You can control a number of characters, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. AiAi, the main protagonist of the series, is an average character, like Mario in some Mario games. One of the new characters, Baby, is slower and easier to control. Baby is also my favourite. The game is split into worlds. World 1-1, World 1-2........World 1-8....Boss Fight. World 2-1..........any Super Mario Bros fan will be at home here. There are some extra Worlds to unlock after completing all the available Worlds. Now for the courses themselves. The courses are wonderfully made, ingeniously designed and frustratingly good. The timer always gives you a decent amount of time to finish the course. The hard thing about the course is that if you fall off the stage, you lose a life. And there isn't much room for mistake. It's possible to go shooting past the finish and off the stage. Adds a lot more difficulty. Bananas are placed in the courses. Collect them to boost your score.

Now for the minigames. There are a whopping 50 minigames for you and/or your friends to get to grips with. Some are annoying but most are pure enjoyment. Some require the nun-chuck, others just the Wii-mote. Some range from the normal (darts, golf, etc) to the strange (hovercraft-style dodgems) to the plain wacky (Monkey Wars).To get the most out of the minigames, you need someone to play against.

GRAPHICS

The graphics are cute, lovely and just good ol' Nintendo. You can't beat it. One of the prettier games on the Wii.

CONTROLS

Probably the main section for a Wii game. And it certainly is. The controls are the main talking point for this game. The reason for this is that it's too bloody hard just to pick up and play. You need time to get to grips with the controls. Twisting the Wii-mote determines whether you go left or right. Tilting determines whether you go forwards or backwards. Twisting is a problem. Anyone who has played Wii Sports Bowling will know that the natural twist of your wrist can cause problems. If you are right-handed, you naturally twist to the left. Vice-versa with left-handed people. It is really hard to just roll in a straight line. As for tilting, you can either go too slow or too fast. It takes a while to get it right. This is why Baby is my favourite character. He/She/It is slower than normal, therefore is easier to control. Controls can take a little getting used to. Not good if you're an impatient gamer. The big addition to the control scheme, and my favourite, the ability to jump. Pressing 'A' will make your character jump, saving you a lot of trouble from previous Super Monkey Ball games.

SOUND

Catchy monkey-like tunes that fit the game perfectly. 'Nuff said.

DIFFICULTY

The big difficulty lies in the controls, so if you master them then the rest of the game is a walk in the park.

LIFESPAN

The main 1-player game is easy enough but the huge library of minigames is where the big longetivity lies. Some minigames will last a few seconds before you're bored, others will last weeks.

PROS

+Nice graphics
+Catchy sounds
+Decent enough gameplay
+50 minigames? I'll have some of that....
+Ingenious controls

CONS

-Controls a little too hard to get to grips with
-Some courses a little too frustrating

CONCLUSION

A nice little title that deserves some recognition, but don't go mad for it. A sequel with better controls seems on the horizon. A pretty good 7/10.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/26/07


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