Review by MrMattijs7

"A solid new entry in a great series"

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz is the successor to Super Monkey Ball 1 & 2 on the Nintendo Gamecube. You play as a monkey trapped in a ball (don't ask) trying to roll to the finish in a variety of levels. It also supports a load of minigames.

Controls
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The Wiimote essentially replaces the Gamecube's analog stick. You tilt the Wiimote in order to tilt the surrounding area, which in turn affects the way your monkey rolls. It takes some getting into, but all in all, it works quite well. But I didn't find it a significant improvement over the classical controls.

Gameplay
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Still very much the same. . The goal of each level is to get to the gate. On your way you will have to conquer various objects, such as moving bars and tricky slopes. One interesting new addition is the fact that you can now jump by pressing the A-button. This works very well, Sega were able to create a wider variety of obstacles because of this.

Another neat new feature are the boss-fights. Usually you have to find the boss's weak spot and hit him a few times to get the job done. These battles are a welcome break from the main game and really add to the game.

The minigames return as well. I always found this to be the strongest part of the series in the past because it made for some really solid multiplayer-action. There are a whopping 50 minigames in Banana Blitz and sadly, Sega chose quantity over quality. While it's true some are quite fun, at least 30 flat out suck because they lack depth or because the controls just aren't good.

Graphics
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More cartoony than the Gamecube-games. The developers went for a semi cell-shaded look and I must say, it works perfectly. The entire atmosphere the visuals create really add to the overall experience. But it isn't all good. Little was done with the extra power of the Wii: the characters still look very low-poly and the levels often have a quite empty feel to them.

Sound
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The traditional cheery tunes the series is known for return. Mostly upbeat music that matches the theme of the stage, although they can get on your nerves if you have to do a level over and over again.

Lasting value
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As usual, he maingame is hard. You'll spend a lot of time trying to complete it. The minigames extend this game's life quite a lot if you have some friends to play them with, if you play them alone, they won't last more than a few hours.

Overall
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This is a solid game. The main game is as addictive as ever and some minigames really are fun. I picked this up as a second launchgame for the Wii (next to Zelda) and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a challenge.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/09/07


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