"A game both me and my five-year-old brother can enjoy."

When it comes to outright silliness in a video game, it's hard to beat Super Monkey Ball. With it's zany level designs, adorable characters, and outstanding gameplay, Super Monkey Ball is, if not a work of art, a well-planned splash of paint. It's simple enough for beginner gamers, while still being able to puzzle the minds of experienced gamers like myself. With it's many high points, it's hard to know where to start...

This game has absolutely no problem with graphics. The monkeys are cute and fuzzy-looking with their cinnamon-roll ears and hamster balls (no innuendo intended). The level backgrounds are detailed nicely, and shadows and lighting is well-done. Everything is crisp and clear, and there is absolutely no lag at any point.

Sounds are well-done in this game. You can hear the monkeys grunt as they bump into walls, and even what I expect is the sound of the ball rolling across the floors. You can hear them say "Yay!" at the end of each level, and it is just great.

With so many sci-fi FPSs and fantasy RPGs running around, getting a game unique is difficult, but Super Monkey Ball pulls it out of the bag. To put it simply, you choose one of four monkeys (Aiai, Meemee, Baby, and Gongon), put them into a hamster ball-type contraption, and place them on a platform suspended high above a landscape. You then tilt the landscape to roll the ball around until you break the ribbon at the end. It sounds simple at the beginning, but trust me, you get some extremely hard ones in Expert. As you play through single player, you earn Play Points, which you use to buy the three "official" minigames, which are Monkey Bowling (bowling, but with monkeys in the balls), Monkey Billiards (billiards with the Monkey Balls), and Monkey Golf (you should see the pattern here already). Also, you can play against other people in single player, or play Party games. These are all available from the start, and are pretty fun. The first is Monkey Race, which has monkeys in their balls racing around six different courses; the second is Monkey Fight, where monkeys are on small platforms and must knock each other off using boxing gloves attached to their balls (again, no innuendo intended). The last one is an interesting game called Monkey Target. The object is to run your monkey down a ramp, open the monkey ball, glide on air, and finally close the ball again to land on a large target sitting in the ocean. Powerups and a "Wheel of Danger" are available for this game.

Well, there you are. I hope you enjoyed this review. This is a very entertaining game, and can keep people riveted in front of their TVs for hours, trying to beat the endless "just one more level." It is a must-own for anyone with a Nintendo GameCube or a Nintendo Wii. And don't scorn it just because it looks too "kiddy" for it to be worthwhile. Anyone can like this game, and SEGA and AV did a terrific job on this.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/01/08

Game Release: Super Monkey Ball (Player's Choice) (US, 12/31/06)

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