Review by JMackie
Reviewed: 10/02/01 | Updated: 10/02/01
An absolute cornucopia of gameplay...
While some animal rights activists may object to pantsless monkeys trapped in balls, the concept makes for an excellent party game and a must have Gamecube launch title. Sega has done a fantastic job in bringing Super Monkey Ball to the Cube. There are so many extras that the game is nearly unrecognizable as an arcade port.
The graphics hardly push the new hardware, but are certainly adequate. The backgrounds, for the most part, are well done; they feature cloud cities, busy nightclubs, and underwater scenes. There is one problem, however, with a few of the backgrounds. Occasionally, on some of the more difficult stages, the backgrounds become a bit of a distraction. The monkeys are well animated, considering they’re encased in plastic. Aiai has some particularly amusing victory dances. All the while the game runs at a silky smooth framerate, even with 4 players. The sound and music just isn’t very memorable, but fortunately, it does not become annoying or distracting. The one really nice thing about the music is that it continues play when zooming up to the next floor or when switching players.
The objective of Super Monkey Ball is to guide the monkey through the goal. This is done not by controlling the monkey directly; instead one must tilt the actual floor in order that the monkey, trapped in a ball, rolls through the goal. Dole bananas are scattered across the level as a means to score extra points and lives, but they tend to take a backseat to just arriving at the goal. It’s really a great deal of fun. While the idea sounds pretty simple, the floors quickly become maddeningly difficult. That’s the main mode, which doesn’t really even scratch the surface of what Super Monkey Ball has to offer. Bonus modes include kart races, battles, billiards, golf, bowling, and hang gliding. Needless to say, there’s a LOT of gameplay here. All of the modes support multiplayer, even the main game. Multiplayer games don’t get much better than Super Monkey Ball.
In the end, this is just Sega doing what Sega does best: making games. This one will keep even the most skilled gamers busy for weeks. An absolute cornucopia of gameplay: Super Monkey Ball doesn’t have flashy graphics or mascot characters; it’s just fun.
Final Score: 9/10
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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