Review by Murf

"I'm man enough to admit it... I like Monkey Ball"

GameCube's launch marked an interesting turn of events in the history of gaming. Two once hated enemies (Nintendo and Sega) have now come to terms and the better company has won. Nintendo. But Sega's true talent did not lie in making consoles... it was in their games. And this GameCube launch title most definitely proves it.

Here's the deal. There are bananas. There are monkeys. There are balls. The monkeys go in the balls to collect the bananas. Simple, right? While simple in concept the games overdrive difficulty and sheer addictive ness will make you telling superiors you were late to work/school because you were playing Super Monkey Ball!

The game has several ''Games'' within it. First is the main game. Ever play good old Marble Madness? Well if you did, Monkey Ball is simply 3D Marble Madness so you get an idea of what to expect. If you haven't, you get a ball (which includes a monkey of your choice) and you roll around attempting to reach a goal and maybe pick up a few bananas here and there. It has 3 difficulty levels, each a helluva lot harder than the last.

Party Games:
Monkey Racing: You get in the balls and run around a track.
Monkey Fighting: Monkeys in balls punch each other... A LOT!
Monkey Target: Single-handedly the MOST addictive thing on GameCube at Launch. This little game is reminiscent of Pilotwings in a way, only insane with flying monkeys trying to land on Targets. Addictive...

Mini Games:
Monkey Billiards: Play 9-Ball with monkeys in balls. Fun.
Monkey Bowling: Go bowling with monkeys in balls. Fun.
Monkey Golf: Play mini-golf with monkeys in balls. Insanely hardcore... and fun.

Now onto the technical BS.

This is a game about Physics (and monkeys in balls). Every trite little detail about physics is present in this game (especially in Monkey Target). This is what makes the game so hard, but fun.

Graphics. While not as impressive as say, Wave Race or Rogue Leader, Monkey Ball's graphics most definitely fit the cartoony feel of the game. And all in all, the graphics are impressive. You kind of get a Sonic The Hedgehog feel in places since you are rolling around in a little ball. Remember folks this is Sega.

Sound. Trademark Sega midis are ever so present in Monkey Ball. And it works. The sound is nifty to, your ball sounds funny and your monkeys makes noise and talk depending on the moment. Silly monkeys.

In the aspect of Technical BS, Monkey Ball is a definite winner, despite is simplistic detail which is no where near some other GameCube launches.

FICTION: It's for kids.
FICTION: Your GC Library will be tainted.
FICTION: Not worth picking up.

This game is hardcore fun. Move over Mario Party... your foe has arrived!

You know what... I'm man enough to admit it... I like Monkey Ball.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/25/01, Updated 11/25/01

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