Review by ORCA782
"Somewhat Fun, at Any Age"
My friend is getting a Gamecube soon, so he bought Super Monkey Ball as a party game, because I already have SSB:M, and we are room mates. The game turned out to be better than I thought it would be, but it's not a blockbuster game.
I find that in child-like games, it's easier to appease the audience. However, they did a lot of work on the graphics in this game, the environments are really nicely rendered, and though the levels themselves may be generally rectangular prism style, with sharp edges, the monkeys themselves and the background are both very well done.
These levels are really fun to just look at. You get a rotating pan of the level as you zoom into your monkey, and it shows the basic path you will have to take, as well as any secret exits you may want to search for. The levels rance from water slide like rides, to a guitar on which you have to navigate the strings. Overall the levels are really nice. The back ground items are also good, with titles such as ''Burger Cube,'' and other assorted resteraunts and such floating around in the sky. As each level takes your monkey higher, the sky goes from blue to the dark purplish hue of space (or Sega's imagined space).
I really like nice music in my games, and this one really doesn't have it. There is sort of kiddy music to get the tot's started, but during the levels it's just background music that you don't even notice. It's average, all in all.
The controls revolve around moving the level itself, not your monkey, so that the ball rolls the right direction. It's not as hard as it sounds; in actuality Sega did a nice job, because it is like controlling the monkey, but not. You'd think that you'd have to rotate the level up slightly to go backwards, etc, but the control all does that for you, basically so you just move back forward left and right. Besides in the multiplayer modes, there is no use to any other buttons, except to enlarge the map. Where this category fails is the camera. The camera will not stay fixed. Being a joystick, it's harder to press absolute up, or absolute down (meaning 0 degrees exactly on a compass, or 180). Thus, if you even slightly tap the stick right, the camera sways to the right. This is a real problem when you are navigating a hair thin beam that is straight, and the camera is rolling left, giving you a new challenge in and of itself.
Fun Factor: 8/10
The game is fun to play, especially with friends. You have your basic race mode, your fighting mode, with a boxing glove attached to the ball, and then the main game. Any mode can be played with up to 4 people, so no one's excluded. However, the levels just get old after awhile. Either it's ridiculously easy, or insanely hard. And of course, the most fun has got to be making bad phrases with the words Monkey and Ball in them.
Overall: 7/10 (not an average)
This game is good for kids that can stand the really bad lack of replay value after awhile. Kids my age (18) should appreciate this game's originality and graphics, but it's not a game you're going to pick up at any available second and pop in the old GC.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 02/04/02, Updated 02/04/02
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