Review by Spartan II

"One of the most addictive games I've ever played."

Super Monkey Ball is a great game. I really enjoyed it when I first got it soon after gamecube release, and I still do now. It never gets old, as the replay is nearly infinite.

Gameplay: 10/10 This is where the game really excels. The premise is very basic: Roll your monkey through the goal ribbon by using the control stick to tilt the stage. Thats all there is to the main game. The only button that does anything is the ''A'' button, and all it does is zoom in and out of the mini map in the bottom right hand of the page. The physics of the game are flawless, your monkey ball will behave exactly as it would with real world physics. There are three play modes, ranging from the easy beginner to the ridiculously difficult expert. The other great features of the game are the mini games and party games. There are three party games you can initially choose from: Monkey Fight, Monkey Race, and Monkey Target. I honestly think that Monkey Race and Monkey Target could be expanded upon and made into their own games. Monkey Race is basically a Mario Cart game, you roll through race courses, shooting things at each other, from the token bombs to the abstract like a cube gun that turns an enemies ball into a cube. Cubes can't roll, can they? In monkey target, you roll down a ramp, jump into the air, open your ball into a sort of parachute, and try to time your fall to land on a target without falling into the water. Harder targets yield more points. Monkey Fight, while fun to play, is my least favorite game. You basically are a monkey with a boxing glove on a spring, and you try to knock the other monkeys off. You can get power-ups like a bigger glove and a longer spring. After accumulating ''play points'' from playing the main game, you can buy three mini games: Monkey Bowling, Monkey Billiards, and Monkey Golf. Monkey Bowling has you decide where to start the ball, stop a moving arrow where you want the ball to go, power up, and put spin on the ball to knock down pins. It is very well executed and fun to play. Monkey Golf is basically putt-putt, but your monkey can easily fall off the edge of the course, and in some levels, a hole in one is the only way you can go. It is very difficult, but fun when you get the gameplay down. Monkey Billiards is basically 9-ball, only with monkeys inside the balls. Its got easy mechanics, and can be a lot of fun. Overall, Gameplay is Monkey Ball's second strongest point.

Graphics and Sound: 7/10 The graphics in the game are, while smooth, nothing to write home about. Some of the backgrounds are boring, and the floors of the levels are always just two-colored tile. The sound is mediocre, the music isn't amazing, the only other sounds are your ball rolling, you bouncing off walls, and your monkey screeching when you get a little to close to an edge.

Difficulty: Ranges, so I'll split it up.
Beginner: 4/10 Basically just a tutorial, teaching you how the monkey ball reacts to different elements. Nothing to tough. Easy to get the extra levels rewarded for beating the game without dying.
Advanced: 8/10 Advanced was very difficult, but with practice, easy to master. Fairly difficult to get the extra levels.
Expert: 11/10 When was the last time a video game made you cry? The expert extra levels are so hard to get, you can use a full continue, rather than just one life, to get them.
Master: 15/10 For getting through the amazingly difficult expert levels and their extra levels without continuing once, you get the hellishly hard master levels. They make the expert levels look like a walk in the park. Be prepared to die-a lot.

Replayability: 20/10 You could play this game forever and never get tired of it. It is so hard to master the main game that you'll spend months on it alone, and the mini games never get old. The party games are great to play when you have a few friends over, and theres always competition mode, where you pick 5 levels and see who can beat them fastest. You'll be playing this game forever. You'll never get tired of it.

Story: 0/10 What story? Monkeys on a quest for bananas decide to lock themselves in plastic balls and roll around to collect bananas. The game isn't story oriented, though, so you shouldn't be to bothered by this.

Buy or rent? Buy. There is no way you'll be able to experience this entire game if you just rent it, and it will last you forever.

I highly recommend this game to anyone who doesn't require an amazing story, but likes great gameplay and a game they can replay over and over again.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 07/30/02, Updated 07/30/02

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