Review by Moon 2

"A Party Game Done Right."

Super Monkey Ball does sound like a crazy name, and I'm sure a lot of people have let this game slip by without a glance. I almost did to, but how could I resist picking up a game that had gotten such great reviews and was made by the game giant Sega? I was a little worried at first with the idea of the game, but once I popped the game in, all worries were washed away. I felt very refreshed after playing the games orginal ideas. It's a great game that should not be passed up.

Graphics- As with most Game Cube titles, this game is very well done. Everything is perfectly tectured, and there are no jaggies in site. Everything is done almost cartoon like, but is not the cel-shaded style of Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. The particle effects are very well done, and each monkey has been done so there can be no mistaking them with one another. And the use of light and shadows (especially the light on the glistening wooden floor of Monkey Bowling) is great. Plus the backgrounds in some of the mini games are certainly astonishing. I never thought a board game like this would rival the graphics of a game like Splinter Cell.

Sound- The sound is very clear and audible, and the sound of the monkeys as they celebrate can't help but make you smile. All the sound effects are well done, and though the music is good for a game like this, there is nothing that you will really remember from this game in terms of tunes. Although this is not really a big surprise, I kind of wished there was at least one tune I could recall from memory.

Control- The game fits you like a glove and the buttons are not very difficult to learn. Use the control stick to move, occasionly tap A depending on what game you are playing. No one will have a problem picking this game up. And since the Game Cube controller has touch sensitive shoulder buttons, getting your spin ''just right'' on Monkey Bowling is not a problem.

Gameplay- There are three categorys of mini games: Normal Mode, Party Games, and Mini-Games. Normal mode is a race to get to the goal as fast as possible. Although your monkey is in a ball, in normal mode the monkeys are not controled themselves. Instead the player must manipulate the board itself by tilting it in order to proceed. This makes the game even more fun and challenging in my opinion. But where the game really shines is in Party and Mini-Games. These are fun to play by yourself, but are defintly intended for multi-player. Nothing beats getting together with friends and playing 18 holes of Monkey Golf, or hearing each other whine and moan in a challenging game of Monkey Fight. The gameplay is simple enough for anyone to pick up, but challenging enough that the outcome of games differs almost every time so one player isn't dominating all the time. Probably the only game that takes some thought and effort is Monkey Target.

The six games include in this game are as follows:

Monkey Race: Think of a smaller version of Mario Kart.

Monkey Fight: Up to four players roll on a field with boxing gloves to try to knock each other off while gaining power ups.

Monkey Target: Glide on the wind and drop down at the right moment on targets floating in the water to gain points. Collecting bannanas during flight adds extra points and power ups.

Monkey Billiards: A great version of the classic game of 9-Ball

Monkey Bowling: Just as it sounds. Probably one of the most realistic bowling games out ther actually.

Monkey Golf: A version of mini-golf. 18 holes.

Although the games are fun, I wish there had been more. Instead there is only six games, seven if you include the main game. Although these games are all fun and will last quite awhile, it can get a little frustrating knowing that you spent your money on just seven mini-games. I also wish there were more holes on Monkey Golf. The 18 holes they give you just don't feel like enough and it isn't too long until you have basically mastered every hole. And monkey biliards targeting system, while fine, could have used a little more effort. It's a little too difficult to line up shots.

Replay Value- This game will last you awhile just like all party games should. You'll go back and play this several months from now.

Super Monkey Ball came close to being the perfect game. This surprised me, but is only dragged down by it's sound and lack of more games. This is a great game, and anyone without a Game Cube will be very disapointed not having this game. So you Game Cube owners, go out now and pick up this game. I highly recomend it. If you can find this game used, or have enough money, you'll defintly get your moneys worth.

Final Verdict

Graphics 10/10
Sound 8/10
Control 9/10
Gameplay 10/10
Replay Value High
Overall 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/27/03

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