Review by Pika_Mario
"It's not a real mokey ball game...but it's still kinda fun.."
Super Monkey Ball was an excellent game series when it first started. The first Monkey Ball game was a great hit. It was challenging, fun, and a great party game. Super Monkey Ball 2 was even better. Not only did it have more puzzles to play, but its party mode games were just pure amazingness. However, then came the dark cloud, Super Monkey Ball Adventure, a GIGANTIC screw-up for Monkey Ball. There were fewer puzzles, not as many party games, and they just basically riped out the good name of Monkey Ball, and put in a boring adventure. The game I'm reviewing right now, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, tries to get that good name back that they lost from Adventure. What do I have to say? "Well, Nice Job guys, but you really could of done much better."
Monkey Ball has a history of not having a very in-depth storyline. Why does it even need one? Anyway, the story is that a giant pirate, whom you never know his name, steals the golden bananas while Aiai and friends were looking at their massive beauty. What does the party do? They tend to get them back! Now you have to go though puzzles (yay!) and battle the boss of that world to get them back. Like I said, not a very big storyline, but also like I said, who cares? It's Monkey Ball.
I know what you are thinking. "What!?! A bubblegumish-like game like this has great music?!?" Yes, I'm surprised too. The past monkey balls didn't do music to their music. They just threw it in there. But the music in this game...is awesome. The first worlds music has an awesome guitar part that touches my soul. If I could find a place that has music from this game to download, I would post it here. But I don't know any place. Not even Galbadia Hotel has it right now. But the music in this game is great. Some of the music is boring, but the music from world 1, world 8, race music, and many others are very well made.
Not much to say here. Graphics are alright. They do look a little better than the past Monkey Ball games. But there's not really anything great. It does look a little like a gamecube game. It seems the developers just tried to make up some ok graphics and throw them in. Which is ok, as long as the graphics are not so horrible that they throw you off, it's ok by me.
Single Player/Story Mode: 9/10
Remember when you would play so many Party games that you would forget about Story mode? That's not the case here. Actually, Story Mode will make you forget that there was a party mode! In here, the rules are simple, get from point A to point B without dying A.K.A having a fallout. But in most courses, it's not that simple. You will go off ramps, roll through danger, ride on rails, and jump to safety to get to the goal. Which reminds me: jumping. They added a jump button to this game to kinda help you out. Think this makes it easy? It doesn't! It adds more of a challenge to you with courses where your jump will have to be perfect, or else. I'm not against the jump feature, but remember my title at the top of the page, "It's not a real monkey ball game"? This Jump feature makes it feel less like a Monkey Ball game, and more like a...platformer. Monkey Ball was about rolling in a maze like way to your goal. Now you just jump to it, there's no maze feeling. But that feeling does come back when you use the Wiimote to move your monkey, like a real ball-in-maze games. Story Mode is very fun, and if you forgive it for it's jump feature, you will love single player. It's challenging, fun, and a great way to play.
Multiplayer/Party Mode: 4/10
Remember when you would play so many Party games that you would forget about Story mode? That's not the case here....again. Someone at Sega just had to say, "LETS MAKE 50 PARTY GAMES!". When little did they know, that 80% of these party games would be total crap. The only party mode game that they decided to keep was Monkey Race, Monkey Target, and Monkey Tennis (which is now called Monkey Squash). Everything else was scraped. Out of all those 50 minigames, the only ones that are good are the three above, Monkey Wars, Dangerous Route, and...ok, maybe Monkey Boxer and Space Monkey Attack. That means that more than 75% of the party games are crap. Everything else is either too hard too control, too boring, or just plain too hard. The control schemes for some of the games are so horrible, you will never play them again. This really proves that quality is much better than quantity. Make 12 great party games, everyone loves you. Make 50 almost crap games, everyone hates you.
The Rent-Buy Scale
If you buy it now, chances are you will not keep it, unless you can forgive the Party Mode. But chances of you forgiving Party mode are much much lower than the chance that you will not keep it. Save yourself, rent it first, then you be the judge. If you really really like it, then go ahead and buy, I'm not stopping you.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz did a pretty good job for a console release game, but it does need improvement. If it doesn't get any better, it will end up like its cousin, Sonic. If the next Monkey Ball gets better graphics, a MUCH better Party Mode, and a little bit better in story, then we might have a winner. But if it doesn't get back to its old wonderful days, I fear this monkey will die.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 01/17/07
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