Super Monkey Ball Review

Developer: Sega Publisher: Sega
Release Date: October 7, 2003 Also On: None

The GameCube launched with a new Sega franchise known as Super Monkey Ball, a 3D puzzle game, involving of all things, monkeys in balls. As odd as this concept might sound, it turned out to be one of the best games on the Cube during the retail 2001 holiday season. With the launch of N-Gage came Sega to the rescue in the puzzle department with none other than a miniature version of the GCN favorite.

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Like in many N-Gage games, you will have to adjust the sound once you run the application. The sound, on low, sounds like games on high in another other game. I like to describe it as circus music, and being that there isn’t variation the sound is immediately turned off by my choosing.

The game modes available include main game and the locked mini-games. Main game is broken down into normal mode and practice mode. Practice mode allows you to practice any course that has been unlocked in the normal mode. Normal mode is broken down into three categories: Beginner, Advanced, and Expert.

Depending on the difficulty, the levels will obviously be tougher. Some courses might be longer, require more thought, planning, and strategy, and/or give you less time to complete the course. Beginner sets you out on 10 stages, Advanced on 15 stages, and Expert on 20 stages.

The on-screen display shows the course, your monkey, a background, remaining lives, score, banana count, remaining time, speed, and stage number. For those that don’t know, Super Monkey Ball is a 3D puzzle game where you solve various puzzles by moving your monkey and trying to reach the goal, a balloon inside an oval post.

Bananas have two advantages, when collecting them, though doing so may cost you a time bonus. Bananas give you points and extra lives. Your normal life potential is two extra lives, but collecting 50 bananas will change that, by adding a new life. For Expert mode, these lives will help relieve the pressure that you might put on the “continues�, which are also limited.

Somehow Sega didn’t capture the greatness of multi-player gameplay that made the original an instant hit. The mini-games are here, and require unlocking, but Monkey Fight, Race, and Target just aren’t the same without human adversaries to join in on the fun.

For GCN gamers that don’t own a GBA, this is the next best thing you’ll come to Monkey Ball gaming on-the-go. For those that just don’t buy Nintendo systems, it’s highly suggested that you look into this game. For those used to the franchise’s greatness on the Cube, you might be disappointed by the overall lack of length and multi-player.

Graphics: 6.5
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 6.4
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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