Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania Review


The Super Monkey Ball franchise hasn’t seen an actual new release because the Wii days of Banana Blitz. It’s a sequence that hasn’t gone dormant because of its loyal community and due to its comeback in 2022. It started out as an arcade game, but eventually found its home console identity on the Nintendo Gamecube.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania may be the celebration from the 20th anniversary of the Super Monkey Ball franchise. While this isn’t necessarily a new game, it’s a great compromise in a sense that it’s the game that mixes the very first three major console releases into one deluxe, HD remastered package.

This game includes components from Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2 from the Nintendo Gamecube and Deluxe from the Ps2 and original Xbox consoles. These titles are thought to be the bread and butter of the SMB series.

What made the Super Monkey Ball franchise very popular in its day was it's simple. It was a fun type of simple where anyone could pick something similar to this up and play. You play like a monkey in a ball and also have to roll them into the goal. Rather than controlling your character, you tilt the amount instead.

You control the angle where a stage moves instead of your character/ball. Consider this because the gaming adaptation of the Labyrinth marble game. Super Monkey Ball, when compared with this, is much more than just barriers and holes.

Banana Mania will begin you off easy having a mostly flat playing field. You’ll start at a location and roll the right path in to the goal. However, while you progress further into the game’s main story mode, the obstacles can get extremely wacky and frustrating.

One minute, you’re traversing your way through some bumps and slopes. The very next, you’re rolling down a steep ramp and shooting across different platforms. Sometimes, you’ll even go as far as launching up towers, teleporting through portals, or going through mesmerizing kaleidoscopes.

This is definitely an HD remaster compilation of the first three major console titles from the Super Monkey Ball series, so there is an abundance of content to play through. Banana Mania boasts over 300 levels from all of its games. Since the game has gotten modern treatment, odds are all the levels won’t be 1:1 recreations of how you remembered these to be 20 years ago.

The game also doesn’t utilize actual cutscenes anymore like the originals. Instead, the developers opted for a comic-style approach. AiAi and the pals all gather around a TV and watch the original cutscenes taking place on a television. What can have normally happened has become happening via a show for the reason that said comic style. It’s nearly as if they’re watching reruns of themselves in that time. It can be argued that it’s a tad bit lazy, but it’s a welcomed change overall.

People might dock Banana Mania down for dipping its toes into the ongoing polarizing difficulty debate of gaming, however it has had the simpler route. What might be noticeably different from the original games back in the Gamecube, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania removed lives entirely. So, yes, you are able to die 100 times inside a level without having to worry about beginning again from the beginning of a world— not too I experienced that or anything.

If the game senses that you are struggling with a specific level, it'll provide you with the Helper Function mode. You don’t have to accept it; it’s actually better if you don’t. While it’s nice for players to possess options to make the game easier, seasoned players may have an incentive not to.

While this game does not have lives, there is a Ranking Challenge mode to partake in. It doesn’t make the base game any more difficult, however it does give players incentives to achieve the smoothest run possible. If you’re an experienced from the series and may take on the most punishing obstacles with ease, this is when you’ll visit prove yourself.

Opting to not take easier routes does include in-game currency incentives. This is another big also in Banana Mania. All the bananas you collect, all of the points you earn from completing levels, and all the challenges you complete that provide you points all go towards the in-game currency you can use to unlock new things. For instance, this currency you can get characters, costumes, as well as new modes.

If you've maintained with the characters, you’ll realize that Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails are members of the Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania cast. Kazuma Kiryu from the Yakuza series and Beat from Jet Set Radio will also be others within the mix. Picking any of them turns all the bananas in levels into something reminiscent of their original games.

For example, should you pick Sonic or Tails, all the bananas turn into rings! It’s a nifty addition to add other Sega intellectual properties into farmville. It provides Banana Mania just a bit more charm than it’s already supplying. Continue the lookout for post-launch content like Morgana from Persona 5 to become part of this wacky roster of Sega icons.

The modes inside the main game apart from the storyline are the challenge modes from Super Monkey Ball 1 and a pair of along with the aforementioned special modes. The task modes are unlocked from the get go, however the special modes are obtained with points. One of these even includes the DX mode containing stages from Super Monkey Ball Deluxe!

Aside from the main modes with rolling monkeys and other Sega characters, Banana Mania provides a Party Games mode that includes the 12 mini games from SMB Deluxe. Because the game says, you are able to “Monkey around with 1-4 players”. Unfortunately, this is actually the only actual multiplayer aspect of farmville. However, these games are fun and also have some replay value to them.

The Verdict

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is a solid celebration for the 20th anniversary of the series’ inception. It suits fans who've stuck around to see the following big thing and does so in a complete package with new surprises and items to come. Its inclusion on consoles beyond Nintendo may be peculiar to some, but that only reaches to more people, so that is definitely a plus.

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