Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania review: it won’t make you become a monkey
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania
MSRP $ 40.00
“Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania is a welcome, but imprecise remake that lacks detail.”
High resolution graphics
Lots of customization
New modes and ways of playing
Classic soundtrack available in DLC
Steps lacking in detail
An unforgettable story and soundtrack
Some weak board games
Even though it’s been 20 years since the original was released Super monkey ball, the game stays true to its arcade roots. This influence of coins can still be felt in Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, the last installation of the franchise.
Banana mania is an âenhancedâ HD remake for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X / S. It includes all the courses of the first three games of the series: Super Monkey Ball, Super Monkey Ball 2, and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, the last of which was simply a compilation of the first two games, effectively making Banana mania a compilation of a compilation. The game was developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku, a development team affiliated with Sega with close ties to Amusement Visions (the developer of the original game), and published by Sega.
I went in Banana mania while waiting for the best. Super monkey ball was a staple of my childhood: I spent many hours crammed around TV with my younger sister, flipping the controller back and forth as we tried to make our way through Expert level stages. We were yelling at each other as we blasted our monkeys in Monkey Race and knocked each other off the stage in Monkey Fight. We’ve both played the original game so many times that it’s mostly muscle memory at this point. On the other hand, I played Banana mania most of the time alone, curled up on my couch and trying to figure out each step on my own.
While the game is unmistakably Monkey Ball, it looked like Monkey Ball through a filter: distorted and just different enough to make me lose my game. It feels more like a chore than a fun throwback.
The main attraction
Banana mania draws its story and several of its stages from Super Monkey Ball Deluxethe story mode of. Friendly monkeys AiAi, MeeMee, GonGon, and Baby just want to enjoy bananas, but the infamous Dr. Bad-Boon steals them all, sending the monkeys on a journey through the game world to collect their yellow fruits. History plays a much smaller role than it does in Luxury; there is no dialogue and very little actual story content. Rather, it’s an incredibly cute loose thread that connects the game’s thematic worlds. After seeing the first short cutscenes, I found myself wanting to skip them and just continue with the stages. Storytelling isn’t really a strong (or necessary) part of Monkey ball. The complete Monkey Balls 1 and 2 courses are also considered part of the main game and are labeled as âchallengesâ.
The gameplay retains the arcade and points-based feel of the original titles while making a few tweaks to ensure that Banana mania does not appear to have been ripped from an arcade machine. I no longer had to worry about using all of my lives or losing my points after falling off a stage too often, which made things easier. The stages range from frustrating satisfaction to simple frustration – nothing compares to that Dark Souls feeling when you finally get through a tough stage, but more often than not, you’ll probably just want to spam the new assist mode or use dots skip steps. The game aims to take out many of the frustrations of getting stuck in a particular stage, but make no mistake about it, Banana mania is just as difficult as the other games in the series.
He doesn’t feel better, just different.
All the same, tenacity often seems unfair. Much of the time-based level design Luxury does not hold in 2021, and the new stages are more fanciful than difficult. The controls feel both too rigid and too sensitive, and fighting the camera was often more difficult than completing a level. The challenge courses in Monkey Balls 1 and 2 are mostly the same, but the physics and movement potential are just different enough that my GameCube muscle memory is failing me. He doesn’t feel better, just different.
The game includes a variety of “board games” from the history of the series. These mini-games range from the more traditional, like Monkey Bowling and Monkey Soccer, to the more original, like Monkey Dogfight and Monkey Boat. The quality of the games also varies, from very good to terrible. Monkey Billiards is a lot of fun, and the AI ââis powerful enough to keep you on your toes. It also includes a new user interface that helps you line up your shot better than ever. Monkey Baseball, a simplified form of baseball that looks a lot like Toy Field mode in Super Mario Baseball, is also fun once you master the rigid controls.
The game includes a variety of “board games” from the history of the series. These mini-games vary in quality from pretty good to awful.
On the other hand, Monkey Boat is terrible. Despite the HD and 4K upscaling, the water textures retain that transparency of the GameCube era, and the courses are boring in both visuals and gameplay. Monkey Target takes away all of the fun of the original by twisting the controls to the point where it’s nearly impossible to land on targets, making it an exercise in frustration more than anything. Most other games are justâ¦ good. Many of them include now archaic counter-based mechanisms for determining force, which seems outdated in the age of motion control.
If you’re tired of the main story and board games, you can spend some time decorating your monkey and trying out some new modes. The game includes a large number of playable characters from Sega history including Sonic and Tails, Kazyma Kiryu from Yakuza, and Beat of Radio Jet Set. There are a variety of costumes and styles of balls that can be purchased with points obtained through the main game and board games. The store also sells unique stages that come with different modes that do everything from reversing the starting point and objective area of ââstages to turning normally point-generating bananas into avoidable items.
Banana mania is pretty generous with its points: I was able to buy pretty much anything I wanted in the store just by playing a few of the main story worlds and each of the board games once. The costumes are cute and I love to customize my monkey.
In many places, the game has made a conscious decision to polish or adjust the details of the original Monkey Ballgames, especially when it comes to sound. While some sound effects are nostalgic, others have been removed altogether – why is there no sound left when your monkey’s ball is moving extremely fast? Announcer voiceover is a bit boring as well, though it never was. Monkey ballthe strong point of. (Why is it pronounced “foul” like “colt” in Monkey Baseball ?!) Something that was The strong point of the series was totally missed here: the music. Banana maniathe soundtrack of is utterly forgettable and pales compared to the funky grooves of the original Great Monkey ball. Treat yourself and grab the soundtrack DLC for $ 5.
One thing that was The strong point of the series was totally missed here: the music.
You would think that in an HD remake it would make sense to at least elevate the environments of the original game to the level of today’s Switch games, but the environments are exactly the same as in the original game, just sharper. In many cases this meant that part of my screen was taken up by a vast HD expanse of relative nothingness. I would have liked to see more details or at least some improvements for the 20-year-old Super monkey ball Monkey Mall and Desert worlds, but they basically look alike, and that’s not a good thing.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania should include everything fans love about the series: skill-based difficulty, great music, fun mini-games, and great replayability with a good group of buddies by your side. Sadly, this collection feels like a rushed remake that throws in the precise controls and stellar music of the original titles. The charm and fun gameplay of the original games is still there, but this remake doesn’t seem like a big improvement over the classics.
How long will it last?
Super monkey ball the games are infinitely replayable, and Banana mania is no exception. The game features online leaderboards and time leaderboards, which means players who are serious about achieving the best times will have plenty to do. Those who are less competitive would do better to stick with the local multiplayer of board games.
Is there an alternative?
If you are looking for new steps, Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz is available for Nintendo Switch. If you want to experience the original scenes in all their arcade glory, look for a copy of Super monkey ball Where Super Monkey Ball 2 at your local retro game store.
Should we buy it?
Yes. If you’re new to the series and want to try it out (or don’t have a GameCube or Wii), Banana mania worth a try, if only to experience the original scenes and music. But if you’ve never been curious, this flawed remake won’t sell you the series.