Super Monkey Ball 3D
One of the coolest
monkeys returns to the console world... not Donkey or Diddy Kong but
rather AiAi and his outrageous friends which brings gamers back to the
wonderful world of Super Monkey Ball. Thankfully for fans of this series
and new comers, SEGA have resurrected their popular GameCube title and
released it on the Nintendo 3DS that means Super Monkey Ball has
received a 3D makeover. Best of all, this game collects a variety of
Super Monkey Ball games in one accessible title but where the game is
best is at its original core as you attempt to navigate a monkey within
a ball through this 3D puzzler.
Apart from the whacky
Japanese gaming goodness contained in Super Monkey Ball 3D, the
presentation of the game is first class that is reminiscent of those
crazy Japanese TV series from its colourful graphics to boppy J-pop
soundtrack and strange sound effects. The primary gameplay mode is
the puzzle mode where you need to carefully navigate your monkey ball through a
rather treacherous obstacle course that contains all the classic levels
from the original game, including a few extra bonus ones.
You goal is to
precariously balance your monkey ball as you collect bananas and make
your way from point A to point B. As opposed to the original GameCube
game, the control system of Super Monkey Ball 3D uses the innovative
controls of the 3DS, more specifically the gyroscope technology that
requires you to tilt your console to move your ball.
Imagine putting a marble on a book that has a maze on it and you need to
tilt the book to move the marble in that maze. This is how the gyroscope
technology works. Even though this works like a treat, it can also be
extremely frustrating at the same time. Generally it doesn't work
too well with the 3D technology on this console because it causes havoc
on your eyes. The workaround is either to turn off the 3D or to use the circle
pad which is far more accurate than the gyroscope technology.
well but the circle pad is definitely the way to go. However as the
levels progress, the difficulty of the maps that you play start to
really challenge you. For example, there are lots of obstacles in the way that
you need to avoid such as bumpers that knock you off the edge or areas
that speed you up or slow you down. There are several elements to
challenge the gamer and even though some levels can be excruciating,
the addictive nature of the game always pushes you on to excel.
Apart from the main gameplay mode, Super Monkey Ball 3D offers two other
games that include Monkey Race (ala Mario Kart) and Monkey Fight (ala
Super Smash Bros.) Even though these two games pay homage to some other
excellent Nintendo games, they are actually quite amusing to play on the
3DS. The better game of the two is Monkey Race that requires you to race
around a track just like Mario Kart as you collect power-ups and attempt
to knock your opponents off the track.
The control system really works
well with Monkey Race and features some great replay value here. The
other game is Monkey Fight that requires you to smack the other monkeys
around in order to collect their bananas which does become a little
repetitive but hey, who doesn't enjoy smacking monkeys around to collect
their golden treasures. The game even supports multiplayer via Wi-Fi for
classic monkey fighting in Monkey Fight.
Graphically, Super Monkey Ball 3D is a good looking game on the 3DS. The
3D graphics are amazing, especially on the main gameplay mode that
really creates an amazing depth perception. The environments are quite
colourful and feature this whacky Japanese style of cartoon to it and
best of all AiAi and his friends all look great in the game. Add in a
friendly and bopping soundtrack, over the top sound effects and this is
Super Monkey Ball at its best.
In the end, SEGA should be commended for releasing one of their best
Super Monkey Ball games to date. Not only does it pay homage to the
original GameCube game but it features updated graphics and gyroscope
technology that takes the franchise into the 21st century. It's a shame
that the 3D doesn't work too well with the gyroscope but if you use the
circle pad, the 3D works like a charm. Add Mario Kart and Super Smash
Bros... err Monkey Race and Monkey Fight and there's definitely plenty of
things to do. Super Monkey Ball 3D may go back to basics but there's
plenty of fun to be had for the next generation of gamers.