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GameCube Reviews: Super Monkey Ball


Super Monkey Ball Screenshots


The Final Say!

Super Monkey Ball - reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 30 May 2002
Review Score: 9/10 
Distributor: GameNation

I'm going to make this easy on you all.... Super Monkey Ball is so cool it is not funny!

The first party game to come out for the PAL release of GameCube, Super Monkey Ball is a party and puzzle gamer's delight that supports up to 4 players simultaneously in almost all modes and is an absolute treat to experience.

If anything you will find the downside to this title is that it is so addictive that you will have trouble putting the controller down. So prepare for some very very late nights, especially if there are a group of you playing.

Essentially you are the game title, a monkey trapped within a transparent ball. And let's face it, everyone loves monkeys. Just ask our guest reviewer:

"I love them!"

And now with that humour out of the way,  the idea of the game in Normal mode is to make your way through the maze on each level, collecting bananas and trying to not tilt over the moving platform. Collect 100 bananas and gain a new life, and trust me, you will need as many lives as possible for all the spins and twists this game is going to put your monkey through.

The sheer amount of levels in this game alone is enough to justify forking out the money for this title. You are going to be kept busy for a very long time.

There are over 90 levels to complete in the standard game options with even more levels unlockable later. As we reported earlier in the year when we reviewed the Japanese version of this title, there were over 250 levels available, however the average gamer will not unlock this many as the degree of difficulty is very high.

The motion of the monkey and the board is very well programmed, with a strong sense of fully controlling the action on the board being evident. Physics of the game are sound and your immediate environment corresponds nicely with your manoeuvring.

The graphics of Super Monkey Ball are nicely realised in 3D and real time reflections are generated without sacrificing on framerate which never seems to take a hit regardless of how much is occurring on screen. There are no true next-gen graphics to speak of, but when considering what you are playing, it's a great looking game.

Yet another feather in this game's cap is how for most of the games you can just use the one controller for up to four players to alternately have a play on. This value feature is unheard of and really shows the vision of the development team by taking this into account occurring on screen.

Players will have a real challenge on their hands with the Normal game and amassing enough Playing Points to unlock the Mini Game levels. Immediately available however are the Party Games, representing: Monkey Fight, Monkey Race and Monkey Target. These pick up and play games are fantastic fun and infinitely replayable.

In order to enter the Mini Games, players must get 2500 Playing Points and then these games will become available: Monkey Billiards, Monkey Bowling and Monkey Golf, once again all of which can be played over and over.

In summary, Super Monkey Ball may not be a game that people will just pick up as the cover is not incredibly striking, however it is almost a sin to own a GameCube and not own a copy of this game as it offers something for everyone. I would defy anyone to not find a part of this game enjoyable, and the sheer fact that you can play this with four mates or just by yourself makes Super Monkey Ball the current king of party games on GameCube!

Buy Super Monkey Ball today!

- Tory Favro

Copyright 2002 www.impulsegamer.com