It’s not exaggerated to think that if you put an actual monkey in a ball, they’ll react pretty horribly. Even so, Sega has found steady success with Super Monkey Ball, a series of party platformer games involving sending monkeys in the ball over obstacles, since the days of the Nintendo GameCube.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the franchise, and to celebrate, the publisher is releasing Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, an HD remaster of Super Monkey Ball, Super Monkey Ball 2, and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, the first three games in the series. Banana ManiaIts catch is that it contains every world and stage from those three games, along with 12 different minigames from the series history, online leaderboards, and a bunch of new playable characters. from the following Sega catalog.
It should be the overall package, but something feels off about the experience. During my preview, I often find myself wishing that I could play the original Super Monkey Ball instead, that’s what I did after I dug my Wii out of the storage at my parents’ house. Banana Mania It’s certainly full of content, much of which I enjoyed, but the devil is in the details – and that’s what worries me so far
The game looks almost exactly as I remember it, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. The first thing I did when I got my preview was to join the game Monkey Race, one of the minigames (Monkey Ball call them “Party Games”) from the original title. The tracks have all the twists I remember, and their surroundings look a bit better (RIP, the AV-shaped Speed Desert track, shaped like the Am developer logo Entertainment Vision at the time; it was changed to a more generic shape). Monkey Billiards also looks good, with a crisp user interface and bright, crisp colors. The monkey models have been tweaked, and in some cases, redesigned, though they did dirty my MeeMee girl with a butt-shaped nose. The models are generally a lot higher resolution than the fuzzy faces I remember from my childhood.
Monkey Race and Monkey Billiards are two of the nicer minigames; Others are not so lucky. Monkey boat from Super Monkey Ball 2 hasn’t aged, and Banana Mania Do less to make it look better. The water texture has some early 2000s transparency to it, and there’s just… nothing in the background.
The remake will be an opportunity to add small details to the old title and show how much better it can look with more powerful technology. Instead of, replace, Banana Mania restore the original appearance of Monkey Boat when faulty and simply sharpen them to the point where it is difficult to tell the difference between the two besides the inherent blur of the upgraded original on HD TV.
In the end, the game’s interface ranges from usable to downright rough. Sega shares that the game is optimized to run at 60fps (fps) and 4K on PCs and capable consoles, but I doubt that will really change the quality of the game. environment.
Original Super Monkey Ball there isn’t a single story line other than a quick intro cutscene showing the four main characters – AiAi, MeeMee, GonGon and Baby – desperately searching for bananas. Banana Mania decided to instead convey a story that gives a bit of structure to the game’s world and levels. The inter-world cutscenes are cute and fun, and they’re great for breaking the soul-crushing difficulty of many levels.
Main story worlds and levels are taken from Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, but the main mode of the game also includes two challenge modes, including all courses from Monkey Ball and Monkey Ball 2. I tried the original Monkey Ball courses that I’ve played so many times on the GameCube that I can pass them blindfolded just by muscle memory.
Unfortunately, my muscle memory has failed me. The physics of the courses have been tweaked a bit, but it’s enough that it feels different to a longtime player. The controls feel too stiff and too responsive, making some segments a nightmare. I’ve been playing with the wired Pro Controller, and it’s still frustrating; I can’t imagine what’s playing Banana Mania with a Joy-Con affected by drift would feel like. There are also a few weird elements, such as the lack of sound effects when your monkey is moving very fast.
One thing I like a lot is the Helper Mode, which provides a variety of assistance to make the uncomfortable periods easier. While you won’t get a lot of points using Help Mode, it does give you double the time to complete a stage and points you to the right path to take. Many stages have an element of movement or time that can also be slowed down, reducing reliance on chance. You can also mark any stage as completed in the main story mode, even if you don’t hit the target. As someone who gets annoyed with time-based games very easily, I find Helper Mode a lifesaver.
At the end of the day, it’s great to watch a large part of my childhood restored in HD. If you are looking for a pure recovery Super Monkey Ball looks great on your HD or 4K TV, you’ll love it Banana Mania. Those who like real graphical enhancements, like increased detail or better environments, might be a bit disappointed. Preview Banana Mania like seeing my childhood through the eerie valley: close, but not quite there.