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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

Xbox One X
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4

Game Profile
 Written by Chris Reiter  on October 10, 2006

First Impressions: Sega wants you to play with their monkey balls.

Super Monkey Ball was one of the premiere launch titles for the GameCube, featuring action-oriented gameplay that had players guiding monkeys encased in translucent balls around puzzling levels, akin to the venerable Marble Madness. It was a fun game and perfect for the GameCube controller's analog schematics. With the Wii on the way, Sega wants to do the GameCube launch one better by including a brand-new Super Monkey Ball that'll take full advantage of the unique sensory options powering the remote. So get ready to go ape this fall with Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz.

Fans of the Super Monkey Ball franchise should expect nothing too out of the ordinary for Banana Blitz, well except for its wacky gameplay concept that will remain relatively unchanged. As always, players will have a main game and mini-games to coast through, rolling their balls from the starting point to the finish. Of course, this includes picking up bananas and crazy level designs. Narrow paths, obstacles and moving segments are just a small sample of what to consider as part of the defeat that can and will happen if you're not careful at keeping your simian on track. With the addition of a jump function you can expect to see plenty of platform climbing action, to be sure.

Sega is stripping the old analog controls in place of the new motion-capturing remote on the Wii. With this one, you'll simply need to move the controller forward to go that way, backwards to reverse, and a jolt to the right or left for turning. It sounds uncomplicated enough, but will it be as intuitive? With approximately 50 mini-games planned to ship with the game, playable longevity shouldn't be a concern here. In one game, you'll have to balance your monkey ball in a tight rope act. In another, you'll put a fork in some fishes under the sea. And in another, you will jog indoors by lifting the Wii remote and nunchuck attachment up and down real quick like so to make running motions. Such games like these and plenty of others will comprise the mini-game options.

The Super Monkey Ball games have always had a modest overlay on the graphical front, so it's no biggie that Sega should continue that trend with its next entry. Keeping that in mind, Sega is still managing to upgrade the series with a smidgen of overhauled taste. The game will remain colorful and simple-natured, but also a bit more detailed over its predecessors to support whatever small advances the Wii will offer over the GameCube.

Final Thoughts
Out of the entire launch lineup for the Wii, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz appears as one of the most obvious picks to get from day one. Just like the first Ball-meister did for the GameCube, this sequel will take control of the remote in order to execute some of the more interesting ideas that can be imagined with the technology in hand. Gesturing monkeys to safety through wily mazes (and more) certainly seems a fit that'll be here sooner than you realize.

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