Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania preview: New monkeys, old tricks

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It’s no stretch to think that if you put an actual monkey in a ball, they would react terribly. Despite this, Sega has had fairly consistent success with super monkey ball, A party platformer series that features monkeys in balls through obstacles since the Nintendo GameCube days.

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This year marks the franchise’s 20th anniversary, and to celebrate it the publisher is releasing super monkey ball making mania, an HD remaster of Super Monkey Ball, Super Monkey Ball 2, And super monkey ball deluxe, First three matches of the series. Banana ManiaIts big selling point is that it includes every world and platform from those three games, as well as 12 different minigames from series history, online leaderboards, and several new playable characters from Sega’s back catalog.

It should be the total package, but something about the experience feels off. During my preview time, I often found myself wishing I could go play the original. super monkey ball Instead, I ended up doing something similar after taking my Wii out of storage at my parents’ house. Banana Mania Undoubtedly full of ingredients I thoroughly enjoyed, but the devil is in the details – and that’s what I’m worried about so far

bad water ahead


The game looks almost exactly as I remember it, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. The first thing I did upon receiving my preview copy was jump into a game of Monkey Race, one of the minigames (monkey ball Call them “Party Games”) from the original title. The race courses had all the twists and turns I remember, and the environment around them looks a bit cool (RIP AV-shaped Speed ​​Desert Course, shaped like the logo of then-developer Amusement Vision; It has been changed to a more common size). Monkey billiards also looks great with a crisp UI and sharp, bright colors. The monkey models have been altered, and in some cases, redesigned, though they dirty my girl Mimi with a butt-shaped nose. In general the models are much higher-resolution than the fuzzy faces I remember from childhood.

Gonagon sets a path in the jungle world.

Monkey Race and Monkey Billiards are two of the better looking minigames; Others are not so lucky. monkey boat Super Monkey Ball 2 has not aged well, and Banana Mania Does little to help it look better. The water texture has transparency in the early 2000s, and the background just…

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A remaster should be an opportunity to add a little detail to an older title and show how much better it could look with more powerful technology. Instead, Banana Mania Restores Monkey Boat’s original appearance as a mistake and simply sharpens them to the point where it’s hard to tell the difference between the two other than the inherent ambiguity of the original upscaled on an HD television.

Ultimately, the look of the game ranges from serviceable to downright rough. Sega shared that the game is optimized to run at 60 frames per second (fps) and 4K on PC and capable consoles, but I doubt that’s really going to change the quality of the environments.

to waste

Original super monkey ball There was no story other than a quick intro cutscene that featured the four main characters – Ai, Mimi, Gonagon and Baby – desperately searching for bananas. Banana Mania Instead decides to provide a story that gives a bit of structure to the game’s world and levels. The cutscenes between worlds are cute and fun, and they’re good for breaking up the soul-crushing difficulty of multiple levels.

The worlds and levels of the main story are drawn from super monkey ball deluxe, But the game’s main mode also includes two challenge modes, which cover all of the courses. monkey ball And Monkey Ball 2. i tried the original monkey ball Courses, which I’ve played on the GameCube so many times that I can probably only get through them blindfolded using muscle memory.

MeeMee tries to get a banana in a desert stage.

Unfortunately, my muscle memory failed me. The physics of the courses have been tweaked a bit at times, but that’s enough to make it feel different to a longtime player. Controls feel both too harsh and too poignant, making some sections a nightmare. I played with a Wired Pro controller, and it was still disappointing; I can’t even imagine what I’m playing Banana Mania That’s what it would feel like with a drift-aft Joy-Con. There were also some weird elements, like the lack of sound effects when your monkey is traveling too fast.

One thing I really liked was the Helper Mode, which offers a variety of help to make frustrating steps easier. While you won’t get as many points for using Helper Mode, it gives you twice as much time to complete a stage and shows you the right path to take. Many stages that have moving or time-based elements can also be slowed down, reducing the reliance on luck. You can mark any stage in the main story mode as complete, even if you don’t make it to the goal. As someone who gets irritated very easily in time-based games, I found Helper Mode to be a lifesaver.

AIAI rolls into a treacherous part of a monkey mall platform.

At the end of the day, it’s nice to see a big part of my childhood restored in HD. if you . Looking for a pure restoration of super monkey ball One that will look great on your HD or 4K TV, you’ll love Banana frenzy. Those who prefer real graphical enhancements, such as increased detail or beautiful environments, may be a little disappointed. Preview Banana Mania It was like watching my childhood in an uncanny valley: close, but not quite there.

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