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Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania Switch Review – AiAi Love It!

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania Switch Review – AiAi Love It!

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania

AiAi, MeeMee, GonGon, Baby, YanYan, and Doctor are back in Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania on the Nintendo Switch, and what a time to be alive! It has been ages since Super Monkey Ball 2 released, and fans of the series have been clambering for a return to form, especially after some stinkers have sullied the Super Monkey Ball name (I’m looking at you, Super Monkey Ball 3D!). With Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, it looks like we are finally getting that oldschool feel that made the first two titles so special, and it seems like SEGA wasted no effort in making this the ultimate package.

So are AiAi and the gang back where they belong? Or is this a series that simply needs to let their bananas spoil? Let’s find out!

super monkey ball banana mania

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is the ultimate Super Monkey Ball Experience. Well, that’s how they are advertising it. There are more than 300 stages from Super Monkey Ball, Super Monkey Ball 2, and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, the three best Monkey Ball games to date. On top of that, there are 12 mini-games from the series that return to entertain, but this is where things fall a bit flat.

Since this is kind of a remake in many ways, this is a strange game to review. On the one hand, this is the greatest collection of Monkey Ball ever. On the other hand, the physics in play are not nearly as precise as the originals, and that really hurts the experience, especially in certain mini-games like Monkey Target, one of my all-time favorites. It is really hard to play some of what Banana Mania has to offer because of these physics issues, but since the entire thing was made in Unity, I assume some sacrifices had to be made.

But this issue mostly affects the mini-games, because the single player feels fantastic! There are hundreds of levels from three of the best games in the series, and with the inclusion of an online leaderboard, competing with friends or randos online is a ton of fun and a huge reason to replay levels over and over to improve your times. I have not had this much fun on a leaderboard since Marble Blast Ultra on the Xbox 360, because like that title, some times the luck of a perfect bounce on a corner is the difference between 10th place and 1st place on the leaderboard. To me, this is where Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania shines brightest!

super monkey ball banana mania

One of the areas that Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania boasted about prior to release is the roster of characters. In the older games, the character selection was pretty slim pickens, but this time, there are 12 characters to choose from and even more if you download any of the DLC packs. This is a wonderful upgrade, especially when playing as other classic SEGA characters like Sonic and Beat, and seeing a character like Sonic collect rings instead of bananas is a really nice touch.

A couple major quality-of-life improvements have been implemented, like how quickly your ball resets after falling off a stage, making continuation much more fluid than ever before. Not only that, but Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania comes with accessibility options to make it easier for players to enjoy the game their way. Things like slowing down the game speed, doubling the timer, and an arrow displaying where the goal is are just a couple, and they can really make the game feel more comfortable for younger players, disabled players, and anyone else just wanting to have a more relaxed experience.

The elimination of lives is a toss up for me, though, as it does really effect challenge mode, normally one of the hardest challenges in the game. However, as I already stated, the leaderboard being available means that the competitive side of Monkey Ball this time around is focused on that moreso than the original challenge mode and what it had to offer. Part of me wishes that this included the competitiveness of both, but I will say that if I had to choose, online leaderboards is the clear winner.

The multiplayer is an area I could spend a lot of time on, because this is some of the best fun I have had in a while and some of the most disappointing. The local multiplayer is still loads of fun, and games like Monkey Soccer, Monkey Bowling, and Monkey Racing are back and nearly as fun as we remember them. The beautiful bright colors flashing on the screen and the competitive bragging rights upon a monumental victory are second to none. This collection of mini-games are mostly fantastic and will provide loads and loads of entertainment.

But it kind of ends there, because certain mini-games are a poor representation of their original counterpart, which is a huge disappointment for fans who were hoping for the same feel of mini-games like Monkey Target only to learn that the physics in those games are simply off and make them almost undesirable to play. This hurts, because I was genuinely expecting a proper look-and-feel of all these classics to return in Banana Mania. Sadly, a lot of that greatness is in the single player, but it is quite hit and miss in the multiplayer.

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And although there are online leaderboards, there are no other online options in the game. Part of me knew that this was not going to be available, but like many Nintendo games, SEGA still feels a bit behind when it comes to implementing online modes in their titles. Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania would have benefited tremendously from an online co-op mode for the main games (Something that does not even exist in the game locally) and an online competitive mode for the mini-games. Unfortunately, all gameplay is subject to local only, meaning you have to lure friends over to enjoy these mini-games to the fullest.

super monkey ball banana mania

When it all comes down, though, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is the best Monkey Ball we have gotten since the originals nearly 20 years ago. The fresh coat of paint that the original games got looks amazing, and the fact that you can play in the original graphics as well is icing on the cake. The theme song is amazing, and the overall soundtrack is a lot of fun. However, I am a little disappointed that the original soundtrack is locked behind some paid DLC.

This is just simply a great way to revisit Super Monkey Ball, Super Monkey Ball 2, and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe and enjoy the best courses in the series, and they are all represented wonderfully. The mini-games, although a bit disappointing, still offer a lot of entertainment for you and your friends, but the online leaderboards are going to be some of the most insane to look at once the game goes public.

It is good to know that Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania did not slip on any of its peels, but it probably could have used a little more time to ripen up. At the end of the day, this is still one of the best Monkey Ball collections we have ever gotten, and SEGA delivered a significantly better experience here than they did with Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD on the Switch. If you have a Monkey Ball-shaped hole in your heart and need it filled, then look no further, because Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is here to fill that hole and put you back in control of AiAi in a great way.


Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Release Date: October 1st & 5th, 2021
Price: $39.99£34.99€39,99
Game Size: 2.9GB

super monkey ball banana mania
0
Amazing
81100
Pros

Jam packed with so much Super Monkey Ball!

Soundtrack is amazing!

Ability to switch oldschool graphics and new

Leaderboard chasing is so much fun

Cons

Some party games don't feel right

No online multiplayer

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