For the love of Bananas!
The monkeys are up to their monkey business again with the new addition to the Super Monkey Ball series titled ‘Super Monkey Ball Step and Rollâ€™ on the Nintendo Wii published by SEGA.
What have those mischievous monkeys been up to again?
The game introduces us to its famous monkeys Aiai, Meemee, Baby, Gongon and Jam in what starts off as a wonderful and cheeky game. Jam Dojo seems to be the only new member to the monkey clan and he acts as your personal athletics trainer. His job is to aid you and Aiai and his friends through the wacky and fun monkey puzzles.
All of the modes in this zany game are compatible with the Wii Balance Board. We used the Wii balance board for some of the games, but found it a little bit unpredictable at the time, so we resorted to just using the Wii remote. I know itâ€™s aimed at the Wii Balance Board, but it was just simpler and easier with the Wii remote.
If you don’t know, the objective of the Super Monkey Ball games it is to carefully guide and roll the monkey ball around each level, collecting as many bananas as possible and making your way to the goal gate, hopefully before the time runs out.
Collecting the Bananas gives youÂ an extra life if you collect 20 of them. Donâ€™t worry if you don’t have much experience of the Super Monkey Ball games as Jam dojo is always around to give you a few tutorials for beginners. Making your way to the goal gate is not as easy as it seems, as you have various obstacles that potentially get in your way or even completely bounce your off your path into air and impending doom in which your monkey will scream. Poor monkey!
I was using the Wii remote for this title. You can tilt your wii remote up and down, left and right to guide your monkey ball through the various puzzle levels. If you’re using the Wii Balance board you can lean backwards or forwards to tilt your monkey ball. You’ve got to be careful not to let your monkey fall off the path, because if you do then you lose the monkey and the game will be over.
The world maps take you from â€˜Monkey Islandâ€™ to â€˜Chimpan Seaâ€™ with its optical illusions. Each level has a selection of obstacles that you must avoid, and carefully guiding your monkey ball through each of these wacky and colourful levels will have you testing your patience. Many times my monkey ball flew off the side of the path leaving me to watch my monkey ball plummet to its doom. Itâ€™s a worthy cause; after all, they only want their bananas.
Co op play offers the choice of one of you to roll the monkey ball while the other player shoots obstacles to clear the path for that player. Be wary though as the player has a limited supply of bullets. Teaming together with friends for co op mode gives the game an added mode of extra fun.
Super Monkey Ball Step and Roll has a selection of 21 party mini games to keep you entertained and amused. These include anything from â€˜Battle Pinballâ€™ where you use both the Wii remote and nunchuk in each hand to control flippers on a pinball table to shoot balls in to your opponents hole, to picking up various items throughout the game. I found this frantically fun and amusing. The next game I chose was ‘Firefighter’ in which poor Jam’s house is on fire and you become the Firefighter and pump the water and shoot it to douse the fire before it’s too late.
I was very pleased with the wide selection of the mini games that they had to offer with ‘Hurdle Race’ being my favourite. Basically youâ€™re on a track where you have to jump over the hurdles to win the race. That was amusing because seeing the ball bounce over the hurdles was funny, but even funnier was when I didn’t time the jumps so well and landed face first into the hurdle bar.
Most of the time the games seemed very responsive, but a few gave me a bit of trouble. Take, for instance, the game ‘Fruit Basket’. It was easy enough as you guide falling fruit from a tree to get into their corresponding baskets, but do you think I could do it that well? This mini game seemed a little bit clumsy to the point I was flicking my Wii remote all over the place. The games will test your skill, patience and sanity to some degree. Personally I’ve liked the main game section of this title with its’ different worlds from the map.
The marathon section allows players a set of stages non stop with only one Monkey. I’m not sure about trying out with one monkey; I can just about complete them with a whole host of monkeys. There is also a replay section in which you can view your game play, but I think seeing monkeys falling off the edge is bad enough once, let alone doing it repeatedly.
All in all Super Monkey Ball offers a surprising amount ofÂ maps together with 21 party mini games. At the end of the day, it’s a good family entertainment game that will have you in fits of giggles and probably sometime wishing you could throw your Wii remote at the TV screen. I’ve always loved the Super Monkey Ball series, but feel it’s had it’s time and it needs to be concentrating less on the mini games and more onÂ something a little more challenging.
Good all round monkey fun!