Super Monkey Ball 2
Probably one of the most underrated games at the launch of the GameCube—Super Monkey Ball was overshadowed by that Star Wars game and some other plumber named Luigi. It had quite the cult following and sold well enough that Sega has brought us Super Monkey Ball 2.
The game isn’t much different than before: In story mode, you control AiAi and have to run him through a number of mazes in order to earn play points, which can then unlock various extra minigames. The mazes run from easy (run in a straight line) to very difficult (jump over a ledge, winding around a narrow path, etc). You have a time limit in each maze, so use your time wisely.
The mazes are much harder and more challenging (as well as better looking) than the original – this time you’ll have to really figure out ways to get all those bananas which earn you extra lives and points. The new game has over 150 new stages and while I doubt I have played every stage, I have liked what I’ve seen.
The graphics are somewhat improved from the original – the new levels have very lush backgrounds this time around – but still could be even better. The sound could use a major redo (if there’s ever a game that needs to be on Xbox so you can use MP3s, this is it) as it is the “traditional” Japanese techno soundtrack. In addition the annoying voice that seems to be in most every Sega game these days (Beach Spikers, Virtua Striker) is here again offering bland words of encouragement as you complete levels.
While the story mode and the challenge mode are both fun, minigames are where it’s at. Interestingly enough, once you unlock these minigames, it’s as if you’ve bought demos of other Sega games which is a good or a bad thing, depending on the game. By far, my personal favorite is the return of Monkey bowling, which is always good for a laugh. Monkey Soccer is fun as well – but unless you’re familiar with Virtua Striker, you’ll probably be frustrated with the controls of this game.
There are plenty of other monkey related sports games (billards and tennis anyone), and they are all fun with a friend. The replay value of this game is immense, and puzzle games like this tend to be well liked by everyone in the family so it’s definitely an easy purchase to convince other family members, if you know what I mean.
If you weren’t a fan of the original, I doubt you’ll find much here to convince you to buy the new one. If you haven’t played the original, go get SMB1 now as it’s only $19 if that new!! If you are a fan of the original – no doubt you’ve already purchased SMB2. The minigames are definitely what make this title a must-purchase.
On the back of the case of Super Monkey Ball 2 it says â€œThe Ultimate Party Game Returns!â€ and they arenâ€™t kidding.
Rating: 9 Excellent
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
I am male, married, 31 years old and love videogames ever since my parents bought me an Atari 2600 on December 24, 1979.
My resume for video gaming includes writing for PC Gamer (Contributing Editor, 2000), Operation Sports, Sharky Extreme,and the now defunct Rival Works, in addition to ghost writing for various publications. In addition from 2000 to September 2002 I was Editor In Chief for an online publication that ceased to exist because of the powers that be.
Right now I am playing Medal of Honor Spearhead, Splinter Cell, NHL2K3, Madden and NBA2K3. I love sports games and first person shooters with a pinch of strategy games.
I have two wonderful kids and live in the Northeast. I am a Patriots, Revolution and Orioles fan. View Profile