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.
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