Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania brings together all three Super Monkey Ball games with the traditional Story Mode, plus Challenge and Special Modes, plus a zillion other options like mini games (12 of them with 1-4 players each, including Monkey Tennis!), Ranking Challenges (leaderboards all around the world), Costumes (give it your own style), a Points Shop to trade in what you’ve earned in order to customise your characters (and you can choose from several of those at the start of the game, changing as you go), Galleries (such as the opening and closing movies in each World), all giving endless family entertainment.
At the time of posting this, you’d understand if I haven’t completed all the levels, but there are 300 of them: 10 levels from each game, with 10 stages apiece. Naturally, the first few are fairly easy, but the difficulty ramps up early to the point where some mid-level will be a lot more difficult than those that end the level. They twist, they turn, they shoot up, they rattle around, it’s colourful to the max and runs like the wind! And you can play as one of several characters.
Between the levels come various cut-scenes which – I’ll be frank – I don’t quite understand, but this isn’t The Usual Suspects in terms of plotting.
I’ve played some of the mini games before when I reviewed Super Monkey Ball 2 on the Gamecube back in 2003 – such as Monkey Racing (circuit racing), Monkey Fight (punch each other with big boxing gloves and knock them out of the ring), Monkey Target (Open your ball to glide and land on the target), Monkey Billiards (pool), Monkey Bowling (10 pin bowling) and Monkey Golf – but so far for this one, I’ve just tried Alan Partridge’s favourite, Monkey Tennis, and let’s just say I’m no Emma Raducanu!
But I’m battling through the stages as I go, and it’s fantastic fun, and a wonderful collection for all modern consoles, as you’ll see from the gameplay below.
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is basically, how to do a fun game right!
- Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
- Publisher: SEGA
- Players: single-player, Co-op
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.