Growing up, the Super Monkey Ball series was always there for me when I needed a break from the more intense games I was playing at the time. Sadly, the series has been absent for most of this console generation, which is why I’m eager for one to release. Luckily, Sega has brought it back with Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD. This HD version of the 2006 Wii release Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz not only brings the series to a new console generation but also makes itself readily available with new modes for me to put some time towards.
Jumping into the early parts of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD shows an impressive level of detail when compared to the original release. The game’s updated graphics are easy to see and display well on modern screens. Everything here is as fast and fluid as I remembered as I rushed through the puzzles and banged my head, attempting to pull off short cuts to the goal.
What I have been enjoying is not using the motion controls of the Wii Remotes. At the time, the novelty was exceptional, but it has worn off in this new generation, and I found myself preferring the analog controls of the DualShock 4. Jumping and pulling off timed actions is turning out to be responsive, and I’ve quickly reacquainted myself with the physics. Each character in the game provides some different stats, so there’s room to explore what works best for you as the player — jumping in and out of a stage to change a character as the game lets you select any level.
The newest mode in the game and the one that I’d like to spend more time with is the Decathalon mode. This new mode is a series of 10 mini-games that players will compete in as the build-up scores to go against others in an online leader board. I want to explore this further because Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz has about 50 mini-games, and figuring out which ones will appear in the decathlon is a bit confusing. I might be just saying that because I completely suck at snowboarding.
The music is just a joy to experience in this game. I could probably listen to the main menu tunes on loop for hours. Furthermore, each of the characters has returned with their signature sound effects and adorable facial expressions. The multiplayer offerings are where I’m trying to spend my time with as I play with friends and try my hand at toping the online leader boards. It’s nice to see that Sega has a local multiplayer option here, but the mini-games offered might not be enough to keep my attention.
Heading further into Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD, I’ll be spending more time with the main game as well as explore the mini-game and decathlon modes. The original Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz was a blast to play, so I’m hoping that this HD offering continues to impress me as I play more.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on October 29 and a PC-via Steam release in winter 2019.
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