Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD Review – Rolling Back Into Our Lives

    Title: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
    Developer: Sega
    Release Date: October 29, 2019
    Reviewed On: PS4
    Publisher: Sega
    Genre: Arcade

The Super Monkey Ball series deserves a comeback for this generation. It fills a massive void in the gaming space for those who crave a fun arcade experience at home. However, the series hasn’t received a new entry in quite some time. While we won’t be seeing a complete “from-the-ground-up” new title, Sega is remastering the 2006 Wii title Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz under the new title Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD. Regardless of being a new entry or not, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD has several quality-of-life updates that make it the perfect way to reintroduce this excellent series to gamers.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD has a few modes offered at the beginning of the game, but I’m sure the campaign is what will be on everyone’s mind. This campaign provides 100 levels of increasingly difficult stages where players will roll their monkey to the goal. If you are confused by that sentence, well, in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD monkeys get inside of a ball, and it’s up to players to tilt the level and lead them to the goal. In this entry, the monkeys are also capable of jumping, which adds a new level of difficulty and strategy to get through the stage.

Stages feature several different themes as players make their way through the campaign. Each level offers new gimmicks and puzzle variety to put your skills to the test. The difficulty increases at a decent pace throughout the levels to give the player time to perfect their approach to levels while still pushing them to get better. There were multiple times during the game where I thought they were asking me to do something impossible, but after a few tries I managed to pull through and the feeling of accomplishment never faded.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD likes to keep players in the action, and after every stage, you can choose “Next” to go on to the next level instead of going back to stage select screen. It’s simple things like this that have been added to make this version worth returning to for fans as they’ll be able to point out the updates that made this adventure more player-friendly. Interestingly, some of the stage puzzles have been updated to be a bit more complicated, which I was surprised to see.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD 4

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD brings with it the physics that fans will remember. The jumping in the game is still a great tool to use to correct your momentum while using some speedy strategy to the goal. Also, the new characters included are fun to experience and offer unique ways to get through the levels. It all becomes a nice experience that belongs in this generation of consoles and something that I didn’t get enough of during my time with the game.

Outside of the main campaign, players can play through a series of mini-games. One of the newest modes is the decathlon mode, a series of 10 mini-games where players will play through them for a high score that will be shared online. This is a fun distraction from the main game, but it doesn’t match the level of entertainment that the main campaign provides. There are over 50 mini-games to play, some of which can be played with 2-players. Sadly, these mini-games are about as fun as you remember, which is probably mediocre at best. They just don’t seem to have the same lasting power as the campaign.

Thankfully, the game’s presentation is fantastic across the board. The updated visuals fit in well with what’s expected out of this generation, and I was left with a positive experience. The music is fun and doesn’t overpower the quirkiness of the gameplay. Instead, it compliments it to make each stage a joy to play through even on your tenth time playing a stage.

Banana Blitz HD

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is an excellent remaster of a great game. I enjoyed nearly every moment of my time playing. The game’s steady increase in difficulty and well-ported physics engine made it easy to jump right in and get that Super Monkey Ball experience that’s been missing from my life. Sadly, the mini-games don’t hold up, but I honestly never found myself too into them, even in the original release.

If you’re looking for a fun and addictive arcade game to enjoy for hours and hours or just short bursts, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is here for you. This title presents everything the Super Monkey Ball series offers and is great for anyone making this their experience with the series. Here’s to hoping that it sparks enough interest for a brand new entry.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.