Tremendous Monkey Ball Banana Mania is, at its core, a repackaging of the GameCube’s Tremendous Monkey Ball 1 and a pair of (together with a smattering of additional levels from the PS2/Xbox title Tremendous Monkey Ball Deluxe) with a recent coat of paint. The gameplay and stage layouts, with a number of exceptions, stay the identical as they have been 20 years in the past, however now in crisp and glossy excessive decision. And, actually, that may be high-quality by itself, because the participating, pick-up-and-play appeal of rolling a cartoon monkey round varied imaginative challenges stays each bit as enjoyable now because it was 20 years prior.
Nevertheless, Sega has additionally seen match to replace parts of the gameplay to broaden Tremendous Monkey Ball’s already large enchantment. Gone are the lives and continues of earlier Tremendous Monkey Ball video games, eradicating a supply of stress and frustration. As a substitute, you could have infinite tries to work out every degree, although you will nonetheless must restart from the start ought to your monkey roll out of bounds. You might be additionally given the choice of a Helper Mode system, which doubles your time, exhibits you a perfect path by the extent, and allows a slow-motion function do you have to select to show it on. It is a good type of “training wheels” for getting a deal with on a number of the tougher levels that does not go utterly overboard in holding your hand–though the sport pestering you about turning on Helper Mode on every stage you fall out of quite a lot of instances grows previous very quick.
There is a catch to utilizing the Helper Mode. Within the older video games, you’d want to finish a set of levels with out utilizing a proceed to unlock the hidden EX ranges. Since lives and continues aren’t any extra, Banana Mania as an alternative rewards you with EX ranges for finishing a gauntlet of levels with out using Helper Mode, encouraging you to complete these robust levels with out extra help. Turning on Helper Mode additionally disqualifies you from the web leaderboard rankings and prevents the sport from saving your rating. It is a good method to hold issues from getting too irritating whereas encouraging gamers to aim a harder problem later.
Moreover Helper Mode, Banana Mania additionally offers gamers with different choices to surmount a few of Tremendous Monkey Ball’s extra insidious challenges. An unlockable bounce performance provides you a valuable little bit of extra management over your character, although turning it on may even disqualify you from on-line rankings. An arrow cursor exhibits you which of them approach you are tilting the analog stick, letting if that run you are doing is not fairly as straight as you suppose it’s. Lastly, if there is a degree that’s walling you from progress, no matter what number of helper capabilities you allow, you possibly can select to skip it and transfer on–though you will forfeit rewards within the course of. Harsh, however typically it is preferable to simply transfer alongside and are available again later while you’re not on tilt.
Moreover the visible overhaul and the quality-of-life enhancements, Banana Mania additionally comes with a smattering of unlockable goodies. Amassing bananas and clearing each levels and challenges will earn factors you possibly can spend to unlock recreation modes, characters, beauty thrives, and different add-ons. New modes embody reverse-stage mode, the place you could roll again to the stage’s starting from the objective level, a “Dark Banana” mode the place it’s a must to navigate levels whereas dodging rotten fruit, and a “Golden Banana” mode the place you accumulate all the bananas in a set of ranges. The combo of unlockable characters consists of extra monkeys and the principle simian forged in goofy costumes, but additionally gives a enjoyable number of Sega cameos like Sonic and Tails, Jet Set Radio’s Beat, and even Yakuza’s Kazuma Kiryu.
Celebration minigames have additionally featured closely in earlier Tremendous Monkey Ball titles, and all the favorites from Tremendous Monkey Ball 2 are right here from the beginning, together with Monkey Goal, Monkey Billiards, Monkey Dogfight, and Monkey Tennis–among quite a few others. These get together video games will be performed with as much as 4 folks, and each consists of quite a lot of choices and recreation modes to get pleasure from. They are not simply fleeting diversions from the principle recreation, either–many of the get together video games are surprisingly strong and replayable whereas nonetheless sustaining the simplistic, easy-to-learn appeal of the principle mode. They’re all glorious crowd-pleasers that do not take lengthy to arrange or play and have very broad appeal–though, sadly, they can not be performed on-line.
Between the lots of of levels, the minigames, and unlockable modes, there’s lots packed into Banana Mania. Sadly, it does really feel like corners have been minimize in some locations. The story mode from Tremendous Monkey Ball 2, which was advised by in-engine cutscenes within the unique video games, has been changed with terrible, cheap-looking animations of nonetheless character cut-outs. SMB2’s story wasn’t precisely a story triumph, however the Banana Mania strategy sucks out all the foolish appeal the story as soon as held. The Sega character cameos are additionally a bit underwhelming; whereas it is cute that the bananas are re-skinned to match the characters (Sonic collects rings, Beat collects spray cans, Kiryu collects Staminan bottles), they do not have an effect on the gameplay in a significant approach, nor have they got a lot in the way in which of distinctive animation or voiceover. And as soon as you’ve got unlocked all the additional recreation modes and characters–which you will doubtless do pretty quickly–you’re left with relatively unexciting choices like clothes colours and ball designs to spend your banana bucks on.
Banana Mania does not reinvent the wheel (ball?), however it does not must. Being able to play traditional Tremendous Monkey Ball ranges and minigames with out having to pull your previous consoles and CRT TV out of storage could be sufficient of a promoting level by itself, however the extra gameplay tweaks and charming extras sweeten the deal fairly a bit. For those who’re a longtime curler who’s missed AiAi and his jungle buddies–or for those who’re a newcomer searching for an easy-to-learn motion/puzzle recreation that may hold you busy for while–you’ll need to take Banana Mania for a spin.