previews\ May 3, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Super Monkey Ball Adventure - PSP - Preview

E3 2006 First Look Preview

Since the first one, the Super Monkey Ball franchise has been an addicting and fun game with an engaging multiplayer experience. However, the game was a little scant on much else, not really providing players with a very compelling single-player experience. However, the next one is looking to change all of that. Super Monkey Ball Adventure, will be the first game in the series to offer a robust story mode that follows the exploits of Aiai, Meemee, Gongon, and Baby as they journey across the five different Monkey Ball Kingdoms. Super Monkey Ball Adventure looks like a good departure for the series and should be a fun game upon its release this July.


The first thing you’ll notice while playing Super Monkey Ball Adventure is the fact that there is no puzzle tray required to move your monkeys around; you’ll control them directly through the game’s main stages. However, there are portions (called the Spirit Planes) where you’ll play through classic-style stages crafted in the same vein as the original Super Monkey Ball games. In these stages, the goal is to guide your monkey ball through an obstacle course by tilting the terrain to roll him along to get to the end. These will definitely please hardcore Super Monkey Ball fans looking for a more traditional experience.



Aside from having the ability to fully control your monkey, you can also manipulate the ball itself. By using Monkey Chants (which are done by a series of combinations, not unlike the Ocarina of Time in the Zelda games), you can give your monkey ball a variety of different abilities. For example, saying a certain chant will give you the Sticky Ball, putting suction cups all on the outside of your ball, allowing you to climb up walls and traverse otherwise impassable terrain. You’ll have several different special ability balls, like the Chameleon Ball and the Hover Ball, to help you along your way.


Of course, it wouldn’t be Monkey Ball without some great multiplayer elements thrown in the mix. Super Monkey Ball Adventure has six different party games, three “remixed” versions that are returning from previous entries and three brand new ones. One of the new games is “Top Gun” mode, a last man standing type of game where four players must shoot their monkeys out of a cannon at their enemies’ fortresses to topple them down. After a period of shooting at your opponent’s fort is over, you get some time to reinforce your stronghold until the next round starts up. It’s a pretty long multiplayer game, as it takes a while to whittle down your foes, but it’s never a dull moment.


The PSP version of Super Monkey Ball Adventure showed some definite promise, as well, keeping in line with the console version in terms of gameplay and aesthetic and featuring some exclusive perks like different Spirit Planes and four-player wireless multiplayer.


Super Monkey Ball is gearing up to be a fun game that takes a departure from the series, but should still be worth a look from hardcore fans of the franchise. Super Monkey Ball Adventure releases this July for the PS2, Gamecube and PSP.

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