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.