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Review: Super Monkey Ball Adventure - PS2

by Steven Williamson on 3 August 2006, 12:01

Tags: Super Monkey Ball Adventure on PS2, Sega (TYO:6460), Action/Adventure

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Super Monkey Ball Adventure - Introduction

The original Monkey Ball characters of Aiai, Meemee, Gongon & Baby are back, all with their own unique characters. They are joined by a host of new characters, including a Prince and Princess, who are being kept apart by a feud between their kingdoms. The couple run away to Jungle Island where they enlist the help of the Super Monkey Ball gang, to unite the feuding Monkey Kingdoms and defeat the Naysayers who have sucked all the joy from the Monkey Ball world.

The objective of the game is to control one of the characters cocooned in a ball and navigate them through numerous puzzles and mini-games, with the ultimate objective being to end the feuding between the two monkey factions in Monkey World.

Now I’ve got no objection to playing a game in the guise of a monkey, in fact Ape Escape is one of my favourite platformers, but when your monkey is trapped in a plastic ball that bounces off every surface my patience is tested to the limit. In Super Monkey Ball Adventure the problem is made worse due to the flawed game mechanics.

Super Monkey Ball Adventure is supposed to be just that, an adventure game where puzzles and tasks should be the main focus. Unfortunately, trying to keep your monkey under control is not easy task and the erratic, unresponsive controls ensure that you’ll soon de-focus on the objective ahead. The speed of the ball means that you’ll often misjudge your target, speed straight past the proposed location and then have to double back on yourself ; either that or you’ll go hurtling into the monkey pit of doom accompanied by the irritating yell of the game's narrator as he shouts 'FallOut!'.

The ball bounces off every surface, and instead of navigating a simple route from point A to point B, you will more often go through the whole alphabet as you zig-zag across the environment before you reach the final destination. This part of the gameplay should be the most simplest but ends up distracting you from the better parts of Super Monkey Ball Adventure. You’ll need to have the patience of a Saint if you have any intention of completing the 50 or so puzzle levels.