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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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Poor controls

Despite the control issues, Sega have added some wacky twists to the functions of the ball. Not only does it roll along the ground, but you’ll be able to gain new abilities, by chanting spells to gain attributes such as punching with a boxing glove, invisibility, flying, bouncing and sticking to objects with your sucker skill. These chanting spells become extremely irritating due to the monkey’s childish voices, there’s only so much you can take of "Ei," "Woo," "Yay," “Poo” noises. These chants are executed by using the d-pad and pressing a sequence of buttons in the required order. Whilst the high pitched chants personally annoyed the hell out of me, kids will probably love the cutesy characters.

Super Monkey Ball Adventure boasts an open world full of ramps and static objects to bounce off. Sega have allowed for the exploration of the environment, but after falling off the edge of the world for the umpteenth time, you’ll soon want to just get on with the action. Strangely, killing yourself is often the quickest way back to your original checkpoint if you do wander too far.

The five worlds of Monkey Kingdom are more imaginative than many platform titles in their overall design, such as Moonhaven, a floating city in the clouds, but you’ll be concentrating far harder on moving your character than looking around the glossy scenery.

The fast and demanding main objectives do have plenty of variation and you’ll be involved in tasks such as collecting and delivering items, rescuing kids and opening doors. The door opening exercise is tedious and repetitive and involves turning a crank wheel over and over again, and if failed, many of the tasks result in a penalty which often curbs your enthusiasm.

Many of the objectives involve completing tasks for others, making you feel like the trodden-on errand boy. Running from point A to B with the grace of a young boy on a space hopper isn’t fun, and the bright cheerful environments that we’ve come to expect from Sega actually help to emphasise the dreadful experience rather than enhance the game play experience.