Super Monkey Ball: Banana BlitzTHE GOOD: Colorful graphics Challenging game play Excellent use of the Wii Remote and technology
THE BAD: Monkeys aren't really monkeys (I'll explain) The Instant Replay of your death or victory Party games are a mixed bag of results
SUMMARY: The Sega series comes to the Wii with very good results.
Graphics: I really liked all the bright colors used in the games. I thought all the stages and party games looked very appealing (no pun intended). I do see some upgrade from the GameCube games. My only gripe is that the backgrounds are the same for each stage in the different worlds. Otherwise, it was a very good presentation. (4.0/5.0)
Gameplay: You have two options: the main game and party games. The main game consists of guiding a monkey ball to the goal on each stage. These stages will become progressively more challenging as you move to the higher worlds. There is some choice involved as each monkey has different abilities and different sized balls. I really do like the challenge in the game. I also really enjoy the use of the Wii remote. Now, in the past, you need to use a control stick to guide the monkey ball. With this game, you can forget about a control stick all together! The monkey ball is controlled by tilting and twisting the Wii remote. It does take some time to adjust to this, but after you master it, you'll wonder why you need a control stick too. I believe Nintendo had games like this in mind when it decided to focus on innovative gameplay rather than a system with lots of horsepower for graphics. You have the option to practice the stage before committing to it, so that's helpful. I really like the fact that the game remembers where you stopped at any given stage in a world in case you need to stop for any reason or you run out of lives. As for the party games, they are a mixed bag of results. Some are fun like the racing games and shooting games, but others are forgetable like the spacecraft landing games or the alien capture games. Still, there are enough of the fun ones to give you and others a few hours of enjoyment. (4.0/5.0)
Plot: This only affects the main game, and the manual doesn't tell you what happens. You should be able to figure out the basic premise based on the opening scene. But this game is not about a riveting plot; this game is about riveting gameplay. There is one final note, and this is me being picky. But scientifically speaking, the monkeys in the game are not monkey but rather apes. Why? monkeys have tails; these monkeys do not. Apes do not have tails. Therefore, they should rename the game: Super Ape Ball: Banana Blitz. But, this is something that can easily be forgotten since most people won't care. It's a fun game anyway. (1.5/5.0)
Music/Sound: I found excellent work here as both the sound and music were crisp and not distorted. The music can become repetive, but that is easily overlooked when you are focused on the game. (4.5/5.0)
Replay Ability: There are two world to unlock in the main game, and there are all the party games to play. After that, you can see if you can get the high score in each world. This should keep you busy for hours. (4.0/5.0)