Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz[a] is a platform game, the seventh title in the Super Monkey Ball series, following Super Monkey Ball Adventure.[1] It was released as a launch title for the Wii system on November 19, 2006, in North America and December 8, 2006, in Europe.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Monkey Ball Wii.JPG
North American Wii box art
Developer(s)New Entertainment R&D Dept.
Publisher(s)Sega
Director(s)Toshihiro Nagoshi
Producer(s)Toshihiro Nagoshi
Designer(s)Yukio Oda
Composer(s)
  • Yuri Fukuda
  • Takashi Nagasaka
SeriesSuper Monkey Ball
Platform(s)Wii
Release
Genre(s)Platform
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

An HD remake, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD,[b] was released worldwide on October 29, 2019, for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and in December 2019 for Microsoft Windows via Steam.[2] The HD remake also released in Japan on October 31, 2019, for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.[3]

GameplayEdit

The game spans a total of 100 main game levels, and 50 mini-games that each use the controller in a different way (e.g. "Monkey Darts" has players simulate the action of throwing a dart using the Wii Remote) as well as the appearance of all major characters featured in past games.[4] Unlike previous games in the Super Monkey Ball series, this game features eight boss battles, a feature new to the franchise.[5] The Wii controller is held parallel to the ground, with the monkey character rolling based on the slope of the game world, directly corresponding with the relative tilt of the Wii controller. The analog stick on the nunchuck attachment can control the camera but is entirely optional. For the first time in a Super Monkey Ball game, players are able to jump by quickly flicking controller up while holding B, or by simply pressing the A button. The game also features character-specific abilities and stats for the puzzle stages, previously unseen in any other game in the series.[6]

Mini-gamesEdit

There are 50 mini-games in total in Banana Blitz.[7] There is also a "party" mode whereby players can choose tournament-type gameplay, selecting mini-games in an attempt to accumulate the most points. Recurring mini-games from previous titles include Monkey Target, Monkey Race, Monkey Bowling and Monkey Wars.

PlotEdit

Banana Blitz introduces a new pirate-like villain named Captain Crabuchin, previously confused to be Dr. Bad-Boon. He has stolen the Golden Banana Bunch and AiAi and his friends must recover the scattered pieces of it.

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings72.82%[8]
Metacritic74/100[9]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Game Informer6.75/10[10]
GamePro2.75/5[11]
GameSpy4/5[12]
GameTrailers7.2/10[13]
IGN8.4/10[14]
Nintendo Power8.5/10[15]
Nintendo World Report5.5/10[16]

The game received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics. EGM awarded the game a 6.2, stating that the new Wii Remote-based control scheme made the game excessively difficult but enjoyed the large number of games even if a few were not fun, whereas IGN said the controls simply had a relatively steep learning curve, and once the player is used to them, are superior to control using an analog stick. GameSpot also praised the controls but criticized the single player game for its brevity. All three found the new cel-shaded visuals a little simplistic, although noting that it was well-suited to the tone of the game. GameSpot also stated that Banana Blitz was one of the "best in the series". Hyper's Kosta Andreadis commends the game for its "standout party games, great use of Wii-mote for main game and its multiplayer mode". However, he criticized its boss battles, stating that they "can get tedious [and] certain party games are atrocious".[17]

RemakeEdit

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
 
PS4 western cover art
Developer(s)Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Publisher(s)Sega
Director(s)Masao Shirosaki
Producer(s)Masao Shirosaki
Designer(s)Taisho Kin
Artist(s)Yukio Oda
Composer(s)Yuri Fukuda
Hidenori Shoji
Chihiro Aoki
SeriesSuper Monkey Ball
EngineUnity
Platform(s)Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Release
Genre(s)Platform
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

The HD remake under the title Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD was announced on July 16, 2019, via a Famitsu issue, along with screenshots of the game and the box cover.[18] Development began after Masao Shirosaki was pondering what to work on next after finishing development on Judgment; before that, they had a tough time getting a team together. However, after Judgment, him and a few others had some downtime and got together in January 2019.[19] The project was greenlit in February and development lasted for around 6 months. According to Shirosaki, some of the levels would've been too easy with the stick input, as they were originally designed with the Wii remote in mind. This means that some levels had to undergo some adjustments to become more enjoyable with current controls. Tweaks were made all the way up until the end.[19] When asked in a later interview of why Banana Blitz specifically was chosen for a remaster, Shirosaki revealed that due to the time and budget they had, it was the most reasonable choice.[20]

The remake features revamped controls, such as the ability to use the console's respective controller, as opposed the Wii Remote in the original version. As the game is now more than 10 years old, they consulted with the designers to rework the UI to mesh with "modern visual aesthetics". The remake also features new modes, such as a Time Attack Mode with online leaderboards, and the all-new "Decathlon Mode", which is a mode where the player "challenges themselves to beat 10 mini-games in a row".[21] Players are able to unlock new costumes for each of the returning characters, as well as Sonic the Hedgehog as a playable character.[22]

Unlike the original, instead of the 50 mini-games, it includes enhancements of the 10 most popular mini-games.[23] The game features a different soundtrack in most of the worlds, due to licensing issues.[24]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Known in Japan as Super Monkey Ball Ukiuki Party Daishūgō (Japanese: スーパーモンキーボール ウキウキパーティー大集合, Hepburn: Sūpā Monkī Bōru Ukiuki Pātī Daishūgō)
  2. ^ Known in Japan as Tabegoro! Super Monkey Ball (Japanese: たべごろ!スーパーモンキーボール, Hepburn: Tabegoro! Sūpā Monkī Bōru)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "SEGA Announces Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz For Nintendo's Revolution Console". Sega. Retrieved April 26, 2006.
  2. ^ Romano, Sal (July 16, 2019). "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD coming west for PS4, Xbox One, and Switch on October 29, PC this winter". Gematsu. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  3. ^ シリーズ最新作「たべごろ!スーパーモンキーボール」. supermonkeyball.sega.jp/tabegoro. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  4. ^ "IGN: Wii Interview: Super Monkey Ball". IGN. Archived from the original on August 13, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2006.
  5. ^ "Screens: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Gaming-Age)". N-sider. Retrieved August 28, 2006.
  6. ^ "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz UK Review". IGN. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  7. ^ Matt Casmassina (May 11, 2006). "E3 2006: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz". IGN. Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2006.
  8. ^ "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz". GameRankings. Retrieved March 7, 2009.
  9. ^ "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz". Metacritic. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  10. ^ "Poor Monkey". Archived from the original on March 2, 2008. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  11. ^ "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz". November 21, 2006. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  12. ^ Gerald Villoria (November 16, 2006). "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz". GameSpy. Retrieved November 22, 2006.
  13. ^ "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz". GameTrailers. December 1, 2006. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
  14. ^ Matt Casamassina (November 14, 2006). "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz Review". IGN.
  15. ^ http://www.codenamerevolution.com/?p=2940 Retrieved November 22, 2006
  16. ^ Mike Gamin (November 24, 2006). "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz". Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  17. ^ Andreadis, Kosta (January 2007). "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz". Hyper. Next Media (159): 56, 57. ISSN 1320-7458.
  18. ^ "『たべごろ!スーパーモンキーボール』がSwitch/PS4で10月31日発売。Wii『ウキウキパーティー大集合』リメイク作でSteam版も。名越氏が語る本作の魅力とは?【先出し週刊ファミ通】". ファミ通.com (in Japanese). July 16, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Beresford, Trilby (October 29, 2019). "'Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz' Game Director on Preserving Charm of Original Characters in Remaster". The Hollywood Reporter.
  20. ^ Mejias, Nicole. "Find Out Why SEGA's Masao Shirosaki Revived Monkey Ball & More!". Crunchyroll.
  21. ^ "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD devs talk new modes, making the game easier, glitches, and why the time is ripe for a remake". Nintendo Everything.
  22. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY5CBs4oO_4
  23. ^ "Monkey Ball Official/モンキーボール公式の質問箱です". Peing -質問箱-.
  24. ^ Official/モンキーボール公式, Monkey Ball (August 2, 2019). "Licensing. But this song is also good, so I hope you enjoy it!".

External linksEdit