Lord of Broken Toys
bmattock is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Detroit Area
Super Monkey Ball? I think not...
See, I don't care how good the game is. I just won't play it. Super Monkey Ball, Indeed.
Article published Mar 23, 2006
‘Super Monkey Ball’ rolls a bit off course
A video game like Super Monkey Ball: Touch & Roll would seem to be a natural fit for the handheld Nintendo DS and its touch-sensitive controls. The whole point, after all, is to tap the lower screen and nudge a monkey (who’s trapped in a clear, plastic ball, of course) through various mazes and obstacles.
But someone over at Sega of America Inc. apparently doesn’t want this E-Rated, $30 title to be very fun. The controls are that bad.
It’s a real shame, considering how the excellent controls of the original arcade version and the subsequent Nintendo GameCube edition made simians trapped in spheres such a quirky, fun phenomenon when it debuted a few years ago.
If you’ve ever played one of those old-fashioned wooden mazes where you pivot the board around to guide a metal ball from one end to the other, you get the gist of Monkey Balls – sans the banana collecting.
In this digital iteration, you direct a monkey ball through increasingly treacherous courses filled with roller-coaster curves, elevated chutes, moving bridges and unpredictable pathways.
But it’s too easy to overcompensate and roll the monkey ball in the wrong direction. This usually led to my monkey ball falling into the sea below.
On some of the harder levels, where there are moving ramps and pathways that undulate like some sort of serpentine escalator, keeping my poor monkey ball on the right path was nearly impossible. After a dozen restarts, entertainment gave way to outright annoyance.
Beyond the overly sensitive and imprecise controls, I also had to battle some awkward camera angles that made it tough to see where I needed to go.
At least the three-dimensional graphics were colorful and ran smoothly. But you’ll want to turn the volume down.
Immanentizing the eschaton since 1987.