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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: SEGA
Developed by: SEGA
Genre: Action
Players: 1-4
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: November 19, 2006
Written by: Noel Del Pilar

Super Monkey Ball, a prized party title form Sega, got its start on the imfamouse Nintendo Gamecube. Being billed as a puzzle platformer, the title consisted of several different puzzles in which you would guide your monkeys through various obstacles. As you progressed through the game, the more challenging it became. As the series got more popular, it branched off into creations for the PS2, Xbox and the PSP. Sega even tried their hands with an actual story within SUper Monkey Ball Adventure, but failed to captured the audience that they were hoping for. So they opted to return to the working formula, and produced an new immersive/ interactive experience with their latest title for the Nintendo Wii. So how does it far?

For those who have never played a Super Monkey Ball title, there is no need to worry. The core mechanics of the titles are to roll a monkey around in a ball through a 3D maze. In the case of Banana Blitz, players would tilt the Wii-mote lwft, right, up, and/or down, making the lanscape title in the same direction. There si also the addition of the A button for some jumping action. This of course makes things a bit easier for you, but using it at the wrong time can lead you down the wrong path.

Another feature included in this title is the ability to confront big bosses at the end of each world. These battles are pretty seeing how you are informed ahead of time what is the weak point of the enemy. By doing this, it kind of deminishes the immersive feel of the battle. But this isn't the only issue. The camera at times has problems keeping up with the action on the screen. This title is comprised of 8 worlds, of which each world has 10 mazes to compete in. As you progress through the game, you will unlock two more worlds, totaling 100 mazes.

Some shy away when they hear a title is challenging, and while this may be the case with this title and it's unique controls, it's still very enjoyable. Each mazes features a pair of shortcuts, which would help you get to the finish live quicker, but are much harder than the normal path. You will also be able to save a video clip of your adventure for play, and even for ways you can imrpove on your performance.

Beyond the main story, Banana Blitz features 50 minigames to play with. Most of them are original and require you to use the Wii-mote and nunchuck in interesting and creative ways. The minigames are a mix bag though. Some actually have substance, while a fe wof them are just there to make up an interesting total number of games. An example of the types of minigames you will play ia when you must race to a monkey sitting in a tree counting. When he looks in your direction, you must stop, otherwise you will have to start all over again. There are even simple minigames, which include landing a spaceship or even flying through waterways and landing on various targets.

With a slew of mingames at the gamers beckon call (only a few noteworthy), some would feel that the developers could of spent more time incorporating more into the actual adventure mode. But at the same time, when looking at this Mario Party style inclusion, it's not a bad addition at all. The overall gameplay is thes ame as previous titles, but the Wii-mote takes things to a whole new level.

Seeing how the Wii has two times the power of the Gamecube, many were expecting to see some pretty impressive graphics within Banana Blitz. Sega opted out of the realistic graphics seen in previous titles, for a more cartoonish look. Though cartoonish, the visuals are clean, sparkly, utilizing crisp textures and smooth particle effects. Though these changes make the game seem more lively, the visuals can still be seen as simplistic and non appealing to many.

The musical score behind Banana Blitz is possible the bets the series has ever mustered up. The tunes are very lively and catchy, giving you lots of energy and adding to the overall experience behind this title. There's nothing big behind the sound effects, but they do work pretty well within the givin situations. The only sound affect that may get on your nerves is the timer counting down, especially when you are running out of time.

Overall Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz brings back the great gameplay from the first 2 Gamecube titles with new controls that make it even more fun. The new graphics work really well and the soundtrack is the best from the series. If you have friends or family to play with you need to pick up this game right now. If you enjoyed the Gamecube titles (excluding super monkey ball adventure) you need to get this game because itís the steps back to the right direction. Well basically Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz is a must pick up for Wii owners because is definitely one of the best launch titles and personally is my favorite Super Monkey Ball game.


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