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"[Game] Super Monkey Ball (iPod Touch/iPhone)"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Super Monkey Ball'.
Wed 06/01/10 at 21:59
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
Super Monkey Ball is perhaps one of Segaís strongest franchises out there and one of my favourites too, but lately I feel that the newer efforts have paled in comparison to the excellent Gamecube original and its sequel. The less said about Monkey Ball Adventure the better and the DS version didnít exactly make the transition well either. Even the Wii version while a solid effort suffered from downright awful mini games including the complete ruining of Monkey Target. However I thought I would give the series another chance and try Super Monkey Ball for the iPod Touch.

Super Monkey Ball for those of you that donít know is all about keeping a monkey inside a giant sphere on a platform and making it to an end goal. Theyíll be hazardous obstacles to avoid and narrow pathways to navigate along the way but the objective is always the same. Make it from point A to point B without falling. Usually on consoles the controls will be handled via a control pad, but since this is an iPod version everything is handled via tilting the device. This worked very well for the Wii game and you would expect the results to be similar here. Sadly however the same canít be said here. While the tilting does work to some degree, the sensitivity is way too high meaning even the slightest of movements can send you falling to your death. What is even worse is the exclusion of some sort of control altering option. A way of adjusting how sensitive the tilting is. Why there are no alterative options is beyond me.

Youíll want to start off in the main mode in order to unlock stages. Here youíll find five worlds, each with twenty stages plus an extra couple of bonus ones so thereís plenty to sink your teeth into. Collectable bananas are hidden in each level that while add a little more lifespan to the title, must be collected on the first attempt you have making it near impossible in some of the later parts. You can also polish your skills in practice mode attempting any of your unlocked stages or simply jump into instant play where youíll be placed in a random one. Leaderboards round off what is a very slim package. No mini games is a huge bummer and the lack of any kind of online speed run leaderboards makes competing for better times seem a waste of time.

The game does ease you in very well with the first world offering some simple stages that arenít too taxing but doesnít make you feel like they can be done blindfolded. By the second world youíll already be having a tough time and thanks to the dodgy controls it doesnít get any easier from there. However on a brighter note the stages are nicely laid out and rely on your skill rather than dumb luck. (something evident in later Monkey Ball titles)

Visually the game is bright and colourful but sadly feels fairly baron thanks to a lack of pretty much anything in the backgrounds. Along with the platform youíre rolling along youíll have the odd floating tree or icicle, but thatís about it. Backgrounds appear flat and lifeless. The monkeys themselves are simply 2D sprites too which is a shame. Overall itís an okay looking game, but compared to other titles out there, it feels like more effort could have been made. The music however is another story. If youíve played the Wii version then youíll feel right at home since all the tracks are ripped right from the game. This to me is a good thing as I loved the catchy tunes. Iím not so thrilled though about the shrill monkey screeches you constantly hear when you fall. That I could do without.

So how does Super Monkey Ball measure up on the iPod? Not too good unfortunately. The lack of options could have been forgiven along with the unimaginative visuals had the controls not been so horrible. Even fans of the series will find it tough to fully enjoy this. My advice, pick up the sequel. For a few extra pounds youíll have a better game overall. More options and a better control scheme equals more fun.
Fri 08/01/10 at 13:25
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054
I played some Super Monkey Ball on the Wii over christmas and I had forgotten how good a game it is but it really needs good controls or it spoils the game.
Thu 07/01/10 at 16:42
Regular
"How Ironic"
Posts: 4,312
Great review Ghostkiller. Yeh, Super Monkey Ball doesn't sound suited to the iPod. Had a game on the PS2, was pretty good. But can imagine it to be 'finicky' on the ipod.
Wed 06/01/10 at 21:59
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
Super Monkey Ball is perhaps one of Segaís strongest franchises out there and one of my favourites too, but lately I feel that the newer efforts have paled in comparison to the excellent Gamecube original and its sequel. The less said about Monkey Ball Adventure the better and the DS version didnít exactly make the transition well either. Even the Wii version while a solid effort suffered from downright awful mini games including the complete ruining of Monkey Target. However I thought I would give the series another chance and try Super Monkey Ball for the iPod Touch.

Super Monkey Ball for those of you that donít know is all about keeping a monkey inside a giant sphere on a platform and making it to an end goal. Theyíll be hazardous obstacles to avoid and narrow pathways to navigate along the way but the objective is always the same. Make it from point A to point B without falling. Usually on consoles the controls will be handled via a control pad, but since this is an iPod version everything is handled via tilting the device. This worked very well for the Wii game and you would expect the results to be similar here. Sadly however the same canít be said here. While the tilting does work to some degree, the sensitivity is way too high meaning even the slightest of movements can send you falling to your death. What is even worse is the exclusion of some sort of control altering option. A way of adjusting how sensitive the tilting is. Why there are no alterative options is beyond me.

Youíll want to start off in the main mode in order to unlock stages. Here youíll find five worlds, each with twenty stages plus an extra couple of bonus ones so thereís plenty to sink your teeth into. Collectable bananas are hidden in each level that while add a little more lifespan to the title, must be collected on the first attempt you have making it near impossible in some of the later parts. You can also polish your skills in practice mode attempting any of your unlocked stages or simply jump into instant play where youíll be placed in a random one. Leaderboards round off what is a very slim package. No mini games is a huge bummer and the lack of any kind of online speed run leaderboards makes competing for better times seem a waste of time.

The game does ease you in very well with the first world offering some simple stages that arenít too taxing but doesnít make you feel like they can be done blindfolded. By the second world youíll already be having a tough time and thanks to the dodgy controls it doesnít get any easier from there. However on a brighter note the stages are nicely laid out and rely on your skill rather than dumb luck. (something evident in later Monkey Ball titles)

Visually the game is bright and colourful but sadly feels fairly baron thanks to a lack of pretty much anything in the backgrounds. Along with the platform youíre rolling along youíll have the odd floating tree or icicle, but thatís about it. Backgrounds appear flat and lifeless. The monkeys themselves are simply 2D sprites too which is a shame. Overall itís an okay looking game, but compared to other titles out there, it feels like more effort could have been made. The music however is another story. If youíve played the Wii version then youíll feel right at home since all the tracks are ripped right from the game. This to me is a good thing as I loved the catchy tunes. Iím not so thrilled though about the shrill monkey screeches you constantly hear when you fall. That I could do without.

So how does Super Monkey Ball measure up on the iPod? Not too good unfortunately. The lack of options could have been forgiven along with the unimaginative visuals had the controls not been so horrible. Even fans of the series will find it tough to fully enjoy this. My advice, pick up the sequel. For a few extra pounds youíll have a better game overall. More options and a better control scheme equals more fun.

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