Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll Review

Such a weird concept, who thought about making a game about monkeys in balls that you roll down tracks? I mean its borderline insane, even more insane is that this is now a franchise. Hit the jump and read our review for the latest entry in the Super Monkey Ball franchise.

When SEGA announced another Super Monkey Ball game was coming to Wii and using the balance board, I wished that it wasn’t just some gimmick to try to sell copies of the game and actually worked better than previous control methods. I’m going to start off the review by saying I do not own a Wii balance board, but my cousins do. So I did play this game on a balance board (for a total of 10-15 minutes) and I really wanted to go back to motion control. It just seems harder to control with the balance board.

They see me rollin….

There is something about just picking up a Super Monkey Ball game and going right at it that just feels right. I mean, it has bright art style that I love. Sure it isn’t going to push the Wii to the next level or anything, but at least it runs in widescreen and at 60 frames per second. Let’s be honest, that is what matters.

The first thing I did was start the single player mode, checking if they took off all the fluff that I hated in Banana Blitz. For the most part, yes, they have fixed quite a few things, this is more of the arcade style Super Monkey Ball we all loved. No more weird stories, because do we really need a story for this type of game? The level design is rather good, I had fun blasting through the courses in the game, even though I thought it was rather short.

If you played the last Wii game, Banana Blitz, you will know the basics of the motion controls. Basically you tilt the Wiimote to move the character on screen, but is it precise? At first I would have wrote it off as a no, not at all. But after settling down and trying to be more ‘gentle’ with my tilts, I got the hang of it. I guess I always want to make over the top movements with my hands.


I still prefer a regular control with joystick than motion controller (or balance board). I wish this game had this option, but for some reason they decided not to include it. I don’t understand why SEGA didn’t do this, they require the nunchuck for some mini-games already, they could have just used that analogue stick and make the game even more playable. The only thing I can think of is the leader boards, but they already separate it between motion control and balance board, they could have made a nunchuck category as well.

Even though the game can be completed in an afternoon, many of you SEGA gamers might want to come back and try to place high on the leaderboards, for bragging rights.

Extending that game…

If you played a Super Monkey Ball game, you will know that SEGA always throws in a ton of extras to keep you coming back with friends, this one introduces a co-op mode. At first I thought that the co-op mode would have been a huge addition, but it really has not been. It basically lets another player blast objects away from your path while you roll to your goal. I thought this feature could have been expanded, but what is here I like to call ‘babysitter mode’. Basically if you have a kid that wants to play a game, but is really whiny because he sucks, throw him on 2nd player and roll your way through the game.

The mini-game portion of the game is hit and miss again this time, actually its mostly miss. They bring back classics like Monkey Racing and my personal favorite Monkey Target, so most of my time was spent on targeting markets in the game. The game also has a new monkey (as far as I know) called Jam who will tell you how the game plays, he doesn’t talk, just does the movements of the wiimote on screen and after start he will throw in some slap stick humor. I love Jam!

Closing Comments…

Its hard to make a long review about a Super Monkey Ball game, it seems that this one still suffers from the mix bag of mini-games. Even though it is marketed as a game to play on the Wii balance board, it is actually the worse way to play this game, so save that cash and don’t drop it on a balance board for this game. The game has a short, but fun single player mode and even though co-op doesn’t add much to the franchise, it still works and is fun to play with someone else.

Positive:

  • Runs at 60 fps at widescreen
  • You had me at Monkey Target!
  • Dropped the storyline.
  • Level design improved over the last Wii game

Negative:

  • Short single player
  • Mix bag of mini-games
  • Co-op could have been better
  • No online modes
C“Very mix bag, only recommended for hardcore fans.”
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7 responses to “Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll Review

  1. Great first review for a so-so game!

    I suggest A,B,C style graphics for the grades, featuring a character that matches the letter. A big "A" with Astal atop it (or Axel or Amy Rose), a B with Big (or Bug or B.D.Joe), a C with Cream (or Cereza or Chu Chu), etc.

  2. Orta says:

    Schools don't use letters around here. I feel discriminated. Seriously. I don't understand that system. Use stars. It's almost the same thing.

  3. <blockquote cite="comment-133">

    Orta: Schools don’t use letters around here. I feel discriminated. Seriously. I don’t understand that system. Use stars. It’s almost the same thing.  

    Schools don’t use stars around here. I feel discriminated. Seriously. I don’t understand that system. Use letters. It’s almost the same thing.

    See what I did there? 😎

  4. Orta says:

    Where did I say schools used stars? What the fuck?

  5. Aki-at says:

    Good review George.

    Shame about the game, seems like a lot of missed opportunities, I was hoping the co-op would be really good. Ah well, still got the Yakuza games to look forward to.

  6. prom says:

    <blockquote cite="comment-137">

    Waffle: I suggest a penis review score method. The better the game, the more massive the erection.  

    rotfl 😀

  7. Sega Uranus says:

    I think it is good that the game is the easiest of the entire series so far because it is easier for this to appeal to the general Wii fanbase than it is HARCORZ, but I still think it should have some harder levels.

    You forgot to mention the music though! I am both impressed and disappointed with it, the ending credits songs remind me of Sonic R 😀

    And yeah, Jam is awesome.

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