SPOnG has known since May that Super Monkey Ball for PlayStation 2 and Xbox was on the cards, though for reasons of misplaced loyalty (only kidding McG!) we were asked not to run it, so we didn?t. That?s the kind of nice, PR-friendly entity SPOnG is.
Either that, or a bunch of deluded Sega fanboys so easily bought by the promise of future goodies, like Cream the Rabbit plush toys? No matter.
Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, to be simultaneously launched for both Xbox and PlayStation 2, will see 300 levels of simian balancing mayhem; 114 from Super Monkey Ball, 140 from Super Monkey Ball 2 and 46 Deluxe levels, a rather paltry set of Nagoshi-crafted newness, but better than a poke in the eye with a stick caked in rhesus doo.
And of course, all mini/party games from both Monkey Balls one and two will be blended seamlessly into the mix, including of course, the outrageously addictive Monkey Target.
For reference, the development of Deluxe is being carried out by an as-yet unnamed third-party, though we are assured, under the watchful eye of what remains of the original Amusement Vision team.
Now on to the more interesting stuff. Speaking to various sources close to Sega about the project for the past few months, one point was outlined to us time and time again. Although the GameCube originals sold particularly well, especially in the US, the success of Deluxe will be measured not in sales, but acclimatisation of the Xbox and PlayStation 2 user bases to the brand. In preparation of course, for the Odyssian arrival of Super Monkey Ball 3, to be released on all formats.
No online play will be included in the game, from what we can gather, which is a shame: and in contrast to the scoreboard-driven Xbox Live support we had explained to us in May. Still, you never know.
Stay tuned for updates during the run up to the launch of Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, set to hit across the world before Easter on next year.