Super Monkey Ball 2 - GameCube

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Amusement Vision Soft. Co.: SEGA
Publishers: Infogrames (GB)
Released: 14 Mar 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 3+, ESRB Everyone
Accessories: Memory Card


Super Monkey Ball. Rarely is a game title so apt, and when Aiai, Meemee, Baby and Gongon first rolled around on our TV's when GameCube launched in May of 2002, Super Monkey Ball was one of Sega's best sellers, and rightly so.

Now that the imaginatively titled Super Monkey Ball 2 is ready - a game destined for heavy scrutiny by its hardcore followers - can gamers expect more levels, more mini-games and more laughs then they had in Nagoshi-san's original masterpiece? Read on...

The Monkey Ball community is largely divided into two types - those who play the main game, and those who play mini-games. For those that do prefer a good solo-playing experience complete with genuinely cruel level design, there are some 150 brand new stages to plough through as well as a new Story Mode, offering a greater sense of direction.

For those interested in crazy Japanese storytelling, uber-villain Dr Bad-boon has stolen the monkey-family's horde of bananas for himself. What's more, he'll only return them if sweet Meemee offers to marry him! Oh dear...

Stages in story mode inflict themselves upon players in groups of ten, and each now has a difficulty rating of anything from one banana to ten bananas. Play these groups of levels in whatever order you like, but you'll not be able to progress until all stages within the group are complete. It's a necessary evil that helps make an erratic learning curve more manageable, and with the inclusion of switches placed in nearly half the game's levels, even Monkey Ball veterans will learn something new.

But many players will be interested purely in the other aspect of Monkey Ball 2, and that's multi-player mini-gaming madness! On offer for the second outing are (deep breath): Monkey Target 2, Monkey Golf 2, Monkey Race 2, Monkey Fight 2, Monkey Bowling 2, Monkey Billiards 2, Monkey Boat Race, Monkey Shot, Monkey Soccer, Monkey Tennis, Monkey Dogfight and finally Monkey Baseball.

The former six mini-games are merely extensions of those that were introduced in the original. Monkey Billiards 2 has a wider range of games and Monkey Golf 2 now boasts a full 18-hole course.

The latter six are completely new. Monkey Tennis, Monkey Baseball and Monkey Dogfight are perhaps the most memorable, but it's down to the individual which game they like best. In fact, the only game to fall short of the mark out of the twelve is the disappointing Monkey Boat Race.

Regardless of preference, as a single game, Super Monkey Ball 2 is one of the most diverse titles Sega has to offer. Gameplay is still excellent, and its replay value is priceless. Is it better than the original? That's arguable - you decide.

Magical spell is Ei-Ei-Puh!


Super Monkey Ball 2 - GameCube Artwork

Super Monkey Ball 2 - GameCube Artwork

Super Monkey Ball 2 - GameCube Artwork