on 1 July 2002
This game stole my life for quite some time. The concept of the main game is very simple, and I got some very strange looks from my friends when I tried to explain why I was hooked - moving a monkey in a ball round a maze doesn't seem the most amazing game concept ever. But it works. Even though the levels themselves aren't that big, you'll find yourself playing them over and over in order to get the highest scores, and you get a real sense of satisfaction when you manage to crack some of the more difficult courses.
As to the mini/party games, I especially enjoyed the monkey golf and monkey target (a mini version of pilot wings), and they are lots of fun when you have your mates round.
The main beauty of this game is how simple it is to control and to pick up, as opposed to some games. My girlfriend (who hates playing console games) picked this up very quickly, and was hooked as well.
The only reason for not buying this game is that you have other things to do in your life. But if you do buy it, you probably won't care about them anyway.
on 23 September 2004
Super Monkey Ball is the finest multiplayer experience on the Gamecube without doubt. The 6 games on offer are a perfectly designed blend of accessibility and addictiveness - simple enough for anybody to play yet maddeningly difficult to stop. Monkey Target for example, in which you have to land your flying monkey on large floating darts-style targets in the sea, is particularly compulsive and long, long sessions with friends on this game alone are not uncommon. It really is that much fun.
The single-player mode is very different, but just as great - an intimate test of dexterity that infuriates and delights in equal measure. The beauty of the level design is in its simplicity - upon failure only you, the player, are to blame and you soon realise that with practice the seemingly impossible, infuriating feats of improbable aptitude become levels that you are positively racing through for extra points, grabbing every last banana on your way. It's a triumphant return to the old-school gaming ethic - gaming as a challenging endeavour of self-improvement, rather than the prevailing modern trend of narrative progression. There is no story here - just a series of increasingly difficult obstacles between you and high-score glory. As such, those looking for an easy time should perhaps look to other titles - or perhaps just to the sublime multiplayer games, all of which can be played solo, against computer-controlled opponents. Easily one of the best games on Gamecube or any format, Super Monkey Ball is irresistable fun and an essential purchase.
on 13 March 2002
Like many sega games before it (such as Chu-Chu Rocket),Super monkey ball is insanely addicitve as well as frustratingly difficult at times. The main concept of Super Monkey Ball is to guide your monkey, which is encased inside of a ball, towards the "goal" on the level. Unlike any other platfrom game before it, the player moves the whole platform, to move your little monkey around the level. The controls are instantly intuititve, and are ideally suited to the gamecube controller. The game has a good learning curve, with the early levels being relatively easy for the casual gamer, becoming increasingly hard up to the 'Expert' level, which can cause premature hair loss!
The game aslo has many mini games such as monkeypool, monkeygolf and monkeybowling, which could be games themselves. However where this game shines is multiplayer mode, where with a few freinds over you can play the "party" games for hours on end. Super Monkey Ball is one of the most original games ever made,and has sold surprisingly well in the U.S.
This game should come with a health warning, you could go days with out seeing sunlight.
on 8 May 2002
If Super Monkey Ball consisted only of the main game, it would still be a great buy. The physics of the tilting floors are remarkably convincing, the animations are fluid and characterful, and the photorealistic backgrounds are gorgeous (if you get a chance to glance at them while playing!). Enormous care and imagination has gone into creating the various obstacles and the controls and gameplay fall into the elusive 'simple but maddeningly difficult' category that makes for longevity.
But then add Monkey Race, a Mario Kart style cartoon racer; the loopy Monkey Fight (where your ball is customised with a spring-loaded boxing glove to whack opponents off the playing platform); and the delightful Monkey Target (zoom off a ski jump and fly your monkey towards drop zones far out to sea) -- not to mention three mini-games to be unlocked when you save enough points -- and SMB starts to look like one of the best deals in gaming history. Those crazy Sega guys have even made a mini-game out of the credit sequence.
There's something to suit every mood, from the frenetic (Race) to the serene (Target), and enough multiplayer modes to ensure that this disc will never be far from your Cube. As the previous reviewer suggested, you might not get out much. But who cares? If the world were like Super Monkey Ball, it would be a better place. A legend in the making.
on 26 November 2002
Super monkey ball serves as the perfect answer to all those that say that "interactive movies" are the way forward for gaming. And, of course, that answer is ... don't be silly!
Video games are ALL about fun. Super Monkey Ball provides that in spades. It's a simple premise, delivered excellently.
Infectious, happy music. Cute, colourful graphics that complement the game superbly. A control system that actually allows you to feel in control - You never feel cheated by this game.
The main game "simply" involves navigating your monkey from start to finish, within a time limit, on increasingly more complex levels. Collect bananas along the way to gain extra lives. Sounds simple? Don't be fooled. The learning curve and level design is beautiful; providing, in turns, moments of forehead-slapping and moments of pure inspiration.
VAriety is provided by 6 sub-games: Monkey Target, Monkey Fight, Monkey RAce, Monkey Billiards, Monkey Bowling and Monkey golf. Each game is exactly as it says on the tin. The first of the 3 are lovely multplayer games. The last three are have to be unlocked, atlhough to be honest, they haven't yet arrested my attention.
Overall, Monkey Ball is a tribute to the simple pleasure of proving your own skill. One of the most enjoyable games I've played in a long time. It's also a game that no Gamecube owner should be without.
Heartily Recommended to all gamers.
on 26 December 2003
Super Monkey Ball is just the best game ever! I normally get really frustrated with 3D games and bored fairly quickly with puzzle/skill games but Super Monkey Ball just rocks! The multi player mode is absoloutley fantastic, our family has spent around 10 hours already just playing on Monkey Target! A fantastic game!
on 31 August 2005
It has always been quite difficult for me to get interest in computer games for any longer than half an hour, if i can't do something i give up easily! However with monkey ball i have found myself being stuck in front of the screen with family and friends. When buying it last christmas it kept me up until 3am!
The main game is a set of 3 seperate stages with different difficulty levels. Basically your obviously a monkey in a ball guiding yourself through differnt mazes which get harder the more you complete. You collect bananas to give you extra lifes when you reach 100.
There are mini games aswell with races, flying and target landings. This was a real treat and got the whole family having a laugh, many hours of enjoyment now at a great price. There has yet been a game since that has lived up to it - apart from monkey ball 2 of course, this hope for a 3rd!
While the launch titles Rogue Squadron II and Luigi’s Mansion naturally dominated gamers’ minds in May 2002, one title from Sega didn’t see the same limelight. After playing Super Monkey Ball for myself however, I believe it should have.
If you were a fan of Marble Madness during the 8-bit saga of computer games, you will love this game. If you’ve never heard of Marble Madness, you will still love this game. Sega has duplicated the innovative structure, challenging depth and addictive gameplay of the ball rolling puzzle game in a wacky Japanese manner that is fun for all ages. That’s right, even adults (who are attracted to Nintendo’s “kiddie appeal” like vegetarians to beef) have suddenly become allies to GameCube because of this game.
The basic premise of the Main Game is this. You’re a monkey in a ball (obviously) and must navigate your way through stages suspending in the air to a blue goal, where upon passing through you are transported to a slightly more challenging stage with exactly the same principal. There are 4 monkeys to choose from, AiAi, MeeMee, Baby and GonGon (although no individual characteristics are carried with each character), after which three difficulty levels await you; Beginner (10 stages), Advanced (30 stages) and Expert (50 stages). The camera follows the ball in a third-person mode, yet the board actually tilts to move your ball and not the monkey. It seems daunting at first but due to the camera mode and the control sticks sensitivity, you have precise and complete control over your ball.
Score Points are given for stages you can successfully complete, and depending on the time remaining, depends on how generous your total is. If you are daring enough to take a more difficult route to green/red warp goals, not only are several stages skipped but your Score Points bonus skyrockets as well. You can collect bananas during stages too (what is a monkey game without bananas?) which not only act like coins in Mario (100 = 1UP) but also contribute points towards your total score. The only direct reward is seeing your name in the rankings list, but as an additional extra, Play Points are accumulated too (used to unlock the games’ extra features).
So, as long as you reach the goals without falling off and before the time limit runs out, you would think there is nothing to worry about. This would be the case if the game weren’t so fiendishly difficult. For its kiddie appearance, I seriously doubt the kiddies themselves would be able to complete the game in their 1st attempt…make that their 1st 500 attempts. Beginner is self-explanatory, Advanced has very difficult moments, but with repetitive trial and error are easy to overcome. The amount of time you will spend ripping your hair out/throwing your controller at the television/cursing words you never even knew existed, whilst playing Expert mode…it just cannot be stressed enough. Players have been praying for a modern game with retro difficulty since the jump to 3D, yet their prayers have been answered with a game that seems impossible to complete.
Due to the difficulty setting, this game may put off players used to graphically stunning games which only take extremely minuscule portions of their gaming life to complete. However, due to the difficulty setting, this game may attract players who are looking for the greatest gaming challenge of their lives. You will come across something that literally looks impossible and you will definitely fail on the 1st, 2nd, even 100th attempt of it too. But the feeling of achievement when finally completing a level, where it’s difficult to stay on let alone reach the goal in time, and after attempting it 100 times previously, is just overwhelmingly brilliant. The more you hate a particular stage, the more you will love yourself when it’s finally conquered.
Eventually, the single player mode will become tiring if completed or not (and I don’t blame you for giving up if that’s the case) so it’s good to see a multiplayer mode as well. This thankfully doesn’t require the skills and timing of the main game, but does require at least one friend to share it with. Which is a great shame if you’re a loner, as you’re missing out on a fantastic multiplayer experience that screams replay value with bright flashing lights. Three Party games are available to begin with: Money Race, Monkey Target and Monkey Fight, yet three Mini games can be unlocked by the Play Points you collect: Monkey Billiards, Monkey Bowling and Monkey Golf. They are simple games, but are simply designed to have barrels of fun with a group of friends, particularly Monkey Fight (Monkey + Ball + Giant Boxing Glove!).
Despite the imaginative aspect of it, Super Monkey Ball does flaw (hey, nothing is perfect). The game’s graphics looks a little plain, particularly the game's backgrounds, such as distant mountainous landscapes or endless nighttime space with a random fast food restaurant floating about. It is limited scenery used too often. The graphics are colourful and generally pleasant to look at but they’re no Soul Calibur II. The redundant soundtrack is another problem too as the constant techno beat hardly ever varies. Not that they are bad tunes, but your own CD collection will probably give you greater listening pleasure. If you can't try look past these minor grumbles, then you are not trying hard enough.
Easy to play yet difficult to master, Super Monkey Ball is a complex extravaganza of multiplayer and single player gaming that will leave you stuck to your television for quite a while.
on 21 July 2006
Basically this is the best game on the cube. The multiplayer is good but average if truth be told. The main game is where it is really at for skilled gamers and it rocks. If you love games were you try to beat your high score then try it and if you dont then avoid. The gamecube controller was designed for this game and works better than the x-box and ps2 controller thus making the gamecube version the most sought after.And before i go if you like monkeyball then you will like part 2 also as its nearly as good.
on 7 May 2002
First day of owning my Gamecube and in went Super Monkey Ball. Yes, it was fun, and yes I got upset when once again my little monkey tumbled off the stage to his doom, but it lacked something, that bit of pizazz that marks a game out as superb.
Later that day my friends visited, and in went four controllers to the Gamecube. We loaded up Monkey Fight - and proceeded to screech, yell abuse, beat each other up as the game totally encapsulated us. Sheer brilliance, and very painful to the left thumb, as it presses the analog stick as hard as possible.
The other mini games are great too - but nothing captured the franticness, and brilliantness of Monkey Fight - it should get its own game.
Single player: 4 stars
Multi player: 5+++ stars!