Name: Super Monkey Ball 2 review Category: Adventure Developer: Amusement Vision Publisher: Sega Players: 1-4
Super Monkey Ball 2 9/9/2002
Learn Game Programming
DeVry's Game and Simulation Programming curriculum will prepare you for taking on various development roles in the game industry.
Game Art & Design Degree
Westwoods’s game art & design program will teach you everything you will need to know before you apply for a job in the game industry.
Kaioken spanks his monkey in public, come and see!
In less than a year after its initial release, Sega and Amusement Vision have teamed up once again to bring us a sequel to one of the best multiplayer games out there, Super Monkey Ball. Being a huge fan of the original, I had to pick this one up, and you should too. Read on and find out why!
Just like the original SMB, the main one-player experience of Super Monkey Ball 2 consists of taking your monkey (without tails, mind you) inside of a giant hamster ball-type sphere across a given course to reach the goal. Now, when you play, it may seem like you are controlling the monkey, but in fact, you are actually tilting the entire stage so the monkey-physics lets the frictionless ball slide around the course. The main game, called “Story Mode” is back and better than ever. Unlike the first game, which had all the levels split up into 10, 30, and 50, SMB2’s courses are all set up in tens, with 10 worlds and 10 stages in each world. You can choose to play any stage out of the given 10, but you must beat them all to move on to the next world. This makes for a more enjoyable experience and gives unskillful players a chance to play more stages. The actual story itself, however, is the epitome of corniness, so please, if you want to keep your sanity, do not pay any attention to it. This is a fair warning, since there are some things in this game that even a toddler would cringe at. Your nemesis, Dr. Bad-Boon speaks in Japanese, except that all the words are backwards, so everyone will just play it off as baboon gibberish. All the monkeys, however, speak in their native monkey-language; complete with ultra-cute eep eeps and eek eeks….I’m warning you folks, it almost gets unbearable at times….
If you can actually look past the cookie-cutter storyline and rainbowy-gay character dialogue, there is actually a deep, fun game to play. Playing the game is exactly the same as the first; all you have to do is move the control stick. I do have a few complaints with the actual levels. There are some levels that are really fun and just as classic as some of the ones in the previous game. However, there are some new ones that are based completely on something that I call “faith-timing” where you basically take a “roll of faith” hoping (and praying) the timing will somehow lead you to the goal. Believe it or not, this is actually the only way to accomplish some of the stages. This is disappointing, considering every single level in SMB1 was completed by the sheer skill of the gamer. Good thing that Amusement vision decided to get rid of extra lives or this game would be really frustrating. (If it isn’t enough already)
The graphics are a lot better than the first one as well. The backgrounds are detailed and very well rendered and just a pleasure to look at when you’re not paying attention to your monkey ball. The multiplayer stages look crisper and seem to have gotten the visual makeover as well. Music is about the same as the first, relying on the environment that you are in. Some tunes are very campy while others are more ambient. They loop quite a bit, though, so if you end up spending a lot of time on one stage you might get sick of the music (and the monkey screams) and want to turn the volume down, or play some of your own music.
When it all comes down to it, this game is about one thing, and one thing only: MULTIPLAYER!!! Just like SMB1, SMB2 sports 12 ultra-fun party games. The old party games return, but are revamped and tweaked for a more fun experience along with 6 new ones. The new games are Monkey Dog Fight (you MUST play this one), Tennis, Soccer, Baseball, Boat Race, and Shot, the last one being a Time Crisis-like light gun target game. Monkey Golf this time around is actually a real golf game, unlike the somewhat lame putt-putt golf the first one had. The multiplayer games are all worth getting the game alone, but still must be unlocked by accumulating Play Points from the amount of time you put into Story Mode. So gather up 3 other buddies and go get it on with your monkeys! Ummmm ehhh….sorry that didn’t sound right.
Overall, Super Monkey Ball 2 is extremely good fun for multiplayer junkies, and is just as fun as the original. Even though the game isn’t leaps and bounds better than the first one, it improves upon the original formula and adds in even more bonuses that will keep you playing for hours on end. If you were a fan of the original, definitely buy it; you might even want to trade in your old one to get this one. If you never played the first one, I would recommend giving it a rent and see if you get Monkey Ball fever like the rest of us! Just don’t play Story Mode while drunk—there’s no doubt you will puke, if not from the motion-sickness inducing levels, then from the lame, cheesy cutscenes. Ei-Ei-Poo.