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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz

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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
SMB-Banana-Blitz.jpg
Unnamed-4.png
Apparently, the idea of simplifying Super Monkey Ball's iconic gameplay was so nice, Sega did it twice, but with different developers.
Protagonist(s): AiAi
MeeMee
Baby
GonGon
YanYan
Doctor
Genre(s): Platform
Platform(s): Wii
Microsoft Windows
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release: Wii
NA: November 19, 2006
JP: December 2, 2006
AU: December 7, 2006
EU: December 8, 2006

Banana Blitz HD
WW: October 28, 2019
Engine: Unity (HD)
Developer(s): New Entertainment R&D Dept.
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (HD)
Publisher(s): Sega
Country: Japan
Series: Super Monkey Ball
Predecessor: Super Monkey Ball Adventure
Successor: Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll


Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz is a platform game developed by New Entertainment R&D Dept. and published by Sega. It is the seventh game in the Super Monkey Ball franchise and the first installment released for the Wii. An HD remake developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio was released worldwide on October 29, 2019.

Bad Qualities

Overall

  1. The main villain of the game, Captain Crabuchin, is nothing but a huge rehash of Dr. Bad Boon from the second Super Monkey Ball game (including the Deluxe version).
  2. This game suffers from framerate issues, even the HD version of the game had these issues, which is very embarrassing, since it's a remake of a 13 year old game.
  3. Compared to the second game, the game cutscenes are rather short, which makes them skipping it very pointless.
  4. Some minigames are also suffered numerous problems such as the Monkey Target, where there is less friction and it is easier for the player to land in the water.
  5. Some stages are littered with atrocious stage mechanics that makes them a lot more tedious to go through and more time consuming when playing the stage.
    • The stages are linear and generic compared to the older Super Monkey Ball games.
  6. While bonus stages appear, they range to being generic, unlike the first two games (including Deluxe) where the bonus stages are challenging to collect.
  7. Last levels (except Sinking Swamp and Ultra Heaven) were replaced by lackluster bosses.
  8. Severe lack of content for both releases.

Wii version

  1. The game features guardrails, which makes the game easy for players, thankfully it was removed in the HD counterpart as it replaces with small bridges.
  2. The motion controls are largely slippery, and can be difficult for new players of the franchise, while this was indeed the case of the previous games, this game takes it to a whole new level.
  3. There are 50 minigames and the majority of this were motion controls, which is pretty hard and not that enjoyable to some.
  4. For some reason, to pause the game, you have to hold down the + button for it to later pause instead of pressing it instantly, which is a bit annoying for those who want to retry a level in the game itself or any of the minigames in general.

Banana Blitz HD

  1. The practice and replay mode were dropped for no reason at all, which is just disappointing, while although the latter mode was justified since the consoles that were on it had these respective modes on the controllers, the former mode being removed is inexcusable, since it would mean that younger players would be confused to play it if it's their first time.
    • The player cannot save replays before, during, or after playing a stage.
  2. The 50 minigames were sadly reduced to just being 10 minigames, which is just sad, and while it's excusable since the minigames in the original only required motion controls, rather than just making them also compatible without motion controls, they just removed them.
    • The original party games (from the ones in the older Super Monkey Ball games), were removed such as the famous Monkey Race, Monkey Bowling, and Monkey Golf.
  3. Due to licensing issues, the music in the HD remake are replaced with original music, except for the Smooth Sherbet music, which might indicate that the game was made on a low budget.
  4. Stats for the Monkeys are now added, which is rather unnecessary since it eliminates the fun of playing with a different Monkey you preferred over the other in the previous games, and all of them pretty played the same to avoid balance issues. In this remake however, the Monkeys now have their own stats that ruin their overall usableness and makes them less fun to play especially both Doctor and GonGon.
    • In fact, Sonic has the overall best stats but is way too overpowered and can completely break the game very easily, which can make playing the game with Sonic as a massive cake walk for players.

Good Qualities

Overall

  1. At least this is an improvement over Super Monkey Ball Adventure.
    • Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll is also an improvement over Banana Blitz, with less tedious minigames, and no boss fights.
  2. The game introduces two new characters: YanYan and Doctor.
  3. The jump mechanic appears for the first time and the player can use this for reaching higher platforms.
  4. While they're lackluster, it's surprising that this game actually had boss battles at the end of the first 8 worlds. And besides, the bosses are actually creative, especially the Technosaur. The boss battles are notably absent in the other games.
  5. Amazing soundtrack.
    • Even when there is licensing issues, the HD remake has new music in some stages.
    • The new main theme song in the HD remake, "Banana-na in Love" is catchy to listen.
    • Octopocus boss track in the HD remake is replaced by what it seems to be an remix of spooky scary skeletons, and depending on your point of view, it's very good even if it doesn't fit so well with the kind of boss we're fighting. Still, it's a very good song.
    • Despite of some out of place songs, some of the re-used music came from the classic Super Monkey Ball games, such as 1, 2 and Deluxe.
  6. Beautiful graphics for the original version.
    • The graphics are improved in the HD remake.

Banana Blitz HD

  1. Thankfully, the guardrails were removed in the HD remake, making it more challenging to players.
  2. While there are 10 minigames in the HD remake, some of the minigames added minimaps.
  3. The player can unlock Sonic the Hedgehog in the HD remake.
  4. Two new modes called Time Attack and Decathalon also appeared in the HD remake, which is challenging.
  5. Minigames in the HD remake are much better than the original version's minigames, despite having ten minigames in total.
  6. The HD version has new modes for Challenge Mode: Normal and Expert modes.
  7. For the HD version, the controls are improved, thanks to the joystick.

Reception

AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
👆
This game/console belongs to the "High Level of Shit Contamination" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.

The game received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics but mixed reviews from fans for its more simplified gameplay when compared to the original GameCube games with the introduction of Guardrails, and mediocre motion controls that negated the purpose of controlling the Monkey in the ball concept of the series.[1]

However, the game sold very well at launch and is the best selling game in the series to date according to VGChartz, selling 1.21 million copies[2] worldwide which was more than what the original games sold combined.

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