Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble Preview – Things are rolling again.


    After a long absence, the Super Monkey Ball series returned in 2019 and 2021 with remasters and remakes of previous games, but it’s been over a decade since fans received an all-new Super Monkey Ball title. That changes in June, as the Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble is set to pin down longtime players. But with some recent mixed results, massive changes in game design best practices since the series’ inception, and possibly a lot of cobwebs shaking for developer Ryo-ga Gotoko Studio, I find a new super worthy. There was doubt about the process. Monkey Ball in 2024. Thankfully, after spending an hour playing Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble, those concerns are almost gone.

    Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble brings a lot of content and changes to the series while still being decidedly Monkey Ball. Banana Rumble presents its latest new take on Sega’s flagship franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog. In previous Super Monkey Ball games, you could jump, but this ability has been replaced by the Spin Dash, a technique in Sonic’s moveset since Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 1992. With my hands on tutorial, all my concerns were cleared.

    Spin Dash fits the Super Monkey Ball formula incredibly well, giving you a better flow through levels but also letting you take out ramps and ledges to find shortcuts. During my hands-on session, one of my most thrilling moments came when I flew in line through a level using Spin Dash. It’s useful for cutting corners in stages, but it’s important to hit the missions you’ll find in each level, especially when combined with the updated physics to make the series feel better than ever.

    As you play through 200 all-new levels in the adventure mode of Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble, you can easily make it your goal to reach the end of the stage. However, if you want to be a completionist, each level has three side missions: one to collect a set number of bananas, one to catch a golden banana, and one to complete the stage in a set time. Took You don’t have to get them all at once, but I still tried to during my demo. It quickly became apparent that while I could complete banana-based missions during a normal playthrough of a level, I would have to be smart to complete some levels under the time target. This is where spin-dash and creative thinking come into play.

    In one level, I waited for a moving platform to rise up, if I timed it spin-dashed it would give me enough airtime to fly to the other platforms and reach the goal. . On the other hand, I had to drop at the exact right point of the stage to skip a huge part of the level and reach the target quickly, reverting to games like Super Mario 64 in the best possible way. I loved tackling these head-scratching stages, and having only played through the first two worlds, I can’t wait to see how the challenges escalate in the levels to come. If you get stuck on any level, you can turn on various help options, including ghosts that show you the best routes and checkpoints that let you continue the level if you fall off a platform. As you complete these worlds, you earn trophies to display on your island, as well as in-game currency to buy cosmetics in the shop.

    Outside of Adventure Mode, I had the opportunity to participate in Battle Modes, which allow up to 16 players online or 2 players locally. Since the game isn’t over yet, I play against 15 bots, which will be an option in the final game if you want to fill out a total of 16 opponents combined with your original players.

    The battle modes give me a lot of hope for the multiplayer aspect of Banana Rumble. Whether it’s a Mario Kart-style race game, a collection of kathon banana hunts, or the fun risk/reward game of Goal Rush, where you play to try to score the highest number of goals to help your team. Go down the hill at high speed. Overall, Banana Rumble offers diverse experiences within this suite. However, my two favorites are Ba-Boom, which is basically a game of tag where you need to run through bombs before the timer reaches zero and eliminate bombs with bombs, and Robot Smash, where you use speed and Spin Dash to explode. Join the robots on the field and earn points for your team. I can’t wait to dive into these modes with real world players, as they feel like they have amazing depth to the side modes.

    And that was my main takeaway from my time with Banana Rumble in general: I was impressed with how the game feels like more than surface pleasures and lighthearted fun. The puzzle-solving fan in me can’t wait to figure out the best paths through the various Adventure Mode levels, while the party game lover is itching to play more rounds of Battle Mode titles.

    I had an absolute blast during my time with Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble, and what I played was just a sample of the content that players can expect. Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble will arrive exclusively on Switch on June 25.


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