Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD Assessment

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The Super Monkey Ball series is a masterclass in dichotomy. On the one particular hand, a relentlessly cheery and upbeat tone. On the other, a monstrous difficulty that leaves a trail of broken controllers and frustrated youngsters in its wake. Combining light with darkness in this way is nothing at all new, but Super Monkey Ball is a master of its craft. Hunting back at stated craft, Banana Blitz may well nicely be the terrific forgotten Monkey Ball game. It is a very good point we have Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD to remind us that yes, there was a Wii entry in the series, and yes, it would have been infinitely improved without the need of motion controls.

So here’s what Banana Blitz HD is and what it is not. It is an HD remastering of the original game, total with all of its stages and single-player content material. It is not a complete remake or a reimagining, so do not anticipate new stages. Possessing stated that, there is new stuff. Some of the minigames have been removed, with the remaining ones reworked alongside a few new gameplay modes. Otherwise, it really is nonetheless extremely considerably company as usual. Barring a new coat of paint, Banana Blitz HD is the identical Wii game from 2006, for improved and worse.

Banana Blitz HD Is Superior For Newbies

An early stage in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
Issues start out off good and effortless in Banana Blitz HD.

If you have by no means played a Super Monkey Ball game prior to, Banana Blitz is a terrific spot to start out. In quite a few strategies, it presents the core values and gameplay loop of the series in their purest and most accessible kind. Everything Monkey Ball represents appears in a stripped-back way in Banana Blitz HD. That operates each to its credit and to its detriment. You will come across a terrific introductory knowledge right here, but you also will not come across a lot to like if you are a seasoned Monkey Ball pro.

Just about every Monkey Ball game requires the identical kind with some minor variations amongst titles. You are a monkey in a ball (crazy, suitable?). You will have to attain the finish of a series of increasingly difficult 3D platforming stages. To realize this, you can tilt the level to move your monkey and you can jump. These are the only controls you have got. The challenge in Monkey Ball games comes from difficult level design and style and an growing emphasis on physics as you make progress.

Sadly, that challenge is not especially stimulating in Banana Blitz HD. The level design is a lot more standard than in previous Monkey Ball titles. Most of the early stages are massive geometric shapes that you could only fail to dodge if you had been distracted by a pile of tasty bananas. Later on, items do get a small trickier. By the finish, Banana Blitz HD will have you tearing out your hair with the greatest of ’em. It just requires a lengthy time to get going, specifically if you know what you are undertaking.

Banana Blitz HD Feels Final-Gen

A pirate-themed level in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
Even when Banana Blitz HD‘s complexity increases, it cannot hold a candle to its predecessors.

A massive portion of that reduce difficulty is thanks to Banana Blitz HD‘s Wii origins. It is clear the devs designed these levels around imprecise motion controls. The play regions are considerably larger and emptier than in other Monkey Ball games. I can visualize that quite a few of the challenges in the later game would be hideous for motion handle players, but the precision provided by a modern day controller offsets this challenge just about totally.

That is no excuse for some of Banana Blitz HD‘s a lot more baffling moments. The Monkey Ball franchise is recognized for its rapid, frenetic action. In Banana Blitz HD, there are levels exactly where the action stops fully so you can wait on a swinging pendulum or in a rolling cage. Death is by no means a concern, and you are typically at a standstill for fifteen seconds or a lot more. That may not sound like considerably, but it kills the pacing. Far more than when, I’d total a series of difficult platforming challenges, then cease in my tracks to wait for the level to play itself for a couple of moments. Possibly these sections had been created as breathers, but ending the level there would have been improved. Dying later on and getting to repeat these lengthy hands-off sequences is a genuine downer.

Far more typically than not, it really is the camera that kills in Banana Blitz HD. Presumably in order to compensate for the original motion controls’ “accuracy”, the level tilts violently with slight movement. Earlier on, when the levels are a lot easier, this does not matter so considerably (though it will likely give you a headache). Later, even though, the continuous more than-the-best tilting outcomes in a lot more than a couple of unnecessary deaths in tougher stages. The challenge does not really feel fair when you are fighting against the mechanics rather than the level design and style.

Banana Blitz HD Gets Grating

A bridge in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
Banana Blitz HD‘s cheery tone gets a bit considerably soon after a when.

Possibly the most divisive element of Banana Blitz HD is its design and style. There is anything charming about the sweeter-than-honey opening track and the relentlessly adorable visual design and style. It is good to see a home enjoying itself in this age of drab darkness and “severe” gaming. That philosophy is shot by way of the entire of Banana Blitz HD, from its single-player campaign to its multiplayer minigames and beyond.

Soon after a when, even though, the selection to retain items upbeat becomes questionable. Place merely, this game’s visual and sound design and style started to seriously get on my nerves soon after half an hour or so. The monkeys’ incessant yelping with each and every jump becomes extremely annoying when you require to jump many occasions to clear a level. Perhaps it really is the intense concentration necessary to play a Monkey Ball game, but soon after a when, it all just began to really feel as well loud, as well continuous, and as well vibrant.

Based on how higher your tolerance for cutesy quirkiness goes, your mileage may well differ. This is not an knowledge for late nights and liqueur coffees. It is a colorful odyssey of noise and hyperactivity. The reasonably higher difficulty (this is relatively effortless for a Monkey Ball game, but newbies could nonetheless struggle) just indicates the repetition of the sound and visuals begins to grate soon after a time. Play Banana Blitz HD in quick bursts and you can mitigate this difficulty substantially.

Banana Blitz HD Is Nonetheless Excellent Entertaining

A shooting minigame in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
The minigames in Banana Blitz HD are inspired if uneven.

Regardless of these troubles, I nonetheless located myself enjoying Banana Blitz HD. Perhaps it really is the purism of the knowledge. Overcoming a series of storied challenges is a easy thrill. It can at times really feel like modern day gaming is attempting to abandon that thrill in favor of what it considers to be a more “cerebral” design and style. Banana Blitz HD cries nonsense to that and reminds us that games could merely be entertaining and nothing at all a lot more back in the very good old days.

The minigames are an undeniable portion of that fun. In maintaining with Monkey Ball tradition, Banana Blitz HD consists of a series of minigames you can play with your buddies. The new Decathlon mode also permits you to compete with players about the planet for the greatest score in a series of all ten minigames on offer you. You by no means require to touch this aspect of Banana Blitz HD if you do not want to, but stalwarts like Monkey Target are nonetheless worth a blast.

Banana Blitz HD‘s Wii origins show themselves once more in the truth that the minigames right here are clearly stripped down. Monkey Target is missing a lot of its a lot more intriguing components, and other minigames merely do not really feel total or nicely-rounded. There is a common lack of content material in Banana Blitz HD. The single-player campaign is more than in a couple of hours, and the minigames will not sustain your interest beyond a couple of sessions with close friends (whose interest will likely dwindle as rapid as yours does).

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD | Final Thoughts

A later mushroom-themed level in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
Regardless of its shortcomings, Banana Blitz HD does handle to be moderately entertaining.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is a fairly strong remaster of the original Banana Blitz on Wii. The visuals are smooth, the gameplay feels improved without the need of motion controls, and a lot of the minigame chaff has been stripped out in favor of the wheat. Sadly, there is anything lacking about the knowledge as a entire. The level design and style is standard and becomes repetitive soon after a when. Tiny frustrations add up to massive ones in the course of time and make Banana Blitz HD‘s runtime really feel longer than it is.

Several of the original Banana Blitz‘s quirks stay as quirky as ever. The boss fights are nonetheless woeful. This sort of knowledge does not lend itself nicely to the quick, sustained tension of a boss battle, and Banana Blitz HD‘s bosses variety from trivial to infuriating. It is a neat thought, but it feels like innovation for innovation’s sake. Banana Blitz failed to concentrate on its strengths in favor of introducing new and unnecessary weaknesses, and Banana Blitz HD does not repair that.

Eventually, Banana Blitz HD is nonetheless worth a run-by way of. It is a extremely quick game, but it really is still Monkey Ball, and the modern day gaming landscape requirements that franchise’s purity of objective. This is far from the greatest the series has to offer you. Super Monkey Ball Deluxe on PlayStation two has however to be bettered. If Banana Blitz‘s motion controls are all that place you off the original, then Banana Blitz HD is a marked improvement. Sadly, as well quite a few of its frustrations stay to protect against an unqualified recommendation.


TechRaptor reviewed Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD on PlayStation four Pro with a copy supplied by the publisher.

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