Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble Impressions | Getting the Party Rolling

A whole bunch of fun that's definitely something to keep an eye out for. 

Super Monkey Ball has always had “PARTY” in the game’s core DNA. It did, after all, start as an arcade game with a very simple and yet fun-filled premise – roll your  monkey to the goal through various colorful maps and obstacles. I’m happy to say that, after playing this game with several other members of the SEA media, this latest iteration of the game really amped up the fun factor while still keeping true to being fun and simple. Here are my Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble impressions after our hands-on experience at the SEGA Headquarters in Tokyo.

First off, we started with playing the single-player mode of Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble which was pretty much the classic Super Monkey Ball experience. This is where you will tilt the stage to guide your Monkey Ball to the end goal. While that in itself already is a fun challenge as you have to guide your ball through narrow paths or precariously placed obstacles, the real fun for me was trying to “CHEAT” the levels. You see, some of the levels are situated in a way that makes shortcuts possible. For example, the start of the course would be from an elevated position and it would go through a sort of spiral path that funnels downward where the goal would be. In this level, I tried to jump my ball so that I would go off the edge and land on the goal platform immediately. Granted, it wouldn’t always work as you would need quite the precise technique but, when I DID land it, it felt so good to clear a level in just SECONDS. Other levels would give you this possibility and the added level of fun and excitement is finding these shortcuts and trick-shotting your way to victory!

Afterwards, we got to try the online multiplayer battle which pitted us against the other SEA media. Dare I say, this is where the game TRULY shines. We tried a bunch of modes so let me go through each.

Firstly, there was the RACE BATTLE. This would be a straight up race much like the single player mode but it DOES get amazingly chaotic with so many other players. As an added twist, there are also items ala Mario Kart that you can collect and use to help you or hinder other players.

Next, we did a BANANA HUNT. Here players are placed in a map where bananas would be littered across the stage and the one who collects the most bananas would be declared as the winner. The catch? Items are placed all over as well which you can use to get an advantage. There will be things like Banana Cloud and Fever Time that lets you get even MORE bananas. Oh, players will also lose bananas for falling off the map… would be a shame if you somehow CAUSED another player to… 😛

Then we played a mode called BA-BOOM which is sort of a survive if you can kind of game. If you guys are familiar with the game from Fall Guys called Tail Tag, it’s very much like that.. but in reverse, sort of. The game is done in 5 rounds. Each round, a number of players start of with a bomb. The objective? You need to pass on that bomb to someone else by tagging them… AND there are multiple players with bombs. It’s paranoia pro max with each round as players will use skillful navigation and items to survive. Players without any bombs gain points then another round starts. I believe there’s also a multiplier if you survive consecutive rounds without getting bombed. Highest points win. I loved this game… but it’s worth noting that it’s also the one mode I won so I might be biased.

ROBOT SMASH was the 4th mode and this involved getting points by destroying robots – both big and small – around the map. There’s also a golden robot worth a lot of points that spawns towards the end of the game. This for me wasn’t exactly the best multiplayer mode amongst the 5 we played as players kind of just did their own thing. However, I will say that there’s a potential for high level play with this mode as this can be more strategic and technical.

Finally, we had GOAL RUSH. In this mode, players would go through a downward sloping course that is littered with small goal posts. Going through one would get you points and teleport you to the start of the map. The challenge here would be trying to aim and skill shot really difficult goals that would yield more points than the easier ones. This was pretty fast paced and other players tend to get in the way of your plans which adds to the craziness.

That ended our session and, honestly, my Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble impressions are pretty straight-forward. It’s a game that highlights simple fun and quick party mode type of games. The biggest win of the game is in the online multiplayer but, as I said, the games are quite simple so you’ll probably go through the modes in quick succession. In my opinion, Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble is the type of game that your will want to destress with for quick fun sessions (ideally with friends). The game does make up for this with just a HUGE number of stages to go through. Single player will have 200 stages and will have up to 4 player coop. Online multiplayer will have 5 modes and 15 stages available at launch but will have more and more added as the regular updates drop. This game is just some good fun and it’ll definitely be interesting to see how the whole game holds up when we get more time to review the game as a whole.

Definitely something to keep an eye out for.