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Super Monkey Ball Deluxe – Xbox

Super Monkey Ball Deluxe – Xbox

Platform: Xbox

Developer: Sega and New Entertainment R&D Dept.

Publisher: Sega

Release Date March 15th, 2005

Genre: Platformer, Puzzle, Party Game

Nerd Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by THEbipolarBear

This sat on top of my Xbox, empty, for many many hours of gameplay

This sat on top of my Xbox, empty, for many many hours of gameplay

Most gamers have that one game in their collection that always gets questioned, laughed at, or flat-out judged. For me, this game was my beloved Super Monkey Ball Deluxe. Even now, you’re judging the title. Let’s be honest – you clicked on this link either because you’ve owned this game in the past or, more likely, because the title is so darn strange and extensive. Believe me, I too was that skeptical once when I saw its predecessor in my friend’s collection of GameCube games. If you already have a negative view of this game’s quality despite the good rating above, then I only have one thing to say to you: hasn’t your mom told you to not judge a book by its cover?

The only aspect of this game that’s more elongated than its title is the sheer amount of gameplay that’s offered. Sure, there’s the basic Monkey Ball storyline, complete with a band of protagonists (Aiai, Meemee, Baby, and Gongon) and an evil baboon (appropriately named Dr. Bad Boon), but there’s also 12 fun minigames! All of the minigames, called “Party Games,” are both single player and up to 4-player local multiplayer. This makes for a more-than-suitable way of entertaining groups of people, and with so many options, there’s something for everyone.

The main character, Aiai.

The main character, Aiai.

Unlike the story mode, where you can only play as the main character Aiai, there are four main characters included in the multiplayer portion of the game, each of which have the same statistical properties, unless you consider a kick-butt victory dance an advantage. This similarity provides for an equal playing field for all participants – once again preferable for groups. If you were wondering, which I’m sure you were, the playable characters are as follows:

Aiai – The main character and also Meemee’s love interest, Aiai is the standard monkey, adorned in an orange shirt with a white “A” on his chest. He has an unconditional love for bananas, which blinds him from his relationship with Meemee.

Meemee – Meemee, who wears a purple dress, is the only female of the four monkeys, and, fittingly, the only one with a flower in her hair. She’s madly in love with Aiai, but gets annoyed when he becomes distracted with bananas.

Baby – All the way from the future, Baby joins the gang to save Aiai and Meemee’s relationship from Dr. Bad Boon’s evil plans and, therefore, his own existence. He wears a diaper, which has been determined to be Huggies Lil’ Movers or something of the sort because that baby can DANCE!

Gongon – A previous enemy of Aiai, Gongon, who wears a red shirt with a yellow “G,” is arguably Aiai’s most faithful ally. He is a monkey bodybuilder, training ceaselessly to become the strongest monkey on the planet.

The non-playable characters, which are coincidentally the only evil characters, are as follows:

  Dr. Bad Boon – Recognizable by his black and white suit and curly shoes, Dr. Bad Boon is an evil baboon who tries to destroy the world and his enemy, Aiai, which goes in line with almost every Sega antagonist. He’s so evil that his very own extremely faithful assistant doesn’t even have a name.

Dr. Bad Boon’s Assistant – Dressed up in a tattered white lab coat, this assistant has a very frightening appearance, which doesn’t quite line up to his timid personality. He does, in fact, have no recorded name, but he still assists Dr. Bad Boon without reserve.

As stated before, the party games portion of Super Monkey Ball Deluxe is quantitatively exceptional, but, surprisingly, it’s also qualitatively fantastic. Each of the 12 mini games contain their own game mechanics, from racing around a wild-west-themed track to boxing your friends off giant flowers and even to shooting flying disks with pistols. Here they are, in order of how they appear on the menu:

Monkey Race DX – The race mode is the fairly straightforward racing mini game. There are boost strips and pick-ups which are used to beat other monkeys out of the way and claim the spot atop the golden medal.

Monkey Fight DX – One of the best arcade-style battle modes I played as a kid, the 4-player fighting game is full of hurt feelings and satisfying revenge. Complete with an epic deathmatch to end a tie, this mini game can be fully accredited to my love of arcade fighting games, such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Monkey Target DX – The target mode lets you roll down a huge ramp and then disregard any form of physics as you open up your ball to fly/fall-with-style towards a landing pad that is striped like a target. This mildly-frustrating party game is full of luck-based terrain modifiers, such as clouds hindering your view or bombs sabotaging your perfect landing.

Monkey Billiards DX  Monkey Ball billiards is just that – billiards with monkeys in capsules for balls. You play as your character inside of the cue ball, launching yourself towards other incarcerated monkeys.

Monkey Bowling DX – This mini game, at least for me, was always difficult. As you may have guessed, the mini game is bowling with your character as the bowling ball through varying alleys and obstacles.

Monkey Golf DX – With yourself as the ball once again, the “golf” mode is really more of mini golf (or putt putt, as I call it). The rules of Monkey Golf follow the rules of mini golf, and along with bowling, this is the most casual of the party games.

Monkey Boat – Using your ball as a boat, you must paddle yourself to the finish line, avoiding walls and other barriers in this party game. There are also power-ups which will allow you to get the advantage against your opponents.

Monkey Shot  – Reminiscent of co-op arcade shooter games, such as Time Crisis, this mini game swings you around a map as you and a friend fight hordes of flying robot insects and dodge massive missiles. There are shootable power-ups that keep the game interesting as well as epic boss battles.

Monkey Dogfight – Including the same not-so-legit flight physics of Monkey Target, this party game is perfect for exciting tournaments with friends. You fire both regular bullets and lock-on missiles, so players die frequently, but there are unlimited lives so the the action never stops.

Monkey Soccer – Five monkeys a side and a choice of a normal, offensive, defensive, or handicap team, this soccer game is just like almost every other soccer game of its time. However, this doesn’t make it a bad game. In fact, the quick gameplay and penalty kick shootouts after a tie make every game entertaining.

Monkey Baseball – The source of the most rage quits and my area of expertise, the baseball party game is my favorite, closely followed by Monkey Fight. Even though it allows plenty of room for skill to show, this game is called baseball only because of the field, the bat, and the gloves. The rest of the gameplay, in relation to baseball, is laughable at best, even though it’s still very enjoyable. If you expect MLB 2K14, the only thing awaiting you is disappointment.

Monkey Tennis – Lastly, the tennis party game is very close to actual tennis, despite the fact that you’re a monkey cased inside of a large clear ball. There’s the option of singles or doubles, and as for the gameplay, there is a Smash Mark that almost guarantees a point. That is, if the player reaches it in time.

This is the mini game, or "Party Game," menu.

This is the minigame, or “Party Game,” menu.

What sets this great game apart is obviously the very amusing and extremely extensive party games. But don’t let this distract you – the main game is equally amazing. Rather than simply rolling your ball around, Super Monkey Ball Deluxe allows you to tilt the map, creating a very distinct trait that is, in my opinion, unmatched by any other rolling puzzle game. The satisfying “pop!” and confetti, accompanied by applause after every success makes every prior failure or “fall out” completely worth it. While it is, indeed, basic, the story of Aiai and his friends is not necessarily the primary concern with this sort of game, so I do not take it into account when judging the game. Even if I did, the extreme amount of gameplay would smooth out where the story lacked. Therefore, I consider Super Monkey Ball Deluxe a fantastic game that will surely stand the test of time.

cover_japanese

The entire gang, as they appear in-game.

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon

 
 

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4 Comments

  1. Incredibly fun series. 🙂 I love the arcade version that has you actually rolling the ball peripheral.

     
  2. nerdberry
    nerdberry says:

    Super Monkey Ball games rock dude!!

     

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