Grab Life by the Monkey Balls...
(Just Don't Play This Game)
Oh, Super Monkey Ball series... I remember a time when this series was one of my favorites and was synonymous with awesome arcade action. Unfortunately, that time simply spanned two games, the first two titles in the series, and they both are over a decade old. With the release of Super Monkey Ball Adventure, a game I'm sure many Monkey Ball fans have subconsciously blocked from their collective memory (sorry for bringing it to the front of your minds now!), the slow, steady, and sad decline of the series began and never really stopped. Does Super Monkey Ball 3D, the Nintendo 3DS launch title, buck that trend? Well, let me save you the suspense-- no, it doesn't.
The main monkey mayhem to Super Monkey Ball 3D takes place in the traditional ball-rolling levels, which simply task you with racing to the goal without falling off the stage or running out of time. Bananas are sprinkled through each level, with the purpose of collecting 30 for an extra life. They also serve as a collectible, as acquiring every banana in a given world, of which there are eight that feature ten levels each, you get a special medal that is placed in the world selection menu.
|All those bananas won't lead |
you to a better game, Aiai.
The majority of stages in Super Monkey Ball 3D are either insultingly easy or designed so poorly with haphazard and obnoxious obstacle placement that they simply aren't much fun. While there are moments of greatness in the stage design, these moments come way too few and far in-between. The difficulty, however, does pick up a little near the end, namely the last world, but it's overall a heavily lackluster experience.
|The eight themed worlds have|
their own senses of personality.
The first is Monkey Race, which is a fantastic kart racer if you're a fan of bashing your head into a wall until blood starts oozing out of your forehead. Forgive my wordplay trickery there, but with incredibly bewildering control decisions that make absolutely no sense (unless, of course, you have bashed your head into a wall repeatedly like the designers must have done), Monkey Race is a failure of a kart racer that simply takes up room on the game card that an actually entertaining mode like Monkey Target could have been included, then.
|Just put me out of my misery and breathe |
scalding hot fire on my monkey, Mr. Dragon.
The flaws of Super Monkey Ball 3D don't end with the gameplay and modes either. No, the visuals are severely lackluster, even for a launch Nintendo 3DS game. The 3D effect is hindered by a HUD that doesn't pop out like it should; it actually appears far in the distance while the environments and stages up-close, making a severely jarring visual experience. Usually featuring memorable music, Super Monkey Ball 3D bucks that trend, too, offering highly forgettable but passable all the same music.
|This is child endangerment here.|
He's just a baby for crying out loud!
...Well, at least the main game is quite playable, right?
[SPC Says: 3.0/10]