fishdalf's Super Monkey Ball Deluxe (PlayStation 2) review

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Finally, a chance to grab hold of both balls in one package.

The concept of the game is rather simple; you’re a monkey inside a ball. Move your right analogue stick in a certain direction and the monkey begins to roll, get the monkey through the goal at the end of each level and you move onto the next. Sounds simple right? well that could not be further from the truth. The first level may only require a simple push forwards but as your progress onto more complexed and difficult courses your skills will be tested and so will your patience.

This game is essentially the first Super Monkey Ball and the second Super Monkey Ball rolled up into one neat package. The same levels, the same mini-games and most importantly the same monkeys. Now some of you may see this game as pointless, especially if you still own the original Monkey Balls, if you do then in all honesty you would be wasting your money on this. So if you do you can stop reading this now and go play through them all over again.

This game has a story mode that is broken up into 3 difficulty levels; beginner, advanced and omg don’t even try it. Yeah I lied its called expert, complete this without a continue (which you won’t do) and you will unlock an even tougher mode but lets not waste our time talking about it. The game has a sorry excuse for a Story Mode; some random bad guy monkey does some random mischief in some weird monkey world. Nothing to get too excited about, this is just decoration on top of the basic game.

There are some multiplayer options within this game, you can play through the standard game where each player takes turns or you can choose to race one another to the finish line which can have its moments. All the mini-games from both Monkey Balls can be found here also, from Monkey Target to Monkey Golf and the majority of them have the option of playing the rules of the first Monkey Ball or the second. These can be rather entertaining and add a welcome change to the basic premise of using those Monkey Balls just to roll around the levels.

That’s 13 times I’ve used the word monkey in this one review alone, are you still with me? yes? ok good…..

Graphically this game is the same as it has always been, you won’t find many enhancements here and while that was good two or three years ago it now pales in comparison to some of the gorgeous looking games around today. Luckily this game doesn’t need to rely so much on graphics but its addictive and puzzling gameplay that made it a hit to begin with. The sound isn’t that enthralling either and only makes for bearable background noise, there is some pretty cool techno stuff in parts but not enough to keep you from muting the game from time to time.

I don’t want to be too negative though, this game has its great moments and is a great testament to what the games have done in the past. I just feel the series needs to move on now, even if they just improve on everything the old games offered and add some fresh new courses and mini-games, I personally as a Super Monkey Ball fan would be more than happy with that. If you’re looking for some puzzling console fun or just looking to add not one but two classics to your collection then this is the purchase for you.

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