Super Monkey Ball

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Super Monkey Ball
Super Monkey Ball logo.png
Genre(s)Platformer
Developer(s)Amusement Vision (2000-2004)
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (2019-present)
Sega (2005-2012)
Marvelous AQL (2012)
Publisher(s)Sega
Creator(s)Toshihiro Nagoshi
Platform(s)Arcade, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, N-Gage, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, iOS
First releaseMonkey Ball
June 23, 2001
Latest releaseSuper Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
October 29, 2019

Super Monkey Ball is a series of arcade platform video games initially developed by Amusement Vision and published by Sega. The game debuted in Japan in 2001 as an upright arcade cabinet called Monkey Ball which featured a banana-shaped joystick. Later that year, it was released as a GameCube game. Several sequels and ports have been released.

Games[edit]

Release Timeline
2001Super Monkey Ball
2002Super Monkey Ball 2
Super Monkey Ball Jr.
2003Super Monkey Ball (N-Gage)
2004
2005Super Monkey Ball Deluxe
Super Monkey Ball Touch & Roll
2006Super Monkey Ball Adventure
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
2007Super Monkey Ball: Tip 'n Tilt
2008Super Monkey Ball (iOS)
Super Monkey Ball: Tip 'n Tilt 2
2009Super Monkey Ball 2 (iOS)
2010Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition
Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll
2011Super Monkey Ball: Ticket Blitz
Super Monkey Ball 3D
2012Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz
2013
2014Super Monkey Ball Bounce
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD

Gameplay[edit]

As opposed to normal games where the player takes control of the character itself, Super Monkey Ball has the player move their character around by tilting the world itself (the exception of this being Super Monkey Ball Adventure). By tilting the board at various angles, players can control the speed and turning of the character. The goal of each level is to reach the goal gate before the timer runs out, and without falling off the floor. Bonus points and extra lives can be increased by collecting bananas on the stage. Early games use traditional controllers to play while many recent titles utilize modern technology, such as the accelerometers of the Wii and iPhone titles. The gameplay is similar to Atari Games' 1984 arcade video game Marble Madness.

Characters[edit]

From left to right: MeeMee, Baby, AiAi, GonGon

The playable characters of the whole series are Aiai, Meemee Baby, Gongon, Yanyan, Doctor, Jam, Jet, C Aiai, W Meemee, A Baby, F Gongon, P Yanyan, R Doctor, N Jam, and B Jet. Aiai is a playable character in Sonic Riders and Sega Superstars Tennis (the latter of which also features Meemee as an unlockable character). Aiai also appears in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. In this game, he rides a banana car and his All-Star move has him racing in his ball along with Meemee, Gongon and Baby crashing into the other players. He returns in the sequel, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, along with the addition of Meemee as a playable character. Aiai was also featured in Archie Comics' adaptation of the second game in Sonic Universe #45.

The primary characters are Aiai, Meemee Baby and Gongon. They are present in many games. Super Monkey Ball Adventure, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, and Super Monkey Ball 3D incorporated a larger roster of playable characters, usually varying from title to title.

Legacy[edit]

The iOS version in 2008 was one of the first games on the App Store and was the best selling app on launch day.[6] A 2006 study conducted by the Beth Israel Medical Center found that surgeons who played Super Monkey Ball for 20 minutes prior to performing a surgical drill finished slightly faster and made fewer mistakes.[7] In 2009, Edge ranked the first Super Monkey Ball #39 on its list of "The 100 Best Games To Play Today", stating "Seeing its sturdy physics model being used to perform incredible acrobatic feats shows just how finely honed it is."[8] Writing in 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, Christian Donlan described Super Monkey Ball as "one of Sega's grade-A triumphs."[9] An enhanced engine of the Gamecube games was used in F-Zero GX,[10] which was critically acclaimed[11] and Nintendo considered a step forward for the franchise.[12] The developers of Super Monkey Ball went on to make the Yakuza series.[13]

When commenting on the differences of the franchise between the Gamecube games and the Wii entries with Banana Blitz and Step & Roll in a Tokyo Game Show 2009 interview, Toshihiro Nagoshi stated that they were made easier for kids and families. However, he stated that if they got the chance, they definitely would like to go back and make a game in the style of the old games that particularly the fans overseas want.[14] Due to the older demographic of the PlayStation Vita, the difficulty for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz was made more on par with the Gamecube entries.[15] The voice behind the game's narration was uncredited. However, on 7 December 2019 YouTuber Nick Robinson published a video which reported that the narrator had been Tokyo-based voice actor Brian Matt. [16] The 2020 battle royale game Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has been described as "Super Monkey Ball for the Fortnite generation" by Tom Wiggins of Stuff magazine.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Super Monkey Ball 2 : Sakura Edition for Windows Phone [ Quick Look ]". BestWP7Games. 28 June 2012. Archived from the original on 4 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Super Monkey Ball: Sakura Edition - Apps on Google Play". play.google.com. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  3. ^ "Super Monkey Ball 3D! AiAi New Screenshots and Trailer". 19 January 2011.
  4. ^ "GamesRadar+".
  5. ^ "Super Monkey Ball for Vita". Senpai Gamer. 28 September 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  6. ^ Cohen, Peter; Macworld | (2008-07-11). "Review: Super Monkey Ball for iPhone". Macworld. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  7. ^ Gibson, Ellie (2006-05-25). "Super Monkey Ball saves lives". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  8. ^ "The 100 Best Games To Play Today". Edge. March 9, 2009. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  9. ^ Mott, Tony (2013). 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. New York, New York: Universe Publishing. p. 442. ISBN 978-0-7893-2090-2.
  10. ^ Bramwell, Tom (2003-08-08). "F-Zero GX". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  11. ^ "F-Zero GX". Metacritic. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  12. ^ "IGN: The F-Zero Press Conference". web.archive.org. 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  13. ^ "RGG Studio". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  14. ^ TGS09: Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll interview, retrieved 2020-06-07
  15. ^ "Post-TGS Interview: Super Monkey Ball's Jun Tokuhara | TSSZ News". web.archive.org. 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  16. ^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  17. ^ Wiggins, Tom (12 August 2020). "Drop everything and download: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout". Stuff.