Super Monkey Ball

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Super Monkey Ball
Super Monkey Ball logo.png
Genre(s)
Developer(s)Amusement Vision (2000-2004)
Sega (2005-2012)
Marvelous AQL (2012-2018)
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (2019-present)
Publisher(s)Sega
Creator(s)Toshihiro Nagoshi
Platform(s)
First releaseMonkey Ball
June 23, 2001
Latest releaseSuper Monkey Ball Banana Mania
October 5, 2021

Super Monkey Ball is a series of arcade platform video games initially developed by Amusement Vision and published by Sega. The series debuted in 2001 with the arcade game Monkey Ball, which was ported to GameCube as Super Monkey Ball later that year. 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
2020
2021Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania

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 in a gachapon ball 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 earned 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, and GonGon

The original Monkey Ball arcade cabinet featured three playable characters: AiAi, MeeMee, and Baby; a fourth, GonGon, was introduced in the game's GameCube port, Super Monkey Ball.[5] These four have become the primary characters of the series, appearing in every subsequent title to date. Two new characters, YanYan and Doctor, were added beginning in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, while another two, Jam and Jet, first appeared in Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll and Super Monkey Ball 3D, respectively. Several games feature unlockable variations of these characters wearing alternate costumes, along with occasional guest playable characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog. Some games such as Super Monkey Ball 2 and Super Monkey Ball Adventure have also featured various non-player characters, such as the villainous Dr. Bad-Boon.

Characters from the Super Monkey Ball series have been featured in other Sega titles. Aiai has appeared as a playable character in Sonic Riders and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, while both AiAi and MeeMee make playable appearances in Sega Superstars Tennis and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Aiai was also featured in Archie Comics' adaptation of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed in issue #45 of Sonic Universe.

Legacy[edit]

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.[6]

The iOS version in 2008 was one of the first games on the App Store and was the best selling app on launch day.[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 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.[16]

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. ^ Gibson, Ellie (2006-05-25). "Super Monkey Ball saves lives". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  7. ^ Cohen, Peter; Macworld | (2008-07-11). "Review: Super Monkey Ball for iPhone". Macworld. 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". 2008-01-15. Archived from the original on 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". 2016-05-12. Archived from the original on 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  16. ^ Wiggins, Tom (12 August 2020). "Drop everything and download: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout". Stuff.