Super Monkey Ball 2
Game Info
Platform(s)
GameCube
Publisher
Sega
Developer
Amusement Vision
Genre
Puzzle
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• 150 (!!) new floors
• Brand new mini-games
• Good, simple fun

The Bad

• Boring Story mode
• Out-of-date sound
• Graphics are nothing special

 
Grade
B-

Super Monkey Ball - One of the first great games for the GameCube, and the sequel is a worthy addition to the disturbingly cute, primate series.

The plot: Wait. Should a game with monkeys encased in plastic balls even have a plot? Nope, it shouldn't. The story mode as a whole is just some floors set in different backgrounds (you know, the generic fire world, jungle world, etc.). It seems like the developers didn't put an ounce of effort into the Story Mode. Well, I'll at least try to explain just what the heck it is: An evil Scientist called "Dr. Bad-Boon" steals all of AiAi's village's bananas! The only way to get them back is if MeeMee (AiAi's girlfriend) marries Bad-Boon. How will AiAi get out of this pickle? Play the story mode and figure out for yourself, if you can stomach it. It's really just a sad attempt of putting life into these already bland looking characters. If Amusement Vision just put more mini-games instead of a Story Mode, I would have been a lot happier. Not only this, but the mode is accompanied with one of the worst lines in video game history, "The Magical Spell is Ei-Ei-Poo".

Gameplay: Well, this is one category that Super Monkey Ball 2 shines like a bright star. While the basic premise (rolling a ball through a "Goal" sign) is very simple, it will take some mad monkey balling skills to beat the expert mode. Like the first game, the expert mode is hard, almost impossible. But if you have beaten the first game's expert mode, then this one should be a breeze. Also, every level is has an interesting obstacle (falling dominoes, a spinning top, etc.) Now, for you casual players, the simple and normal modes should keep you busy until you unlock all the mini-games and that's another story....

The Graphics: While the first game didn't win any awards for best graphics, this one won't either. I noticed that Amusement Vision was able to cut out some of the jaggies and other imperfections from the first title. But they're not completely gone. They also added some nice backgrounds to spice things up, but they lose their novelty after a few rounds. All in all, the graphics had no major overhauls or anything, so it basically looks like the first game all over again.

The Sound: This is one of the weakest, and probably the weakest aspect of Super Monkey Ball series. I really hate that Amusement Vision didn't take the time to upgrade the sound effects and music. You still here that weird melody blurring through your speakers. Also, the monkeys don't have any new things to say either. All you here are there queer grunts when they bump into stuff, like in Super Monkey Ball. I'm also getting tired of the same monkey ball cast. I really hope Amusement Vision can clear up these major problems for the next sequel, and I wouldn't mind a little online play either....

The mini-games: Hands down, the best party game out there for any platform. You'll feel pure bliss when you're with 3 of your closest buddies playing a casual game of Monkey Race. The game also sports 12 mini-games - 6 of them are new, and the other ones a improved versions from the last Monkey Ball title. And if you are are not much for sports sims (like me) than this might be the only sports game you'll ever need! They are all mostly just good mindless fun! But a few of the games require a bit of strategy (Monkey Billiards, one of my personal favorites requires a little bit of brains to succeed) besides some button-mashing. This is by far the strongest, and most improved part of this good game.

While it is a fun romp, it does have a few glaring flaws, and hopefully Amusement Vision can clear those up before the next title. If you're already finishing up Super Mario Sunshine and need something to gnaw on for a few weeks, than meet your new best friend - his name is Super Monkey Ball 2.

- - Grandlethal

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