However SEGA came up with the idea to put monkeys into balls and have them roll around courses could probably not predict how popular the game would become in the two iterations produced for the Gamecube, in fact due to the Japanese nature of the game some may have been surprised that the game even reached western shores. With the success it really was only a matter of time until it made the jump to the other two consoles and in early-mid 2005 that is indeed the case. We recently went hands on with the latest Xbox build to check out whether the monkeys in balls still hold their own on a new machine.
For those who haven't played the games on the Gamecube there really until this point has not been a storyline associated with the game however that is going to change for the Deluxe version. Although our time with the game was only quite brief, we captured a few glimpses of what the storyline will entail and it was explained to us that the change was made for this version to reduce the learning curve. The developers did not want gamers to breeze through the easy levels and then hit a brick wall so the learning curve and how the difficulty increases has been tweaked by the storyline.
Super Monkey Ball Deluxe consists of the first two Gamecube games and everything they entailed plus a few new tracks for veterans to try out. With 300 tracks overall the challenge will definitely be there. The gameplay remains the same where you basically just push a ball with a monkey in it around increasingly difficult tracks to reach the goal in a set time limit. The tracks range significantly with some being fairly easy tracks to complete with others have moving parts and require almost perfect timing to get to the end. Super Monkey Ball is also a game which will have you muttering just one more time just one more time each time you fail in the early hours of the morning.
As you play through the tracks you will also gain the currency which the game uses to unlock a multitude of mini games to play around with. Six new ones are being added just for deluxe and although we haven't seen any of the new ones we did get to play around with a few of the ones returning from previous games such as Monkey Soccer, Monkey Paddle and Monkey Shoot. Monkey Soccer is one of the highlights for sure and is very much a monkeyfied version of table soccer with three players on each team and the aim obviously to get the ball in the net. Monkey Paddle takes a bit to get used to but the control system is incredibly intuitive with the left paddle used to paddle left and right to paddle right. Monkey Shoot is a kids version of virtua cop and is really quite cool to play as well.
Super Monkey Ball Deluxe is looking like continuing its success on the new platforms and is already looking like one of the best value titles to be released in 2005. If you have wanted to play Super Monkey Ball but don't have a Gamecube, the wait will be worth it sometime in early-mid 2005 when the game is released.