Super Monkey Ball is a series that has been around on consoles since the Gamecube days and was an entertaining title when it first released. Since its initial release on the Gamecube in 2001, the series has had a number of different iterations that have mainly been released on Nintendo’s consoles.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz is the newest installment in the series and aims to make good use of all the Vita’s features. Banana Splitz tries to pack a great deal of content into this package, but is there enough included in it to warrant a purchase? Here are the Hots and Nots of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz.
Lots of Content To Play With
Banana Splitz comes packed to the brim with tons of content that you can play by yourself or with others. The game comes packed with tons of single player levels that range from beginner to advanced difficulties for you to test your skills on. You can even use the level editor included in the game to create your own levels ton play on. You can also play a number of different mini-games either by yourself, locally or online with up to four different people. Monkey Target returns in this installment although it has been severely dumber down from what it used to be. Monkey Bowling also returns and has you turning your Vita vertically giving you a better view of the lane. There are even new arrivals such as Monkey Rodeo, which has you using the rear touch pad to bounce a monkey around in order to collect bananas, and Love Maze, which has you using both analogue sticks to control two monkeys through a maze without severing the link between the two. All of these provide a good diversion whether you want to sit down and play for a few minutes or want to burn away time on a trip.
Graphics and Sound Are Great
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz runs at 60fps and looks gorgeous while doing it. The levels included in the game are well designed and the colors are vibrant and pop on the Vita. The only downside that I found with the visuals is the clunky menu system, which I will cover more of in the Nots section. The music in the game is catchy and the sounds are familiar for those who have played a Monkey Ball game before. Both of these work in unison to give off a happy and vibrant mood, which is to be expected in a game where Monkeys are shoved into plastic balls and rolled around for our amusement right?
Controls Are Responsive
The motion controls that you have the ability to use in Banana Splitz work surprisingly well on the Vita. They are responsive and fun when you want to try something different. If you decide that motion controls aren’t your thing or you just want to play it without worrying about moving too much, then you can always switch it to analogue controls and enjoy it that way. Banana Splitz also implements the use of the camera for the Pixel Hunt mini-game as well as in the level editor.
The menus in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz feel clunky and slow, which is the complete opposite of what they should feel like on a touch screen. It hampers the experience and seems like an ugly contrast to the bright and beautiful graphics. It usually isn’t all that important to pick apart a game’s user interface, but when it gets in the way as is the case in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz it is worth taking a look at.
Saving Is A Hindrance
The save system in Banana Splitz is frustrating to say the least. For starters, the game requires you to take a world, which is comprised of multiple levels, in one go. If you decide to save and quit, then the game deletes your progress for that level and makes you start from the beginning. The second is how often the game bugs you to save the game. Instead of just putting in an auto-save icon up in the corner of the screen, the game brings up multiple ugly black screens after every level and asks you if you want to save.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz is a solid title for the Playstation Vita that is packed with tons of content to keep you satisfied, whether it is in short bursts or during a long trip. The user interface is clunky and the saving system is extremely awkward, but if you can look past those you will find a decent game that is worth your time should you find that there is nothing else out for the Vita that you want. But hey, if throwing monkeys into plastic balls and rolling them down hills at extreme speeds isn’t your thing, there is always Assassin’s Creed: Liberation or Playstation All-Stars right?Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz Review,