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Super Monkey Ball Adventure

Taking the genius concept of monkeys in balls...and stuffing things up with a rubbish RPG element. Pff.

Can you imagine Team Silent Hill doing a kart racing game? Or Kojima producing the next Pro Evo? No, you can't, because that would be stupid. Like Super Monkey Ball Adventure, which takes the brilliantly simple idea of rolling a ball down a hill and ruins it by turning it into an RPG for babies. Sure, you still get to roll a monkey around in an orb, but you also have to awkwardly tumble around tiny villages chatting to other monkeys, who aren't even in balls. Rubbish.

You start off by choosing your monkey. All the gang are here - Aiai, Meemee, Gongon and Baby - and the mission objectives in each level change depending on who you decide to play as. There's some kind of plot in there, but we're not even going to bother recounting it because it's ridiculous. And anyway, we don't need any kind of validation - we're a monkey in a ball and we're happy with that. Don't complicate things with an explanation, Sega.


Those villages we mentioned earlier are populated by characters who dish out missions to your monkey, a typical example of which is recounted at the top of the page. Not one sticks in our mind as entertaining but plenty resonate as being irritating - mainly because of PSP's rubbish analogue stick, which may as well not even be there for all the good it does. The controls are the biggest issue, which isn't really the game's fault, we know. But it sours any enjoyment you may have otherwise eked out of the game.

The minigames are still brilliant though. Monkey Fight, Monkey Racing, Monkey Target - they're all there and, if you can get past the wonky controls, are as fun as ever. They're also perfect for Wi-Fi multiplayer, so if you've a mate with the game you'll have loads more fun than you will on your own in story mode. But the new adventure stuff is basically a bit rubbish and we'd have liked another regular Monkey Ball game better. Perhaps next time around, eh?

The verdict

Not as good as a regular Monkey Ball game would've been. The adventure stuff feels tackedon and the PSP's rubbish analogue stick makes control a bit of a nightmare.

PlayStation Portable
Traveller's Tales