Super Monkey Ball 3D
Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
Wait? SEGA didn’t go with a Sonic game for the 3DS launch? No, sir/madam, they didn’t. Just for that, a standing ovation should be given. Of course, this would be happening only in a dream sequence because our cherished developer/publisher took very few chances with this one. If only Super Monkey Ball 3D lived up to even half of the “Super Monkey Ball as you’ve never experienced before” tag phrase, I wouldn’t have had any issues. If it were up to me, AiAi and his monkey friends would have stayed inside their balls and hibernated for a few years. Wait, monkeys can’t hibernate? Regardless, you get the point...
Those familiar with the franchise will get the same old classic ball-rolling/banana collecting puzzle gameplay they are accustomed too. Taking advantage of the 3DS’ hardware features, your little monkey can be rolled around the mazes with either the Circle Pad or by tilting the handheld. The latter is quite cool, but since I wanted to enjoy the amazing 3D viewing as much as possible, I had to rely on the analog nub. What I’ve realized over the last few days is that your eyes need to be focusing on the 3D view while keeping the handheld from moving too much. So you would understand that making use of the stereoscopic view while moving the unit around isn’t recommended. Still, if 3D isn’t something you care much about, the motion sensing controls do contribute to a far more amusing experience.
Hmmm...is that it? Rolling the ball around collecting bananas? No at all. Super Monkey Ball 3D also packs two additional modes: “Monkey Race” and “Monkey Fight”, which are heavily inspired by Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. respectively. Certainly fun for a few minutes against the CPU but gets extremely dull unless you play locally with up to three more 3DS owners wirelessly. Download Play is also supported which is a plus. Sorry, no StreetPass support, which seems to be par for the course as you will soon realize that not many 3DS launch titles have an online component. Among other oddities and omissions, an incredibly easy and unbalanced difficulty level, the lack of mini-games (only two, with franchise-favorite mode Monkey Target completely missing) and both the “Fight” and “Race” modes suffer from touchy controls.
Super Monkey Ball 3D looks pretty to begin with, but 3D raises the quality bar up another notch. It’s not too hard on the eyes and the weird stuttering or jaggies seen in other 3DS titles are nowhere to be seen here. Plus, there are little things during gameplay like bubbles coming at you and popping that enhances the experience even more. Certainly, the game’s only highlight.
That pretty much sums up Super Monkey Ball 3D. Let me put it this way: unless you desperately need this title (for some unexplainable reason), there are other games worth your time...and money. I’m also well aware of the great three-dimensional work achieved by SEGA but I find it hard to recommend a $40 purchase when the rest of the experience is so trivial. There might be enough content to please the rookie Monkey Ball player, but the fan who decides to shed $250 for a 3DS and expects something more out of this game will be left scarred.
And to think that for a second, I gazed at the game’s instruction booklet and dreamt of Sonic Colors in 3D...
+ Download Play also supported
+ Solid visuals, 3D is awesome
- Extremely easy and unbalanced
- Racing and Fighting modes are forgettable
- No StreetPass support
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Release Date : 2011/03/27
System : Nintendo 3DS
Publisher : SEGA
Developer : Sega
Category : Platformer
ESRB : E10+
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10