When Super Monkey Ball 2 came out many things changed: the music got even better, the story mode was added (and was awesome, by the way), the ability to increase how many monkeys you could hold, and the gimmick buttons were added. It is currently the best Super Monkey Ball to-date.
The two games have been added to a mega-collection version of the two, and it was released for the PS2 and Xbox. While Super Monkey Ball Deluxe did a horrible job at recollecting what Super Monkey Ball really meant, it still had all of the levels that were in the first two. On the other hand, all GameCube got was a package of the two games together, but not Deluxe.
Earlier this year, Super Monkey Ball: Touch and Roll was released for the Nintendo DS. While it played like a Super Monkey Ball, it just didn't feel the same. The music had changed from a lot of semi-techno into semi-reggae (which isn't bad, but it definitely changes the direction of the series as a whole). Playing with the D-Pad was pretty difficult, and if you got used to the stylus then things got interesting, but it was still quite harder to control than any of the other Super Monkey Balls (except for Deluxe on PS2, for the analog sticks where awful).
After buying this game I thought I would like it, considering that I'm a Super Monkey Ball fan. It is also made by Traveller's Tales, which made Sonic 3D Blast for the Sega Genesis and Sega Saturn (probably their only good game, but whatever). But after playing the game for only a few minutes, I noticed a couple of differences...
Gameplay - You are a monkey in a ball, exploring the world in a what-should-have-been Spyro the Dragon-like manner. You can collect bananas, do chores for people, and look around the world. But things are not pretty when you discover that:
-You CANNOT jump without the flowers help.
-You can fall off the beach by walking into the water.
-Killing enemies is not as easy as it would seem.
-The world can be traveled with the tilt engine turned off. That is NOT what Super Monkey Ball is about!!!
-The 50 mini-levels that you travel through to open up gates are hard-as-heck when the physics engine and horrible camera angles prevent you from even beating the dang levels [I'm a Super Monkey Ball master (I've played over 100 hours of Super Monkey Ball 2 and have over three hours worth of replays recorded onto a VHS that I made, not even including the rest of the series, which would total over 150 hours), and I can't even beat Challenge Mode - Advanced! That DEFINITELY means this game was not thought through very well].
-You can't save your replays at all - a first in any Super Monkey Ball game. I sure would've liked it!!!
-Loading times are disastrous! It takes 16.2 seconds for a good GameCube to load any part of the game!!! GameCube is currently the fastest disc-reading console over the market (even over Xbox 360's disc reader because mini-DVDs compact the data, thus, making it quicker to read), so I'm terrified to see this game load on PS2, let alone the PSP!!!!!!!!!
Graphics - All the models have changed from happy figures to waddling pieces of clay. Yuck. Baby doesn't even crawl anymore, but that fact is irrelevant to graphics, yet it does show a difference in the models, and it's not for the better. There is also a fair deal of prop-clipping issues that I could easily tell when traveling long distances at once.
Sound - SFX are okay and music is minimal. There are hardly any songs for the levels and the music for the mini-levels is set to random and does not fit the world whatsoever, no matter what the world is. Voice-acting is very bad too, for the usage of all the words is way too repetitive and should'v been cut down to half the amount.
Value - Many can find this to be very difficult, and that's because it is. You walk around in a pointless world doing things for a stupid story. May I add that the story is trying to be serious? But it's not. Super Monkey Ball 2 pulled this off very well, as the story was funny. This game, however, is less than funny: it's a pain in the butt, that's what it is.
Reviewer's Tilt - This game is the worst Super Monkey Ball game I've ever played. It's not addictive, it's frustrating, and it was a wasted $40 on my behalf. Rent this if you want, but do not buy it like I did, even if you are a huge Super Monkey Ball fan, because I am too. Dang, this makes me want to play Touch and Roll so badly...
Score: 5.5 - Mediocre
This game is only $40 and should only be considered if you wish to waste your money. And if you didn't pre-order it you won't even get the only thing good out of this whole deal: an AiAi plush toy. I'd rather play Touch and Roll compared to this, because that game was actually addictive.