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Super Monkey Ball

Stored under Caption This!GamesMiscellaneousNewsRecipesRelated EBay AuctionsReviewsVideosVisual Stimulation on June 30, 2006

Nintendo is the master of creating games that appeal to two crowds—most of its properties are built around the concept of creating a game that appeals to children on one level, and adults on another. See any game with Mario or Donkey Kong in it as an example of this philosophy. Nintendo does this so often and so well that it’s easy to take the idea for granted, but it certainly is not an easy path to sucessful game design. Sega has attempted to capture Nintendo’s “friendly for everyone” spirit in Super Monkey Ball, but has brought along so many conflicting elements that the game is sure to defy almost everyone’s expectations. Judging by the Player’s Choice label, a whole bunch of people bought this game, and I can’t help but wonder: did they get what they wanted? Super Monkey Ball is not a bad game by any means, and yet I’m hard-pressed to understand its popularity.

Everything about Super Monkey Ball’s presentation says “kiddy game.” The simple design of the characters, the brightly colored yet mostly empty worlds, the gleeful squeaks and cheers, the condescending voiceovers… well, nobody likes condescending voiceovers, but you get the idea. Everything about the presentation says the game is for the Sesame Street crowd. The graphics are just enough to get the job done. The monkey character models are simple and chunky, each with big, circular cinnamon bun ears. They spend most of their time inside giant, transparent balls, rolling about environments that are crisp, but abstract and stark. These levels are simple 3D environments that float in mid-air and consist of ramps, stairs, platforms, pits, holes in the ground, and other obstacles. It adds up to an abstract look that is decidedly videogamey.

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Dude! i totally bought the game cube a few years ago just to play super monkey balls! seriously addictive. it's a shame i graduated from college and don't really have spare time anymore. great post!

Written by amanda on Jul 5, 2006 06:45 AM

btw, i forgot to tell you, don't knock it till you've given it a while for the monkey greatness to kick in.

Written by amanda on Jul 5, 2006 06:48 AM

This is a cool game!!!:):):):)

Written by banana lover <3 on May 20, 2008 01:06 PM

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