Parents' Guide to

Ace Banana

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Repetition, glitchy bugs hurt this VR shooter's a-"peel."

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The repetitive, bug-filled gameplay of this VR shooter quickly becomes an exhausting exercise in frustration. Now, based solely on their respective slots in the food chain, it's hard to imagine monkeys being threatened by bananas. But what if a banana was stranded on a tropical island for years and had honed remarkable skills as an archer? Well, while that premise might be too crazy for even a CW TV show, it's apparently ripe for a VR video game. To its credit, Ace Banana starts off well enough. It's got a cute, cartoonish look that fits perfectly with the theme. And if you're using two Move controllers, it genuinely feels like you're firing off arrows from an imaginary bow. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long before the game starts to miss its target, both figuratively and literally.

The biggest issue the game has is its controls. It's bad enough that the repetitive motion of firing arrows quickly can actually wear the player out quickly, especially as the difficulty ramps up and more monkeys are tossed their way. But worse than that, the calibration is a mess. No matter how often you hit the reset button, the aiming always pulls heavily away from center. This issue doesn't seem to be as bad (though it's still an issue) if you use the regular DualShock controller instead of the Move. Unfortunately, you can't use it during the between-level sections where you care for the bananas. And with the VR headset on, it's a pain to try to constantly switch between the Move and the DualShock on the fly. Even if you do manage to adjust to the control issues, you've got to deal with the poor game design. Without any checkpoints to aid your progress, losing means starting all the way back at square one. With all the bugs that the game is already dealing with, starting over just doesn't seem like it's worth the effort.

Game Details

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