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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD Game Poster Image
A little mini-game monkey business holds back HD remake.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

While AiAi and his friends are a close-knit group fighting against a big bad, it's mainly just an excuse for them to chase down their bananas in wildly outrageous stages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

AiAi and his friends are generally fun, playful characters with good-natured personalities.

Ease of Play

This HD release of the Wii original drops the motion controls in favor of classic analog controls, which makes maneuvering and jumping a lot more precise. That doesn't make the game easy though, as it's still got some insane courses that require a lot of skill and patience to earn a high score on.

Violence

Players spend most of their time racing through tracks, but there are boss battles that pit players against large enemies. Combat generally involves dodging enemy attacks while charging up and rolling your ball into them.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

This is the updated version of a Wii game released in 2006.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is a high-definition remake of the original Nintendo Wii exclusive action platformer title for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch consoles. Players roll through 80 different stages, racing and jumping through winding courses and collecting stray bananas before facing off against Crabuchin and his minions in large boss battles. Combat is cartoonish and mild in nature, generally little more than ramming bad guys with your ball. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content in the game.

User Reviews

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Teen, 15 years old Written byWalket2221233 October 30, 2019

What's it about?

Sticking a simian in hamster ball and rolling it around an obstacle course might be one of the stranger concepts in gaming, but SEGA's Super Monkey Ball series still manages to strike a fun chord with gamers of all ages. SUPER MONKEY BALL: BANANA BLITZ HD brings the Wii exclusive entry to a whole new family of consoles, and this time in full, high definition glory. When the intergalactic pirate Captain Crabuchin swoops in from space and snatches up the Golden Banana Bunch, it's up to AiAi and his friends to take to the stars and recover it. You'll roll, jump, and bump your way through eight different worlds, collecting all the tasty bananas you can find before facing off against the different members of Captain Crabuchin's cutthroat crew of ne'er-do-wells. You can also take a break from the planet hopping story, grab a few friends, and compete against each other in one of ten different multiplayer mini-games. Finally, you can show off your monkey ball in a single event or go the distance and prove you're the top banana in a mini-game decathlon. 

Is it any good?

It's hard to believe it's been five years since the last Super Monkey Ball game, but AiAi and his crew have returned to consoles with an HD remake of a previous Wii exclusive title. But Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD isn't just a shot for shot remake with an HD coat of paint though. Making the jump from the Wii to the current generation of consoles meant having to lose the motion controls of the original release. This isn't a bad thing though, as the return to analogue controls makes the gameplay much more responsive and precise. And thanks to its HD visual makeover, the game looks sharper and plays smoother than ever before.

While the loss of motion controls is actually a win for the gameplay, it unfortunately means many of the original's mini-games that relied on those controls couldn't make the cut this time around. Worse still, instead of replacing what was cut with some new ways to play with friends, the remake accepts the loss and cuts the total number of mini-games from fifty to a paltry ten. These ten might be some of the better ones from the original collection, but the massive loss makes the party aspect of the multiplayer feel anemic and flat. It doesn't mean that Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD isn't still a blast to play, alone or with friends. It's just light on content and leaves fans hungry for more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about remakes, reboots, and remasters. What's the appeal of revisiting classic games and reintroducing them to a new audience? What are some of the ways that companies revisit their franchises to appeal to both newer audiences and classic fans?

  • What are some ways to have healthy, fun competition with friends? What are the traits that define a "good sport"?

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