What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game can be quite challenging. Some kids will simply get frustrated while others may find it teaches them to concentrate better and get a real sense of accomplishment. Parents should also know that players must keep the remote extended, making slight twisting and turning motions, and that doing this for too long, like anything, might result in arm pain. You might want to remind kids to take frequent breaks from the action.
What's it about?
The Super Monkey Ball series concept is simple and very much like that old wooden labyrinth game you can spend hours tilting. In SUPER MONKEY BALL BANANA BLITZ, each level consists of a series of ramps, platforms, and obstacles with a goal at the end. Placed in your path and outside of it are bananas. Your monkey is inside of a plastic ball (like those hamster balls sold at the pet stores), and you control the monkey ball's path by tilting the map.
In this version for the Wii, the controller responds to your movements as you play. To tilt the map, players tilt the controller to make the monkey ball roll toward the goal. Then there are the Mini games and party games packed in with the main single-player puzzles. Banana Blitz takes full advantage of this game console system specially built for creative and fun party gaming.
Is it any good?
Instead of offering a few refined and polished games, Sega packed in 50. Just about every kind of play is covered: asteroid shooting (aim the remote at the screen and fire), racing, boxing, tennis, hovercraft bumper cars, bowling, and much more. A few highlights include a nifty version of darts and a cool first-person shooter (using nonviolent, Nerf-like balls) called Monkey Wars.
The problem with most of these Mini games is that they require so much precision in your hand movements that they lose their element of fun. Quantity never beats quality and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz suffers greatly with this hit-and-miss galleria of oddball gaming. Kids who are willing to spend the time with each Mini game and figure it out may find the experience rewarding. But a handful of polished games that were easier to play would make for a better experience.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what makes this colorful game world fun to play in. They might want to discuss how the graphics and characters enhance the gameplay (or don't). Do you think the puzzles are too hard? Which of the Mini games are fun and which aren't? Why? If families play this game together, they can discuss what playing methods worked for them and which ones didn't.