Sega’s adorable primates, AiAi, MeeMee, Baby and GonGon have returned in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz for Playstation Vita. Their banana collecting escapades have been enhanced for Sony’s new handheld with new levels and improved graphics.
Super Monkey Ball includes a plethora of features that are only native to PS Vita. Gamers can choose to use the Vita’s motion sensor to control AiAi and his friends. This is accomplished by tilting the system forward or backwards and from left to right to avoid dangerous obstacles and hair-point turns.
The Beginner levels make it easy to learn the tilt controls since they are comprised of flat surfaces and straight platforms that rap in large loops. Like in all Monkey Ball games, the goal is to collect all the bananas in each level and reach the circular portal at the end within the allotted time limit.
Normal and Advance game modes really challenge your reflexes. These levels have narrow platforms with sharp turns. Tilting the PS Vita downward will slow down your monkey ball, but it requires a lot of practice. It’s also difficult to push your ball up ascending platforms. You must gain enough momentum to climb these sections while anticipating the obstacles that lie ahead. There are times when you’ll reach the top of a platform just to fall off the side into obscurity. The analog controls are more forgiving and offer better stability during these circumstances.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz includes a Party Mode that contains eight courses. The player must choose two characters and then control them using both analog sticks. The levels are seen from a top-down perspective and the player must reach the end of the level without dying. Other challenges utilize the Vita’s built-in camera to take pictures of your environment. You are given instructions to take pictures of pixies and certain colors.
There is an online multiplayer feature where you can challenge your friends via PSN or Ad Hoc. Sadly, the online community for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz is non-existent. You can create a room and wait for hours and never find any competition. The online Room Select menu is also vacant of players.
Despite the overly sensitive touch controls and the lack of an online community, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz still manages to rise above the negatives with entertaining mazes and mini games. With its highly polished HD graphics, catchy soundtrack and five game worlds , gamers will find themselves hooked on the game’s cuteness and challenging levels.
Platform: PS Vita (Available on PSN)
Developer: Sega of America
Publisher: Sega of America
ESRB: E (Everyone)
|Smooth HD graphics look great on the PSVita's screen.|
|Classic Monkey Ball sound effects play throughout.|
|Challenging and fun to play.|
|The lack of an online community is disappointing, but as a single-play experience, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz has enough content to keep gamers busy.|