So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Sega Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Sega's attempt to resurrect the degenerating Super Monkey Ball franchise with more poor monkeys in a ball ends up falling flat on its face.
- Monkeys, mini-games
- Hollow storyline, tedious puzzle levels, control system
Sega should seriously consider monkeying around with the formula because it's starting to feel incredibly stale.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Monkeys running around in clear plastic balls: sounds like the recipe for a good time, doesn't it? And it was — five years ago. But even the most wonderful ideas can be beaten like a dead horse, and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz is starting to look like a pony that's gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson in his prime.
Although the Wii title offers promising improvements, Sega's brave stab at a new spin-off falls flat in the end with a hollow storyline, repetitive bouncy music, and tedious puzzle levels that cause banana-splitting headaches.
Banana Blitz has eight known worlds that consist of eight stages each. Two new characters, Yanyan and Doctor, join the returning characters Aiai, Meemee, Gongon, and Baby. Each character has unique stat abilities that are categorised by Acceleration, Speed, Jump, Weight, and Size of Ball. Aiai is the all around average character and the one I find easiest to control. Doctor has the best acceleration but bad jump ability while Yanyan can jump well but has average stats for everything else. Gongon is the fastest and heaviest but has the worst jump while Baby is lightest and slowest but has good jump and acceleration. Finally, Meemee has good jump but below average speed.
The simple goal of the game is to collect bananas that are taken by the bosses. Every stage is an obstacle course loaded with jumps, twists, and turns. Your monkey rolls through the stages in response to the tilt of your controller. For example, the degree of forward tilt influences forward acceleration, while backward tilt decelerates the ball.
However, because of the sensitivity of the Wii controller, the levels are very frustrating to complete. One wrong flick or tilt and your unlucky monkey will fall off the course and die. Perhaps this is why the game allows you to redo each stage an unlimited number of times. I had to watch my unlucky monkey plummet to its death again and again, which was strangely unsettling, and having to endlessly endure the gratingly bouncy soundtrack only escalated my annoyance. After a while, I began to wonder whether subjecting myself to such frustration for the sake of winning a few bananas was worth it. As for graphics, the colourful, cutesy artwork is classic Super Monkey Ball style, but not much improvement can be seen between this Wii version and its GameCube relatives.
Honestly, the only thing worthwhile about Banana Blitz is its 50 mini-games. Up to four players can compete in a variety of activities such as Whac-a-Mole, where you use your controller like a hammer to bop moles, Ring Toss, which requires you to throw rings at targets, Alien Attack, where you use your nunchuck and controller to fly a hovercraft, and Paper Sumo Fighter, in which you use your controller to push your paper fighter in the direction you want. Unlike the single-player experience, the sensitivity of the Wii controller is precise, making the speed, strength, and accuracy of your movements essential for succeeding in the games.
It's a good thing Banana Blitz was a Wii launch title because the novelty of the Wii controls should help convince gamers to pick it up. And the mini-games alone warrant a look, provided you have the controllers and the friends to take full advantage of it.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Gfinity announce Elite Series Season 2 launch date
- League of Origin comes to Melbourne
- Aussie Esports teams progress to $1.25 million Throwndown Esports finals
- Red Bull brings LVL UP competition to PAX 2018
- The Away Team to get Lost Exodus update on October 22nd
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Hands on with Huawei's Mate 20 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies