Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD – Review

When it was at its apex, I never got around to playing Super Monkey Ball. Yes, I (twice) owned a Nintendo GameCube but it was just one of those series that never did enough draw me in. When word came out that a “new” SMB was coming soon, I thought that this could be a great chance to see what I missed out on almost 20 years ago. Unfortunately, I can confidently say that Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD and the SMB franchise is just not for me.

The concept is pretty straightforward. Your goal is to help guide a monkey, which also happens to live inside a ball, from the start of a level to its end. Instead of controlling the monkey ball, you’re manipulating the environment by tilting it in different directions to move it. 

For the most part, this is a puzzle game where you’re trying to figure out how to reach the finish line: you’ll have to navigate around traps, enemies, gaps and other obstacles before the stage timer runs out. 

SMB Banana Biltz HD is the remake of the 2006 Nintendo Wii game. In that one, it implemented the console’s motion controls to move the ball. However, for this update, it takes that aspect away and you’re just controlling the world with the analog stick. Some of the levels have also changed to show this change and of course, the visuals see a 2019-update.

My frustration with the game is probably some of the same reasons the original game was panned in 2006. Removing the motion controls for standard analog controls was a good idea, but the controls feel too loose at times and the camera is too close to the action.

You also cannot adjust the camera, so if for whatever reasons, you are unable to line up your ball exactly, you will