Despite the visuals looking more like the modern Super Monkey Ball games, Banana Mania is actually a remaster trilogy of the oldest (and best) console games in the series. To celebrate the franchise’s 20th anniversary, we’re promised faithful remasters (well, except the graphics) of Super Monkey Ball, Super Monkey Ball 2, and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, replete with all those glorious mini-games that made these titles multiplayer favourites back in the day — if they get it right, this will be worth buying for Monkey Target alone, but plenty of the others are a fun time as well.
For those who might be unaware, Super Monkey Ball consists of hundreds of increasingly complex obstacle courses and mazes, with simple single-stick controls that let players tilt the world to navigate their chosen sphere-bound simian to the goal as fast as possible. It’s a masterclass in simplicity of concept and glorious execution, with later games suffering the more they moved away from the oh-so-basic brilliance of the originals. Some of those Extreme stages are going to be tough without the help of the Gamecube controller’s octagonal stick gate to lock in cardinal directions, so let’s hope there aren’t any achievements tied to them — they were hard enough before, even with that extra helping hand!
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania bounces onto Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One on October 5th. Excited to relive these classics? What’s the best mini-game in the series, and why is it Monkey Target? Who is best: AiAi, MeeMee, GonGon, or Baby? All important questions, so best get to answering them below!