Hands On With Super Monkey Ball Banana Splitz’s Vita Features

By Kris . June 18, 2012 . 12:59pm

The general guide-a-monkey-in-an-airtight-plastic-sphere-through-a-maze formula hasn’t changed a lot throughout the course of Sega’s Super Monkey Ball series (outside of Traveler’s Tales’ Super Monkey Ball Adventure, but we don’t speak of that). However, the upcoming Vita game, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, has a couple of things I hadn’t seen before.


The first new mechanic I tried was "Love Maze," which tasked the player with navigating two monkeys through two parallel mazes simultaneously. Each monkey was controlled with its own analog stick, and keeping them closer together would build up higher scores. The first stage was no big deal. Perhaps one or two moving platforms, but the two mazes were practically identical, and it wasn’t that hard to keep the monkeys close together. I finished that stage with a love percentage of 110%.


The second stage had quite a bit more going on. The mazes would bend in different directions and there were a lot more moving parts. Instead of moving both monkeys simultaneously like I did in the first maze, I found myself moving one at a time. I’d try to put one monkey into a safe position, then move the other one to catch up. Eventually, while I was trying to move both monkeys simultaneously, one was knocked off of its stage into the abyss below.


After love was over, Sega representative demoed the game’s new "Photo Maze" …by taking a picture of his nostrils. Aiai appeared onscreen and was given a box with the photo inside it. After shaking the Vita (and by extension the box) for a while, a randomly generated stage popped out of it. While the maze’s content didn’t specifically use parts of the photo as obstacles like the Japan-only "adult map," parts of the photo were scattered around the level in a psychedelic fashion. The backgrounds looked like nostrils as seen through a kaleidoscope.


That said, the prospect of randomly-generated Monkey Ball levels with a bizarre art style is pretty cool. I just hope that they’re all relatively enjoyable to play. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz will be released on the Vita on October 26th.

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  • Testsubject909

    “After love was over”

    That sounded… rather dramatic and sad.

    And damnit, those monkeys! The cute! It’s invading my eyes!

    But that aside… I can oddly see love maze as some sort of couple’s mini game. Just two people huddled up together, one hand on each side of the vita to navigate their monkey around. It’s an idea, though I wonder how many couples out there who own a vita will be doing something like that…

    And what sort of complexities the Love Mazes will have in future stages too, because when dealing with simultaneous controls, if there is a reason to rush such as a time limit, when each area differs, it really plays with a person’s ability to multi-task and a variety of other abilities… Somewhat like trying to properly control your top screen in The World Ends With You while properly fighting in the bottom screen…

  • Solomon_Kano

    Do want. I’ve been missing the Money Ball games since the GBA, so now’s as good a time as any to start playing them again.

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