Every now and then, a game comes along that is so unique, so completely different to anything we've ever played before, that it not only sells a lot of copies (over a million in this case), but it also ends up on every platform, ranging from the Gamecube to the N-Gage and mobile phones.
Super Monkey Ball was released for the Gamecube back when it launched, and was arguably the best launch title for Nintendo's machine. Four years later, Xbox and PlayStation 2 gamers are given the opportunity to hone their Monkey Ball skills with Super Monkey Ball Deluxe.
Everything repackaged and re-released these days has to have an extra ingredient if it's to justify the price tag, and these are sometimes a bit superficial (such as Sonic Adventure DX), but the Deluxe tag for the game is justified in this instance. The game will contain 114 levels from the original Super Monkey Ball as well as 140 levels from Super Monkey Ball 2, plus another fifty new levels developed exclusively for this title.
Monkey Ball is primarily a party game and, recognising this, Sega has included all the party games from the first two Gamecube titles. This includes the likes of Monkey Tennis, Monkey Bowling, Monkey Dog Fight and Monkey Football. The four simians from the previous titles have all made the cut, and whilst PALGN would have appreciated a few more monkeys developed exclusively for the game, all four monkeys are now instantly recognisable.
The game will also feature a new Challenge mode. In the original game, there was three difficulty settings (Beginner, Advanced and Expert). In the Challenge mode the difficulty slowly increases, so that rather than having to choose a specific difficulty level, the game will slowly ramp up the difficulty. This should make for a longer-lasting game, as well as a more varied experience.
Super Monkey Ball is the ultimate party game, and this game should be no different. In fact, this should be the best Super Monkey Ball game released, combining all the good parts of the previous titles and adding more. However, the game itself was begging for online support - the mini-games alone would be a lot of fun online - and whilst there was an excuse for Sega not including one on the Gamecube, there's no excuse anymore. PALGN really thinks an online mode would have added to the lifespan, and would have ensured you always had someone to play against.
Super Monkey Ball Deluxe will be released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox on the September 16. PALGN will have a review around this time.