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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble Review

After monkeying around in different remakes, AiAi and co. are rolling around at the speed of sound with SEGA’s Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble. A new move, friend, and mission await – should players go for the goal?

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble Review


The world of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble (not to be confused with Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania) will transport players to Juicy Island. Scuttlebutt says there’s a hidden Legendary Banana treasure just waiting to be discovered after collecting seven OOPArts.

Enter newcomer Palette, who also is hunting for said Legendary Banana to find her long-lost pops. Not one for lounging around, she teaches the old guard how to Spin Dash, hitting a wealth of different stages with the bunch in the hunt for points, golden bananas, and absolute glory.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble is more or less the same as previous entries, albeit with a hefty amount more polish. Players will still be navigating stages across Golden Temples, Rose Gardens, Neon Arenas, and other fantastical worlds set above periless bottomless pits. 

However, the camera can be adjusted, the presentation has been kicked up a few notches, and the aforementioned Spin Dash adds a bit of pep to the monkey’s step by acting as a glorified slingshot (think Sonic the Hedgehog). There’s even some couch co-op action for players to dive into!

This is all welcome, but Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble’s single player mode sticks to its roots a little too closely. Gimmicks featuring switches and launch pads, along with shops, certainly add a bit of flair, but this title doesn’t reinvent the (monkey) ball.

The single player mode of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble is a bit on the short side, clocking in at approximately two hours. Rather, the biggest change to Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble is the banana rumble itself, with 16 player multiplayer across five different modes.

These follow the same tried-and-true gameplay of the series. Goal Rush has players earning points by rolling through goals, while the aptly named Ba-Boom! channels the best Mario Kart battles with explosive bombs.

While these Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble modes are nice, they play second fiddle to its single player top banana. We felt like they’re the equivalent of the minigames from previous entries; a pleasant surprise, but nothing worth going bananas over.

If anything, that’s Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble’s greatest weakness; its lack of content. This is a partial release priced at something far more. Those who don’t mind going through the same trials multiple times will enjoy its arcade-based challenges, but it is a bit light overall.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble sticks to its roots a little too closely, with its multiplayer mode coming off as more of a bonus than the main attraction. Those that don’t mind the same old song and monkey dance will have fun, but don’t expect anything revolutionary.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble Review

Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: June 25, 2024
MSRP: $49.99
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA
Alternative Reviews: COGconnected, Checkpoint Gaming, Hey Poor Player
Aggregate Scores: Metacritic, OpenCritic

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Overall - 70%

70%

Official Score

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble sticks to its roots a little too closely, with its multiplayer mode coming off as more of a bonus than the main attraction. Those that don’t mind the same old song and monkey dance will have fun, but don’t expect anything revolutionary.

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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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