Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble hands-on preview – Rolling into a new adventure!

3 weeks ago 55

I remember playing Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz on the Nintendo Wii back in 2006, then played Step & Roll when the Wii Balance Board was gaining popularity. Then, we got dead silence from Super Monkey Ball until two remasters of Banana Blitz and the first two games that opened the series up to other consoles past Nintendo. Now, in 2024, we’re getting the brand new Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble for the Nintendo Switch and it’s a lot of fun and full of challenges. I had the ability to preview the game before it comes out later this month!

The Adventure Mode is huge, with 200 stages that you can play with up to 4 players in co-op or online. Alongside the cast you’ll know from previous games, Aiai, Baby, YanYan, etc. you’ll also meet the new companion Palette who you’ll be helping for the main storyline. In a surprise though, you’ll also be able to play as Team Sonic that comes with the SEGA pass (a paid pass that will include Team Sonic and cosmetics). Beyond just a static character, each Team Sonic character will have movement that is based on their specific style. I played a lot as Tails during my preview.

If you’re wanting extra challenge, you’ll have the Ex stages which boost the challenge levels up quite a bit. While I didn’t play these during the previews, I’ve been told they’re very hard.

I also want to mention how cute the HUB world is for Adventure Mode. You’ll get to see all your characters (minus Team Sonic) in the cosmetics you’ve chosen for them hanging out on the beach together. Here, you’ll also be able to see the trophies you’ve collected as you go through the Adventure Mode. While this might sound simple, I’ve always been a fan of seeing the fruits of your fun in a video game with all of your gear being showcased. It’s a cute addition to an already adorable game.

The Battle Modes are where things will get crazy as you’ll be able to play with up to 16 players online. The development team put a huge emphasis on multiplayer for the driving force of this game. Between multiplayer on Adventure Mode and Battle Mode, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to play with friends locally or link up with people online.

The battle modes are a lot of fun to play through. My favorite game I played was titled Goal Rush where the goal is to have your team get the most points by rolling through the goals. If you run through a goal that’s already controlled by your team you get bonus points. There are goals everywhere but some are worth much more than others. It’s also cool that as the farthest goal gets hit, new goals are added to the end making it harder and harder to get the last goal and easier to fall off. I really focused on the goals that were hard to reach, either because they moved around or because they required a very specific amount of movement to hit right. This mode is going to be chaos, especially if you have everyone in a group chat.

The racing is also very intense in Battle Mode as 16 players creates all sorts of fun chaos. Since this was really the first thing I did, it was a learning curve. Thankfully, the game does a great job of keeping everyone together by making the map more basic the farther back you are. For instance, I was lagging behind in 8th place and the map stopped moving long enough for me to get close to 7th and then picked back up with the movements. There is also no timing out, meaning that everyone will be able to finish the race and learn as they go. I really appreciate the level of detail they put into this mode to make sure that everyone is having a good time.

There are three other battle modes that I didn’t get to try during the preview, but if they all got the attention these first two maps got, I’m sure they’ll be a blast.

Between the 4-Player multiplayer in Adventure Mode, the 16-Player multiplayer in Battle Mode, the awesome hub world you can add your trophies to, and the addition of the Sonic Team, Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble brings the Super Monkey Ball franchise back with a chaos-filled fun experience for all!

Adam is a musician and gamer who loves his partner in crime, Regan, and their two pets Rey and Finn. Adam is a fan of Star Wars, Mass Effect, NFL Football, and gaming in general. Follow Adam on Twitter @TheRexTano.

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