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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz Review

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Monkeys and balls, this just has to be good.

★★★★

Sadly, while Sega’s simian action puzzler boasts the greatest title in gaming history – surely any phrase that includes the words ‘super’, ‘monkey’ and ‘ball’ is guaranteed to be funny – the series’ dizzying action and day-glo graphics alienated as many players as it charmed. But while the core game is unchanged for SMB’s Wii debut, using the console’s motion sensitive controls makes the action feel more natural, nerve-wracking and fun than ever before.

As always, the main game finds you rolling balls around a selection of twisting levels, collecting bananas along the way and avoiding falling off the edge to certain death. But while a thumbstick was used to play previous SMBs, gesturing with the Wii remote allows you to tilt the courses in every possible direction, in turn creating slopes for your balls to roll along. Also new in this edition is the ability for your imprisoned monkeys to jump, a move achieved by simply flicking the Wii remote upwards.

Like all Wii games, using the motion controls makes you an integral part of the action, and there’s a genuine thrill in seeing how the slightest movement of your hand can alter the onscreen landscape. And with an expanded selection of multiplayer party games that use the controller in a variety of ways - Whack A Mole and Ring Toss are intuitive standouts - Banana Blitz is a great way to master the Wii controller, and an hilarious game in its own right.

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