Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania (10/5/2021)

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Dark Sonic, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    That is a tad disappointing but I kinda get it? Might have been better to expand said modes to 25 or 50 though.
     
  2. MainMemory

    MainMemory

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    Having just played all of the levels in 2, I can tell you that many of them are very not designed to be played backwards, some would be made dead simple if played backwards, some can't even be made to be played "backwards", and many don't allow for collecting every banana. Gravity Slider, Free Throw, Launchers, Serial Jump, Switch Inferno, Air Hockey...
     
  3. kyasarintsu

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    Funnily enough, this is actually a level you can play in the reverse mode.
    I think it's a worthy experimental mode. Obviously not every level would work, especially with 2's heavy reliance on switches and big drops, but it's a fun concept that seems to have minimal exploration and development.
    And regarding bananas, I don't know. Many extra bananas have been added to stages and just as many may have been removed or relocated.
     
  4. MainMemory

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    Weird, I guess the challenge is now to just get past the throwing part?
     
  5. JcFerggy

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    https://twitter.com/SuperMonkeyBall/status/1434622896585035776?s=19

    So removal of lives. Yay or nay? I've never been the best at the series so I think this is overall a positive, but I see others complaining about the extra and master modes now being easily accessable. Maybe a compromise could be a par system, but that's only slightly inverting how lives work, so I dunno. They do say getting 100 bananas will still reward you, but do we have any idea what that could be from the pre release footage we've seen?
     
  6. kyasarintsu

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    I don't have a problem with the other stages being more accessible. I do, however, not really like that without a penalty of game over I'm feeling less of a push to be perfectionist—I don't like raising up the starting lives count in Monkey Ball 2 for that very reason. I like the pressure that comes with limited lives, as it changes how I approach risky plays for bananas and skip gates.
    I'm curious how losing a life affects the player. I don't really play for score but just for the thrill of playing through all the stages. Losing points with each failure sounds reasonable.
     
  7. Turbohog

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    Now you can play as... static models of old Sega consoles. Yay?
     
  8. SuperSnoopy

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    This feels like a shitpost at this point
     
  9. kyasarintsu

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    For something that was known about practically since announcement, it's taken a hell of a long time to finally get some footage of these "characters".
     
  10. Black Squirrel

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    I only take my Dreamcasts with blue swirls, sorry.
     
  11. Vanishing Vision

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    For the next guest character, Sega should read the room and give everyone what we've been waiting for: Professor Asobin's first playable appearance.
    200px-ProfessorAsobin.svg.png
     
  12. I unronicaly want Hatsune Miku at the game.

    But tbh, I really hope they will put NiGHTS on it.
     
  13. Starduster

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    Regarding lives, I don't think they benefit a game like Monkey Ball at all. I'm rather against the concept in general, but with Monkey Ball specifically I just don't see any advantage. The stages are chaotic and have no checkpoints. In a lot of ways, they're physics based puzzles. It'd be like only giving you a set amount of tries at a puzzle in a Professor Layton game. I think Monkey Ball is a game that wants you to experiment with its physics and I think lives heavily discourage that.
     
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  14. Xilla

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    Seeing the consoles as playable characters makes me feel like they've missed a real trick for this:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. kyasarintsu

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    I don't think that "puzzle" describes the series as a whole—even in its most convoluted stages, it tends to be a straight-forward obstacle course for the most part. Monkey Ball 2 is a big exception with its high quantity of "what the hell even is this" level design. It's a game with weird unfolding paths you need to wait for, a teapot you're supposed to just know when you're supposed to drop off into, four different levels where the goal moves at erratic speeds and you basically just have to get lucky or memorize the timing, a search for the one button that won't just kill you, and at least three literal mazes. I feel like these trial-and-error designs work in the context of story mode, where lives are unlimited, but I find them absolutely terrible for the classic arcade mode. This is a big reason why I find 2 so much less fun to play than I do 1, among other problematic level design elements.

    The first game's level design is incredibly tight and intentional, with short timers and good banana placement. Very good emphasis on mechanical skill, with the only "puzzle" levels (as in, ones that aren't immediately obvious) being... Expert 22, Master 5, and Master 8? The game is otherwise a showcase in excellent and intuitive design. It's always teasing you with bananas for extra lives, and with how easy it is to die and just how big a safety net even a single life can be, the drama that comes from the lives system is something I find very enjoyable. It absolutely pushes me to be a better, more consistent player who can steer her monkeys to the goal with minimal mistakes. With nigh-unlimited lives like with 2's unlockable, I find it so much easier to just throw caution to the wind and, with level design so janky, it's really hard to get invested.

    I wouldn't mind the removal of lives if they kept in some mechanics to reinforce consistency such as disqualifying you from getting certain stages or even simply noticeably reducing your score.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  16. MainMemory

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    You can just drop down immediately and watch where the goal lands, shouldn't take you more than two or three tries.
    Actually there are four buttons that raise the goal, hitting any of them will allow you to see all the others, and the wrong buttons only kill you sometimes.

    Honestly, a lot of the trouble I had in my playthrough of 2 were the levels that relied on precise control, often at speed ...and Arthropod. Double Spiral, Soft Cream, Warp, Cross Floors, Pendulums, Conical Slider, Cylinders, Notch, Long Torus, Helix, and Nintendo.
     
  17. kyasarintsu

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    I know how to beat Teapot. I know how to beat Switch Inferno. I just don't think either of those designs lend themselves to approachability, which I feel is a recurring problem with the game's levels. I also think there are just too many weird gimmicks for me, and even the levels with reasonable themes tend to be oversized, over before they actually begin, or weirdly easy for their placement.
    Conical Sliders, Cross Floors, Warp, Long Torus, Notch, and Cylinders are all well-made levels and I wish all the levels in the game could be of their quality.

    But, I guess to veer back on topic: is anyone else actually really excited for jumping? I find it an incredibly fun idea that could add a lot of new ways to speedrun levels. I feel like it will add a surprising amount of extra depth to these levels I've already played to death.
     
  18. Vanishing Vision

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    Speaking of that, is the scoring system still in this game? Unless it's in a mode that hasn't be shown yet, there's no score counter, just that total banana counter. I know 95% of high level Monkey Ball play is about fast times, but there are certain stages where a higher score can be obtained at the cost of a slightly slower time by grabbing certain bananas, particularly the 1K bunches. I'm also aware of how broken score competition in the original game is due to grinding, but this could be easily be fixed by turning off extends during challenge mode, three lives only (a "lives remaining" end bonus would help, too). The neglect of score attack in favor of speedrunning in new games is one thing, but altering an existing game to remove score competition is particularly irritating, and I really hope that's not happening here.
     
  19. kyasarintsu

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    A time attack that spans the entirety of Challenge Mode would be pretty awesome and I've somehow never t hought of it. I'd love if they included that.
     
  20. Beltway

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    Game's now out with early access via the digital deluxe edition, and reviews are being posted. As of this writing:

    Opencritic: 77 "Strong" (23 reviews), 74% of reviewers would recommend

    Metacritic:
    NSW - 81 "Generally favorable" (20 reviews)
    PS5 - 77 "Generally favorable" (17 reviews)
    XSX - 76 "Generally favorable" (5 reviews)
    PS4 - N/A (2 reviews)
    XBO - N/A (No reviews)
    PC - N/A (No reviews)

    For comparison: The original first two Super Monkey Ball games on GameCube (2001, 2002) both scored 87 each; the 2005 Deluxe re-release for both games on the PS2 and XBOX scored 78 and 81 respectively.

    Needless to say, it's reviewing around the same ballpark as the original SMB Deluxe from back in the day. For the franchise as a whole, Banana Mania also stands as the best reviewed SMB game since the Deluxe compilation, for that matter.

    Some other things, based on early impressions/reports:

    Physics/gameplay are near watertight to the original for the main game, though there are a few quirks. I've read one impression that the tilting controls/physics for the stages is noticeably more gradual, whereas in the original, tilting was instantaneous.
    Apparently the gameplay for minigames has had more drastic changes, the most notorious being Monkey Target. That one is substantially different and has been singled out by reviewers in their complaints.
    For the Switch version, conflicting reports about whether the game supports GameCube controllers/adapters. A fair amount of people (and at least one reviewer for Nintendolife) say they cannot get their GC controllers and adapters to work with the game, while a few people say they can use it fine.

    UPDATE: Apparently you have to ensure the GameCube controller is listed as Player 1/the primary controller on the Switch menu (pairing controllers), then it will work.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
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