After learning that Nintendo had a new idea for a controller (wiimote) that used motion sensing the first thing I thought about was how Super Monkeyball could be implemented with this new concept. You see, Iím a huge fan of super monkeyball and my skill on SM1&2 I would consider to be above average. Donít get me wrong, i'm not trying to blow my own trumpet here.
Then I heard bad things about SMBB that SEGA had screwed up the controls, I was left thinking how? HOW on earth could you screw something like that up?
You see, the way I imagined that the controls would work was as if you had one of those simple ball bearing puzzles in your hand and you had to tilt it to get the balls into holes.
Then one of the lads I work with bought it and said it was awful, controls were broken and the mini games were less than useless. I asked him to explain the controls to me and to my surprise they sounded exactly how I had imagined them so I asked what was wrong with them, he explained that HE couldnít manage them and they were to SENSITIVE. Hmmmmm.
So I decided to buy it and see for myself what the fuss was about. So I get it home and put the disc in and await with dread the awfulness that had been described to me. So, what do I get, I get a control mechanism that is second nature and so intuitive you feel insulted that there are any instructions for it.
It was EXACTLY with pinpoint accuracy what I had hoped for and above all else responsive.
I was left wondering what all the fuss was about and why some (Most people Iíve spoken to) have had so much problems with it.
I decided to let the wife have a go to see if I could see any difference in the way she handled it compared to me, the first thing I noticed was that she was treating the controller as if it were a stick of dynamite and didnít want to move it to much and her game play suffered for it to as she struggled even on the first world stages.
I when decided to demonstrate to her how I worked the wiimote, she watched for about 5 minutes and then had another go, to my surprise her game play improved so much that she can now even challenge my scores on the first 3 worlds and iím guessing its only a matter of time before sheís even challenging them to the end levels.
Now the way I handle the wiimote is with force, if I need to stop the ball dead my wiimote is in a vertical position for a split second before going back to horizontal and the same goes for the other three directions, the way the wife was doing it was to gently tilt the remote until the ball had stopped, needless to say that by the time the ball would come to a dead stop it had fallen off the table and caused sheer frustration.
Now all Iím trying to say here is that for me the controls are as perfect as I would hope for them to be and that if you find them quirky in any way to just give it time, you cant expect to master every new technique that the wiimote throws at you the first time you try them.
It just seems to me that most reviewers only gave it a five minute try before slating it, my question to them would be, "How else would you have implemented it then?".
OK, so I've established that the controls are perfect for me but what do I think about the course designs? Well to be honest Iím a little disappointed, I was hoping for more of a challenge. Iím not saying it was all easy as the last three worlds did take some beating but I just felt as though the courses in SM2 were harder. Its a shame Nintendo didnít emulate the thumb stick from the GC controller as it would be possible then to see if the wiimote would make the SM2 courses any easier, maybe but I guess we will never know unless we get SM Deluxe on the wii. I can dream can't I?
So then, whats my final view on SMBB? well i'd score it 8/10, It looses one point for Monkey Race and Monkey Target not being up to scratch and another Point for the courses not being challenging enough.
Can I recommend this game? hell yes but please give the controls time.