Game Rant's Riley Little reviews Super Monkey Ball 3D
There aren't very many games currently available for the Nintendo 3DS, and the few that are available aren't all that great. That's why Super Monkey Ball 3D is such a standout for the handheld that anyone will have fun with.
There are certainly a few issues that pop up whilst playing the game that make the experience feel a bit cheap, such as a short story mode and uninteresting mini-games. That being said, Super Monkey Ball 3D is still a decent game that anyone can pickup, play, and have a solid amount of fun with.
The gameplay in Super Monkey Ball 3D offers exactly what players can expect from the series. You pick a monkey that you want thrown into a sphere, and you must then manoeuvre the monkey around several different obstacle courses — all the while collecting bananas. Collecting bananas, not dying or running out of time, and completing levels quickly will increase your overall score at the end of each level, and that score is then placed on a leader board so that friends can then compete amongst each other.
There are two different control options available for use: The Circle Pad or The Gyroscope. The circle pad works quite well and allows the perfect amount of control for players to maintain over their character. The gyroscope controls on the other hand, aren't nearly as precise as the circle pad and there is one massive problem that comes with tilting the 3DS around — it distorts the 3D. As anyone who has played a 3DS knows, in order for the 3D effect to work , the user must find that "sweet spot" and stay in it to get the full effect of the 3D technology without hurting their brain. Shifting the 3DS to move the character also moves the sweet spot around, which means that the 3D is better turned off while using the gyroscope controls.
The graphics in Super Monkey Ball 3D are very smooth, and the game itself is actually one of the better looking titles on the new handheld. The characters and stages are all rendered beautifully, and there were absolutely no visual hiccups that I experienced during my play through. The 3D effects also work quite well, when not using the gyroscope, adding a nice level of depth to the game that will immerse gamers in the title quite nicely.
There are eight worlds available in the game's Monkey Ball mode, and each world contains nine levels and one bonus level. Each world has a different theme and the levels are all well designed, offering up some challenges that have never been seen in the series. There are certainly a decent amount of levels, but they can all be cleared quickly and that's the main drawback with Super Monkey Ball 3D, bringing into question what games want from investing their $40.
Super Monkey Ball 3D does add a couple of mini-games, but they are really nothing too spectacular. Monkey Race is Sega's take on Mario Kart, and it contains a surprising amount of difficulty. Monkeys are thrown into vehicles and collect power-ups to help take out the competition. The tracks don't change things up much, but winning races will unlock new cars. The second mini-game is Monkey Fight and it's essentially a dumbed down version of Smash Bros. Collecting bananas, running around, and avoiding/attacking enemies is a pretty accurate description of the ongoings that occur in Monkey Fight. These games aren't bad, but they really aren't that much fun either.
At its core, Super Monkey Ball 3D is a fun game that offers up everything that previous versions have, but does so with tight controls, colorful levels and awesome 3D effects. It's easily amongst the cream of the crop for 3DS games currently available on the market, but it's not perfect. The game is too short and while there are a few collectables that will draw some back to replay levels, there's not much reason to do so. The mini-games are decent and are certainly appreciated, but they certainly aren't anywhere near as fun to play as the main game is.
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