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[Nintendo Switch] Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania Review

[Nintendo Switch] Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania Review
  • On September 29, 2021

It’s the 20th anniversary of the Super Monkey Ball series! Are you ready to celebrate on Nintendo Switch? Then check our Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania review!


Has it really been 20 years? Sega released Monkey Ball at the arcade way back in 2001. This was followed by Super Monkey Ball on the Nintendo GameCube, which was the start of the now long-running arcade-style series. What better way to celebrate its 20th anniversary than with a collection that remasters Super Monkey Ball, Super Monkey Ball 2, Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, all while adding some extra content? Are you ready to take on more than 300 levels, 12 mini-games, and a ton of challenges?

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This compilation has been developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, which, yes, is very much the studio behind the excellent Yakuza series, as well as of Judgment and its recently released sequel, Lost Judgment. But did you know that it was previously known as Amusement Vision? The studio not only created the original Monkey Ball, it also worked on the most excellent F-Zero GX on the Nintendo GameCube, action game Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, and Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown, to name some examples.

The huge amount of content included in Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania for this 20th-anniversary extravaganza is split between the Story Mode and Challenge Mode, where you’ll be playing over 300 levels from Super Monkey Ball Super Monkey Ball 2, and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe. You can also dive into Party Games, which is where you’ll find the 12 mini-games that can be played with up to four players. The mini-games are Monkey Baseball, Monkey Billiards, Monkey Boat, Monkey Bowling, Monkey Dogfight, Monkey Fight, Monkey Golf, Monkey Racing, Monkey Shot, Monkey Soccer, Monkey Target, and Monkey Tennis. Yes, that’s a lot of monkeys in the game!

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As for the controls for them fast-paced Super Monkey Ball levels, they are very easy to understand since you’ll only have to worry about getting your ball – and the character riding inside of it – from point A to point B. You will roll the ball towards the goal within the time limit, not by moving the ball itself, but by tilting the entire stage with the left analog stick, as you use the right one to control the camera as needed. There will be a mini-map you can check, and you can toggle its size by pressing the X button. If you activate the Helper Function feature, you can slow things down by pressing the R button.


You can focus on getting to the goal as fast as possible, or you can take your time as you learn a level’s layout while searching for every single banana in the area. If you do this and collect them all and cross the finish line before time runs out, you’ll get a Perfect grade for the level! Once you clear a stage, you’ll get points for the bananas you collected, as well as for clearing the stage and for completing the stage for the first time. With 300 stages to play, those points will start to accumulate at a fast rate!

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Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania also includes a Ranking Challenge section, where you can try to get the best clear time as you duke it out against the time of players from around the globe. If you want to customize the look of your character, you can dive into the Costumes to change its look, as long as you have managed to unlock them by spending the points you collect by picking up as many bananas as possible in each stage, as well as for completing a level for the first time. This collection also has Online Rankings with the top scores from players around the world.


Remember how I mentioned the Missions segment of the game? Go there to check the huge list of objectives you can complete in the different gameplay modes so that you can earn some extra points to spend at the Point Shop. What is the Point Shop? It’s the section where you can use all of your points to add extra characters to the main game, buy customization options such as hats, headphones, glasses, masks, shoes, and more, along with new balls for your characters. There’s also the option of purchasing additional special modes like Reverse Mode, Dark Banana Mode, Monochrome Mode, along with the jump feature, which can be toggled on or off from the options menu.


Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania on Nintendo Switch is a game that is a must-buy for fans of the long-running series, as well as an excellent entry point for anyone out there who has not played any of the games in the franchise. The game will launch next week on October 5 for $39.99. If you want to get a head start and play the game early, you can get the Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania Digital Deluxe Edition on the Nintendo Switch eshop for $49.99. This will give you a chance to get access to the game on October 1st, as well as add four DLC packs: the Classic Soundtrack Pack, the Customization Pack, the Sega Legends Pack, and the Classic Character Pack.

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While you can get each of these DLC packs a la carte for $4.99 each, buying the Deluxe Digital Edition will save you some money. As for what’s included in these DLC packs? Glad you asked! The Customization Pack will allow you to customize your characters with two hats, four shirts, two pairs of sneakers, and two skins for your Super Monkey ball. The Sega Legends Pack includes the SEGA Dreamcast, the SEGA Saturn, and the SEGA Game Gear. As for the Classic Character Pack, it will add extra character skins for AiAi, MeeMee, Baby, GonGon, YanYan, and Doctor. Each of these packs can also be bought on their own for $4.99 each, but you get a better deal with the Digital Deluxe Edition.

This Super Monkey Ball Mania review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Sega.

Review Overview

A fun way to celebrate the series 20th anniversary