Super Monkey Ball 2

The original Monkey Ball game was simplistic, but was a blast to play. So, a sequel makes its way out a few years later, and I bought it without hesitation (once it went on sale, natch). I figured, “How could they screw up a sequel?” And, shocker of shockers, they didn’t.

Super Monkey Ball 2 is essentially the same as the first game, but with more. More levels, more pretties, more bonuses, and a completely nonsensical story.

It plays exactly like the first game, you have to guide your monkey in a ball to the end of the course, the catch is that you can only tilt the maze and not directly control the ball. It’s almost unnerving, and quite finicky. And though the game starts out insipidly easy, the game ramps up the difficulty to a diabolical level.

And then it gets tough.

I’m not kidding, either. This game can be so tough that you’re almost going to want to get a few extra controllers, in case you give in to your urges and break one.

As tough as this game is, though, you know that each of the stages is possible. It gives the game that ‘just one more try’ appeal that will turn a quick game into a multi-hour affair. But the real fun comes in the multi-player modes.

There are a lot of games you can unlock, most of them are pretty forgettable, but some of them are quite fleshed out, and could almost stand on their own as full games. Monkey Golf is, just as in the older game, stupidly tough, and not that much fun. Billiards, though, is pretty solid, and the puzzlingly-named ‘Monkey Shot’ is a cooperative shooting game, which is pretty awesome to play.

I never could actually finish that single-player portion of the game, but I was able to unlock most of the multi-player stuff, and that multi-player stuff kept this game in my GameCube for months.

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