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GamesFirst! Magazine

Preview:
Monkey Ball

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GameCube Launch Title

 

mkb3-01.jpg (8160 bytes)Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. What’s a system launch without a monkey? Probably pretty normal. But any system launch that is accompanied by a monkey-oriented game is all right with me. After all, monkeys make things cool – look at Space Ghost and Dexter’s Laboratory, King Kong or Every Which Way But Loose or Ronald Reagan. For crying out loud, won’t somebody acknowledge the genius of Lancelot Link?

mkb17-01.jpg (9179 bytes)At any rate, Sega apparently knows how cool monkeys are, and they’ve given the rest of us in the know a really intriguing new game called Monkey Ball. That’s right, Monkey Ball. Think of it kind of like those Labrynth games they sell at Spencer’s Gifts, except instead of a steel ball-bearing, you roll around a monkey. In a ball. It’s kind of like a hamster ball.

mkb_A-01.jpg (9350 bytes)You can probably understand why I am at such a loss to remain coherent during this preview. Sega is well-known for giving us entirely addictive games, and Chu Chu Rocket demonstrates their ability to do a puzzle game that will take over your life, sort of a Tetris-effect. Add to that the aforementioned monkeys, and you’ve got a winner.

mkb9-01.jpg (9567 bytes)The basic premise of Monkey Ball is this: You control the tilt and angle of the playing field. The field is divided into panels, some panels move, and your goal is to tilt the panels to roll the ball (with the monkey in it) to the goal without falling off the edges. This is incredibly simple. The controls are simply the joystick and the A button. The goal of Monkey Ball is not to perfect a set of commands, but to perfect your tilting ability and to strategize about how best to win and/or screw up your opponent. You can get special items that will tilt your opponent’s board or change the size of their ball.

mkb5-01.jpg (9574 bytes)This is a simple game, but the cuteness combined with the addictive puzzle action could make it a real winner. Considering there won’t be that many games out for the GameCube this fall, Monkey Ball will be a very welcome addition to the lineup. It is the kind of game that will keep the kids on it all day, give big bro and sis a laugh routinely, and get mom addicted in her off-time. A strong multiplayer mode will make Monkey Ball even more appealing. Check it out around the GameCube launch, if for no other reason than the monkeys.

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Shawn Rider

 

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