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Sequel to Super Monkey Ball, by Sega. This game mostly continues the tradition of the original, with some additions. There are added courses in regular mode, but the biggest addition is that there are now twelve mini-games, instead of only a few. Party games that are in the sequel:

  • Monkey Golf - This has been changed to be more like regular golf, instead of mini-golf. A change for the worse, in my opinion. It's much more fun in the original.

  • Monkey Target - My personal favorite from the original. I like it just as much in the sequel, if not better. Additions include new powerups, such as multipliers, brakes, and a magnet powerup. However, they took out the Wheel of Doom.

  • Monkey Billiards - This one pretty much stays the same, with some added game modes: US 9 Ball, Japan 9 Ball, Rotation, and Traditional 8 Ball.

  • Monkey Fight - Pretty much the same, as well. They added a new Iron Glove powerup that makes the game extremely cheap, because whoever gets the iron glove usually wins.

  • Monkey Bowling - Much better than in the original. New lanes are a lot better, and have gimmicks to them. Curved lanes, lanes with hills, wavy lanes, etc. Very enjoyable.

  • Monkey Race - Mario Kart-esque racing. You roll around and avoid obstacles while doing your best to hinder your opponents' attempts to reach the goal first.

  • Monkey Shot - Pretty much a generic arcade-style shooting game. Each player has their own crosshair, and you shoot things. Kind of like House of the Dead or Time Crisis, in a sense. But without the gun, and without a lot of the fun.

  • Monkey Boat Race - A new one. You control your raft with the L and R triggers. So, in a sense, it's Monkey Race, but harder to control. As in Monkey Race, there are items you can use to your advantage, such as whales, whirlpools, or turning your raft into a submarine.

  • Monkey Tennis - Very reminiscent of Virtua Tennis, also by Sega. It plays pretty much the same.

  • Monkey Soccer - This one's odd. Basically, it's a really basic soccer type game, playing it is very confusing. You can't switch players, and you can't control your goalie. This makes for a rather frustrating game.

  • Monkey Dog Fight - You float around, somewhat like you do in Monkey Target. But this time, you don't descend, and your goal is to shoot your opponents down. To put it basically: it's monkey deathmatch.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention something. Super Monkey Ball 2 actually has a plot. Yes, in the story mode, Dr. BAD-BOON robs Monkey Isle of all its bananas. Aiai, Meemee, Baby and Gongon are thus entrusted with the task of bringing the glorious Dole-brand Bananas home.

As a bit of an elaboration, I would like to second the fact that Super Monkey Ball 2 has a plot. And what a plot.

I swear, after I saw the first couple of videos that the game rewards you with after beating every 10 levels in Story Mode, I thought it was a huge joke. Now, I find myself looking forward to the rhyme that ends with: "Magical Spell is Ei-Ei-Poo!" Yes. I'm serious.

Okay, here's the run-down of the plot (including prologue alluded to in the Instruction Manual):

Aiai and Meemee, good friends now, are surprised to meet Baby. Baby comes from the future, to save them! Apparantly, the evil Dr. BAD-BOON in the future wanted to marry Meemee, but since she is married to Aiai and has mothered a child (Baby), Dr. BAD-BOON travels back in time to snatch her away before they can get married.

Dr. BAD-BOON comes in a big airship with an Igor-like sidekick, and takes all the monkey village's bananas, promising to return them if only Meemee will marry him. Otherwise, he will do whatever it takes to make the monkeys' life difficult. Volia, a character franchise is born.

Anyways, in Story Mode, the videos that serve as a reward for getting to the next world all follow a similar pattern:

  • Aiai and company get Dr. BAD-BOON, and lecture him on the error of his ways. ("If you take all the bananas, they will hate you even more!")
  • Some perversely bizarre plot twist involves Dr. BAD-BOON getting away or winning (Swallowed by a Giant Whale, Shrink ray)
  • Monkeys, now in their balls, resolve to get Dr. BAD-BOON with a chant.
  • Monkeys pursue the evil Dr. BAD-BOON, entering the next world.

The single most entertaining part is the chant. Just about in every movie, the scene cuts to the four monkeys (Aiai, Meemee, Baby, and Gongon) inside their balls, pumping their arms up and down in excitement, as a rainbow-background flys past in the background (think Sailor-Moon transformation scene). They chant some horridly translated spirit-inducing song, putting ZeroWing to shame (almost).

An example:

Wash your hair with
Sham-sham-poo!
Let us co-operate. Yeah-yeah-woo!
Magical spell is Ei-Ei-Poo!

Every chant ends with the same line, and I tell you, it never gets old.

That set aside, it's a great game, all the mini-games are great fun. The music is catchy, the sound is all right, the backgrounds are very pretty.

There is a definite shift in the style of the levels from Super Monkey Ball, from high-skill precision to timing-based, knowing-the-button-to-press puzzles. The main difference is that often when you 'get' a level, you can breeze through it with few difficulties. You do get unlimited lives in Story Mode though, but you don't get all the 'bonus' levels.

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