Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is pretty great.

I’ve only played it for a bit but I really, really enjoy this game. I grew up playing SMB1 and SMB2 on Gamecube so naturally I was pretty excited. This game is excellent and ridiculously full of features. It has all the single player stages from those games (and Deluxe) as well as the 12 minigames from SMB2 along with SMB1 variants. I was also surprised to see the addition of alternative modes you can unlock that drastically change the way the single player game is played-- reverse mode, a mode focusing on collecting all the bananas regardless of the goal, and a mode where you have to avoid certain bananas, among others. I haven’t delved too far into any of these modes but I’m excited that they exist. There’s also a fairly comprehensive helper mode that lets you slow down time among other things which is kind of neat.

I think the main elephant in the room is the physics. I had read in reviews leading up to release the physics aren’t the same as the original games. I’m sure they aren’t, as the games were remade in Unity, but I haven’t played these games in over a decade so I wouldn’t know regardless unless they were truly awful. The controls and physics seem fine, with the exception of Monkey Target which Nintendo Life is absolutely correct about, it’s bad. I haven’t noticed any issues with any of the other minigames though. You can still do the ridiculous physics based shortcuts on Monkey Race. All that said, if you are super familiar with SMB1 and SMB2 and have played them relatively recently, you’ll likely notice physics changes immediately. Whether that’s a deal breaker for you I can’t say, but for me I don’t really notice at all.

One last note is that I recall reviewers complaining about the difficulty being extreme for the latter half of the single player game. That’s the epitome of Super Monkey Ball 1 & 2 and it’s what has been missing from all the releases since.

Hope this quick blurb was helpful.

Super Monkey Ball appears to be the last video game with a very gimmicky aesthetic and playstyle in a world filled with shooters and parkour games. It’s really refreshing.

I agree with y’all. I personally didn’t know that I was going to like it that much.