I have never played Super Monkey ball on the Nintendo Gamecube, but have witnessed it being played, so thought I knew what to expect from the DS version. While Super Monkey Ball Touch and Roll on the Nintendo DS is a fairly faithful version, it may disappoint some diehard fans of the series.
I expected the game play to be down right tricky and infuriating, but the learning curve was unbelievably harsh and by just the ninth level of the first stage I was already struggling.
My first advice for anyone new to this game is to put the stylus back in its holder, as the game is just about impossible to actually play using the touch screen, luckily you can play using the directional pad which makes it somewhat easier, but of course completely destroys the main selling point and the uniqueness of the DS itself.
The graphics are good and the music is bearable, if somewhat repetitive. For those who can get to grips with the controls and the somewhat annoying camera system, I am sure the game could get very addictive, but I am not sure I have the patience for this style of game play at the moment?
I once again feel I am possibly missing out by not being able to test the wireless multiplayer options as there are plenty of 2-4 player games, while they can still be played single player, they lose some of their appeal and simply donít make much sense. Also many of the mini games can only be played using the stylus, which at times, like in the main game seems unusually unresponsive.
My favourite of the mini party games were Monkey Bowling and the Golf game, which I got quite good at. The Hockey game and the Maze game, I feel would be much improved with two or more players, rather than just going up against the computer.
Back to the main game again, after some persistence, I managed to get past the first stage which opened up another two feverishly difficult stages. There are apparently over a hundred levels, so I guess thatís ten stages plus bonus levels?
I found the main game far too difficult from the first stage and a more basic introduction to the different styles of levels would have helped. You can practice levels as you open up the stages and I think for those who have time to invest in this game, practice will be very much needed.
Super Monkey Ball Touch and Roll is both fun and infuriating at the same time, but I imagine would be a great way to pass the time while travelling, but not exactly the most enthralling game ever either. I would recommend this game to fans of the series, those people who are able to take full advantage of the multiplayer game or anyone who owns a DS and has a long journey ahead of them.
All in all not a bad entry on to the DS for this series, however the whole touch and roll control system needs some tweaking.