Can We Play Monkeys

I never thought I’d dramatically reduce the amount I play video games in my life. It’s been my go-to for everything from general entertainment to stress relief and escapism for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, life. A more demanding job, a wife and now family, the whole nine yards. Actually, it’s a half-acre yard. At any rate, you’ve probably read a few mentions here and there that Life, with the big L, has caught up to my past time.

A stage in all its glory.

The thing is, Sega so happened to put out a piece of my past time recently. The original Super Monkey Ball and SMB2 were a mainstay in my college days. Our resident advisor bemoaned the boot music because he knew my dormmates – shout out to NT5 crew! – and I would be screaming at the top of our lungs in Monkey Fight bouts or I’d be cursing my inability to nail a trick to grab the last bananas in a stage. The Wii follow up, Banana Blitz, came years later but before the whole Life thing began. Thus, many additional strained vocal cords and ring outs were had. It’s this edition of simian strategy that Service Games has brought back to life.

It is prettier.

But that’s about it. The five-year absence to the silly, simple and satisfying puzzle universe is simply back. Little of note has been added to the HD remake and even some removed due to music licensing stupidity. The gluttony of mini-games of the original has been self-edited to a more polished ten and the Blue Blur has been added as an unlockable playable character because, you see, he rolls into a ball. No new stages for the “main” puzzle game. Instead, solo players are expected to be satiated by a new Time Attack mode and everyone can get in on the min-game decathlon or, again, best yourself. Suffice it to say, there’s some room for improvement.

This is the first bad guy. Guess where you hit him.

That darn Life thing keeps bringing me back though. Yes, back, to Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD. You see, my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter understands what a Switch is. She gets that it entertains me. I enjoy the infernal device that rarely has a full battery. She, despite the latest episode of Peppa Pig or the newest special edition of PAW Patrol, wants to be a part of that. To play with Dad. “Can we play monkeys” maybe her latest excuse to put off going to bed for another 20 minutes but it works. Every. Damn. Time. For that, Sega, I thank you.

Thank you for giving me nostalgia that my daughter wants to share with me.

The snowboarding mini game made the cut.

iTZKooPA was provided a Switch download key by Sega for this review.

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