Six years ago, the GameCube launched with the very first Super Monkey Ball. Since then, we've seen the glass-encased primates weave their way through countless floating mazes, only to show up in yet another game with similar puzzles to solve. Now there's Banana Blitz. With so many monkey options out there (spanning nearly every platform you can think of), what makes this one worth checking out? Actual new content.
Up until now - with the heartbreakingly noteworthy exception of the failed experiment Super Monkey Ball Adventure - each Monkey Ball was nothing more than a new assortment of hovering courses designed to make your brain split apart. Fun, yes, but every new game felt more like an expansion pack than a brand new title. Banana Blitz, on the other hand, offers entirely new worlds and courses, boss battles and the ability to jump. The last two serve to make the game a wholly new Monkey experience.
With a flick of the wrist (or push of the A button), you can bop your little monkey into the air. At first, this seems like the most trivial "enhancement" in video games ever, but being able to jump totally alters the way the mazes are laid out. The tracks have a lot more platforming elements in them, forcing you to approach each level with a different mindset than traditional Monkey games. It's simple tweaks like this that define the difference between "rehash" and "sequel." The only downside to all this jumping is that some levels rely on the ability too much, tacking on another layer of variables you have to balance in addition to keeping the course level.