Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD announced

Sega has announced Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD, a remake of the 2006 Wii game. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD will release on Switch, PS4 and Xbox One on October 29 for $39.99, and Sega plans to release the game on Steam in winter 2019.

Sega announced the HD remake with a new trailer. The new look at the game includes a a peek at the re-imagining of the game’s opening animation, but no gameplay footage. It does appear to be rendered in-engine, at least.

In a press release, Sega said Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD will feature “updated graphics,” so it’s not clear if this will be a simple HD texture remaster or a from-the-ground-up remake. According to Sega, the game will include an optimized control scheme for each platform. The original Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz included the Wii’s motion controls, so it will be interesting to see how Sega re-works the game for each platform.

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Sega also notes that the game will include brand-new mini-game mode called Decathalon, where players complete a set of 10 mini-games in a row. The Decathalon Score Attack mode and the single-player Time Attack modes will have online leaderboards, a first for the series.

The Wii’s Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz received mixed reviews upon release, as some players found the game’s motion controls to be finicky and felt like many of the game’s 50 mini-games were little more than time-wasters. Some Twitter users only reluctantly accepted the HD remake news. The last Monkey Ball game was the 2014 mobile game Super Monkey Ball Bounce, so it seems that some fans were waiting for an entirely new game or even a remake of one of the more widely-beloved GameCube titles.

Sega recently released the Yakuza spin-off Judgement to a more favorable reception. When GameRevolution reviewed Judgement, we said it had one of the best stories in the Yakuza franchise (despite apparently being not a Yakuza game). Obviously, a spin-off of a series about Japanese gangsters is quite different from a remake of a game about monkeys rolling around in plastic balls, but hopefully Sega can improve on the Wii original’s flaws to deliver a similarly excellent product when Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD releases later this year.