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Super Monkey Ball: Sakura Edition offers a rolling good time

by Michael Ian

After a number of appearances on everything but Android, Super Monkey Ball has finally arrived on our beloved OS. Dubbed as Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition, it’s everything that you've come to know from the series. Along with hair-pulling and “toss your mobile device across the room” difficulty, the mobile version attempts to emulate the same experience made famous on GameCube 10 years ago.

If you've never laid you hands on earlier iterations, don't fret. Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition is easy to pick up yet difficult to master. Using your device's built in accelerometer you'll guide the questionably adorable monkeys over a series of mazes and various obstacles. While this method makes sense in practice, it doesn't translate very well to the gameplay. The issue rests in the fact that you'll be turning and twisting your device at various angles forcing you to take your eyes off the screen. If your device doesn't sport high viewing angles, I bid you good luck trying to play through a dimly lit screen. Prepare yourself for a bit of neck strain, and as much as I hate to admit it, virtual controls would do wonders here.

Sega also shoots itself in the foot by skipping-out on the option for custom calibration. Sure their “tilt meter”, aiding players to gauge how much they've tilted the device softens the blow, but forcing you to play at angles they deem suitable may not be comfortable for some.

Aside from those two major gripes, Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition contains more features than you can shake your banana-filled fist at, including time trial, mini-games and at least 100 levels. Those levels aren't a cake walk either as you'll see in the first few rounds. Expect some teeth-gritting and some howls of frustration as traps, gaps and time make it their personal mission to see you fail. Just like most of their recent mobile forays, Sega has done well translating their game for mobile consumption. At any time you exit the game, you'll have a chance to resume from the level where you left off.

If you've played the past games in the series, then you owe it to yourself to play this mobile version. If you haven't, then heed the advice above. You'll have a rolling good time, and you'll go bananas! All right... the puns end there.

Give Super Monkey Ball: Sakura Edition a try. Readers easily receptive to vertigo need not apply.