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LONG BLOG

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD (2019) Review

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Platform Game Review - 

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD (2019)

 

Game reviewed on Nintendo Switch 

Reviewed by Brady Painter - 3/1/2020

Visual Representation of Dialogue

0

Visual Representation of Sound

0

Visual Cues

4

Controller Vibration

2

Visually Engaging

4

Multiplayer Communication

N/A

Overall Score

3 out of 6


Having grown up playing platform games like Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet & Clank, and Jak, I was excited to play the remastered Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD on Switch. The main game’s one-player mode opens with Captain Crabuchin, a pirate villain, stealing golden bananas from our main monkey AiAi and his friends. The team must complete a total of eight stages - each composed of eight levels, one bonus level, and one boss level - to reclaim their bananas.

Subtitles are not provided for the opening cutscenes, which left me wondering whether the characters were talking or not. Even if the characters are not exchanging dialogue, it would be nice if subtitles were provided for other environmental sounds so deaf and hard of hearing gamers know that nobody is actually speaking. While the lack of subtitles is frustrating, the game is not really story-driven, so I didn’t feel like I missed out on much. In fact, the game relies heavily on the use of vibrant colors and unique level designs, both of which I was able to enjoy.

While Super Monkey Ball disappoints when it comes to subtitles, it does provide some helpful visual indicators throughout the game. Each level starts with a countdown (shown visually on screen), followed by a visual cue “Go!” to let you know when to begin. Likewise, visual timers are also provided on screen throughout the level, so you can keep track of how much time you have left to reach the goal. During boss fights, easily-distinguishable visual indicators are provided to show where you should attack (as pictured around the bird’s head below). These cues are clear, comfortable to read, and visually engaging to deaf and hard of hearing gamers.

In addition to the main one-player mode, Super Monkey Ball also has mini games, party games, and timed challenges. While no subtitles are provided in any game modes, there are written instructions for each mini game. These instructions are relatively clear and easy to read, but the font and background colors are not consistent throughout. Personally, I would have prefered use of a white font and black background throughout to improve readability. 

Overall, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is a nostalgic game that transported me back to the early 2000s when I was a kid playing Super Monkey Ball on my GameCube. The levels and battles are exciting and fun, and I often felt my heart rate escalating when facing difficult obstacles. While the game doesn’t offer many accessibility features - including subtitles and visual indicators for environmental sounds - the game play, vibrant colors, and unique game design make it an enjoyable experience.

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About Brady4Jahone of us since 11:22 AM on 02.15.2020

Brady Painter's Blog

As a Deaf gamer, I began playing video games with the release of the Nintendo Game Boy. I remember begging my mom for both Red and Blue versions of the original Pokemon game, an early indication of my passion for gaming. While growing up, I played many different games on my Gameboy, Playstation, Wii, Xbox and Gamecube. Fast forward to the present, I play titles of many different genres on Playstation 4, Playstation VR, and Nintendo Switch. I most enjoy playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch, one of my favorite games of all time and one of my favorite consoles.