TGS 09: Working up a sweat with Monkey Ball Step & Roll

Tokyo Game Show, if you hadn’t heard, is crowded. With those crowds comes the heat, and subsequently sweating. It’s hot and sticky, but hey, that’s the price for fun.

So with that in mind, my first stop at TGS probably shouldn’t have been Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll for the Wii. It’s basically exactly what you’d expect — the monkey ball rolling you once controlled with your thumbs is now controlled by your entire body via the Wii Balance Board. The goal of the game remains the same — you control the environment to roll the monkey around, collect as many bananas as possible, and reach a goal. 

While you can play the game with the Wii Remote… f*ck that. Using the Balance Board just feels right, like it’s the way Monkey Ball was originally intended to be played. Shifting your weight forward moves the monkey ball full speed ahead; pulling back will cause it to slow down and eventually stop. All in all, it feels pretty good and mostly responsive, although it did seem a bit hard to turn my little monkey ball around.

After about five minutes of this, I noticed I was sweating. Not dripping, mind you, but enough that I’d imagine playing Step & Roll could be quite a workout. The upside is that the usually aggressive booth girls that try to hand you fliers will think twice about approaching this big, sweaty American. The downside? Now I stink. Thanks, Sega.

Nick Chester