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The GameCube's best kept secret is back: Super Monkey Ball 2 is full to the brim with more maze-puzzlin' action and multiplayer fun than you can shake a rhesus monkey at. Regarded by some as the best GameCube game around--until now--the original Super Monkey Ball was a typically bonkers Japanese take on the arcade classic Marble Madness, in which you have to guide a marble around a maze within a time limit. Except in this case the marble has got a monkey in it, and it's the maze you tilt and control rather than the ball.
Super Monkey Ball 2 doesn't really deviate from this original idea, instead offering over 100 new stages and a story mode (although whether you enjoy a tale featuring a quartet of flying monkeys, a bad guy called Dr Bad-Boon and the magic word "Ei-Ei-Poo" will pretty much depend on your age and/or blood/alcohol level). The single player mazes are as insanely challenging as before but in truth some of them are a little more gimmicky and rely more on luck than judgement when compared to those in the original.
The real lasting appeal with Super Monkey Ball, though, is its multiplayer modes, and here the sequel is a definite improvement--there are a whopping 12 different party games to play, including Monkey Tennis, Monkey Baseball, Monkey Shot, Monkey Soccer, Monkey Boat Race and Monkey Dog Fight. It might sound silly, but even one quick go reveals this to be one of the most addictive and fun games released for years. --David Jenkins