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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz - hands on

If you've played one Monkey Ball game, you've essentially played them all. Every single one of them consists of guiding a trapped monkey through a hovering maze that's dangling above some surreal landscape. Instead of controlling the spherical monkey prison, you actually tilt the level and make the little dude roll around. Levels will narrow, twist and throw all kinds of obstacles in your way in an attempt to buck you off.

And all of that can be said for Wii's Banana Blitz too. The difference here is that you're only using the remote to balance the unlucky monkey through the level. It takes some getting used to (as with all Wii titles), but after a few minutes, you forget that you're even holding a remote. You being to react instinctively, jutting left and right without having to worry about analog sticks at all. Not that controlling the game with a stick was tough, but it's pretty clear this is a series that truly benefits from the motion system.

Even though the goal remains the same, there are some firsts with Banana Blitz, the most drastic of which is the ability to jump. By using the A button (or holding the trigger and flicking the remote) you can hop just a bit - a simple move that reshapes the way all the levels can be built. You'll see a lot more variance in elevation than before, plus some really tough platforming bits that have you leaping from perilously placed swings or jumping between scrolling, floating squares.

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