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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD rolls onto PC this winter

The good news is that Sega’s speedy ball-roller (and party game collection) Super Monkey Ball is now officially coming to PC, confirming a recent leak. The less good news is that Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is a re-release of the not-especially-great Wii game in the series. Still, it was held back by its extremely awkward tilt-centric Wii controls, which will most likely be excised from this re-release. Whether they’ll be doing anything about the bland level design is unknown. Below, a quite frankly baffling teaser trailer, showing nothing of the thirteen year old game.

It’s disappointing that they decided not to dust off the original games (ideally SMB Deluxe, which combined all the levels from the original two games into one), but at least there’s room for major improvement in this one. Despite the Wii offering a perfectly good analogue stick, they just didn’t let you use it, making even the simple act of moving straight forward a less-than-straightforward task. Given that the Switch is the only platform the HD version is headed to with any kind of motion controls, it seems safe to breathe a sigh of relief that it’ll be easier to play this time.

As for what to expect, here’s the game being thrashed to within an inch of its adorable monkey life at AGDQ 2016. Imagine this but with sharper graphics and less obnoxious controls and I’d imagine you’re close to Banana Blitz HD.

Banana Blitz also commits a few sins in its level design, with lots of slow empty corridors and some basic platforming, thanks to the unneeded addition of a jump button.  I honestly can’t remember much of the Banana Blitz collection of party games, but those can similarly only be improved by reworking the controls. So far it doesn’t sound like too much is changing. Sega say the HD version will have “updated graphics” and “optimised control schemes for each platform”, plus online leaderboards and a party game Decathlon mode featuring ten games back to back.

The PC release is due on Steam some time this winter, though first it’ll hit consoles on October 29th. Here’s hoping that Sega dust off SMB Deluxe after they’re done with this one.

An earlier version of this post mistakenly said the PC release was also in October.

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Dominic Tarason

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