Some games translate well to the DS, while others don’t. Unfortunately, the DS version of Super Monkey Ball falls short. The game itself is really no worse than the versions for GameCube, but the biggest downfall is the DS itself.
In the GameCube installments, Super Monkey Ball is a set of games involving four different monkeys in clear balls that they roll around in. The main game is a series of platforms that you tilt to guide the monkey around an series of obstacles, ramps, jumps, and plenty of other hazards to get to the goal at the end. These are an excellent test of motor skills…and patience. The game looks simple at first, but levels get progressively harder, and many have a puzzle element, requiring you to approach the goal in a certain way, or during a series of timed events. In addition to the main game, there are various party games, which can host between one and four players.
The DS version has a handful of party games, and a series of levels just like its bigger cousins. So where does it fall short? Control. It is just too difficult to control the movements with a stylus. Small movements of the stylus are often not enough, and moving too far will cause a platform or level to tilt way too far. You can also use the “+” control, but it is too coarse to be of any use. One party game that works well is a challenging version of air hockey, where the paddles change sizes, or other events happen to make scoring easier, or more difficult. Monkey Bowling is a bitc clumsy on the DS, and the Monkey Race gives up the finer control you get with a joystick, making it harder to maneuver a race course.
For those who have the patience to make this game work, it’s may be a good choice. But the joystick control from the GameCube versions is still far better. I only grew frustrated with the lack of control I had over the courses. I give this one 2 out of 5 stars.