In our review of the Nintendo 3DS, we highlighted Super Street Fighter IV as one of the top titles available at the system's launch. We found ourselves hugely impressed by the graphics, use of the dual screens, and controls. Of course, fighters are not for everyone, some people like just a wee bit more insanity and hijinx in their 3D handheld titles, so if you're looking for another great launch title when picking up your 3DS, may we humbly suggest Super Monkey Ball 3D.
There is almost nothing about Super Monkey Ball 3D which doesn't impress. Critics out there may point out that the game is, essentially, a whole lot like other Monkey Ball titles, but that's not a bad thing, and may actually be one of the reasons the title works so well. We are of the opinion that it's going to take some time for developers and publishers to work out the best way to utilize the 3D aspects of the new handheld, and what better way to allow your team to spend time on the 3D bits than to take a franchise and concept you already know works?
Super Monkey Ball 3D contains three main game modes – there's the monkey rolling inside the ball to pick up bananas mode (the classic one, Monkey Ball), the kart racer mode (Monkey Race), and the bash the other monkeys to get more bananas than they have mode (Monkey Fight).
In the classic mode, you are offered two different control schemes – you can either utilize the analog pad to control your monkey through the course from start to finish, or you can use the 3DS' motion sensor. And here would be our one main complaint with the title – it is nearly impossible to use the motion sensor and keep the 3D turned on without losing your mind and/or getting a headache. Simply put, you can't keep your eyes in the sweet spot to get a single 3D image and successfully move your monkey from point A to point B. We tried to do it sitting, we tried to do it standing, and we even tried to do it lying down, but no position that we could possible contort ourselves into allowed us to maintain the correct visual line while using the motion sensing controls. Of course, turn the 3D off and the motion sensing works perfectly and adds a great dimension to the game.