Reviews Featuring ‘Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble’, Plus the Latest Sales – TouchArcade

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for July 1st, 2024. Happy Canada Day, everyone! To celebrate, I canceled all Switch releases for today. Giving myself a little break. But I do have some reviews for you, so don’t run away. There are a few from me, and one from our pal Mikhail. I’m looking at Fireside, Neo Sprint, and Topple Zip, while Mikhail is going bananas with Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble. All that, and a big list of new sales? Hey, that’s not bad. Let’s get to it!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble ($49.99)

When Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble was announced, I thought it was going to be a multiplayer-focused entry, and didn’t pay much attention to it. I saw the trailers following that, and started getting hopeful. Fast forward to today, I think Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble is excellent, but it suffers from some major technical issues. Despite that, the single player content more than justifies the asking price. One thing to note is that this review is based on the game with its day one patch. I saw some folks wondering if the day one patch improved things from what reviewers played, but I’ve been playing it from the start with the patch included.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble‘s main adventure mode ships with 200 stages that you slowly unlock. Even if Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble featured the same gameplay mechanics as Banana Mania, I would’ve been ok with it, but SEGA took things a step further with the new Spin Dash option included. Early on, the Spin Dash feels unneeded, but you will slowly start needing it to complete the missions in each stage or to improve your time.

When I first booted up Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble, I almost dropped it because the camera movement and judder made me want to throw up. I wasn’t sure I’d have been able to review it, but after some tweaking in the settings and getting used to the annoying Unity issue, I started enjoying the adventure mode a ton. Some stages are evil while others are great at introducing you to new layouts and things you will need in future levels. While the levels start ramping up in difficulty, there are a few assist options you can toggle on to make things a bit easier. I also recommend using motion controls for the best experience. I rarely say that, but they felt good in Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble.

I said it before, but just the single player content here justifies a purchase, but SEGA kept showcasing multiplayer so let’s get into that. Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble ships with local multiplayer, online play, and local wireless support in addition to single player. The multiplayer modes see a visible cutback to visuals and performance, but nothing prepared me for how miserable the actual online multiplayer feels.

On paper, a few of the battle modes included are great. Some of them were fun despite the mess of an online experience, but I want to reiterate that it is not worth buying Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble to play online in its current state. My favorite battle modes are race and robot smash. I tested this pre-release and even this morning (as of this writing). Nothing has improved with the online play. It just feels frustrating and sluggish.

After playing and loving Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania as my first experience with the original games through the Switch and PS5 versions, I am disappointed in how Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble feels right now. The performance issues in adventure mode aren’t a dealbreaker, but this is a Nintendo Switch exclusive. It should be better. Hopefully the Unity issue can be addressed at least in patches.

On the audio side, I have no complaints. Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble sounds great across its effects and the music in every stage. I’m glad SEGA released the soundtrack on streaming services already.

There are also quite a few customization options already included, with you earning currency to unlock more at a regular pace. A lot of work went into this aspect of the game, and I’m curious to see whether we see more SEGA collaboration content added as cosmetics.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble also has DLC from the start letting you play as Sonic and there’s even a battle pass. Right now, the battle pass seems to only have a free tier. I want to note this because we’ve seen some publishers bring in paid battle passes in updates. I hope Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble doesn’t get one of those, but keep this in mind.

Despite my complaints with the online multiplayer and technical issue in single player, I’ve come away glad that Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble exists. Hopefully SEGA can fix some of the issues though, because this is a superb Switch exclusive held back right now.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble is an excellent game for single player content with varied and challenging stages, great music, and frustrating fun held back by a very annoying technical issue. If you get used to that, it is absolutely worth getting just to play solo. While the multiplayer modes had potential, it is embarrassing how they feel right now online.-Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Fireside ($14.99)

An odd little game, but one with enough charm to carry it. You’re a merchant who is in a shipwreck and ends up on an island where a lot of folks seem to have ended up. You’ve lost all your stuff, but you’re going to make the best of it anyway. The aforementioned folks have things they need. You want to meet those needs, sometimes by trading with another person, sometimes by going out and finding said things yourself. By helping people out, you not only gradually increase your wealth, but also help restore the shrines scattered around the island. At first you can’t wander too far from your camp, but as you play more and more of the island opens up.

Fireside is a simple experience in a lot of ways, but it does what it does to a satisfying degree of quality. It feels a bit plain in terms of presentation, but the amusing characters, strong gameplay loop, and well-formed trading mechanics make it a hard game to put down. If you’re looking for a low-stress game to chill with for a while, you could do a lot worse than this one.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

NeoSprint ($24.99)

I’m in a weird place with these Atari IP revivals, I think. I liked most of the Recharged line well enough. The ones that try to make a modern game out of one of those brands, I’ve had a more mixed experience with. It’s not that any of them are bad or anything, though Atari Mania felt close to that at times. But you have some that are so different from the original games that you wonder why they bothered applying the IP at all, and then some that are playing it a little too safe and end up feeling too quaint. I think they’re all a bit too in love with trying to push Atari, its brands, and its icons too, but I understand the company is trying to re-establish itself right now.

NeoSprint plays things very safe, and I can understand the thinking behind that. It wouldn’t really feel like Sprint at all if it didn’t use the familiar overhead perspective, and I don’t think Atari wants to try to compete in the standard racing space anyway. Things are a little less competitive in the overhead racing segment, though even here the best of the bunch make NeoSprint feel a bit too simple and shallow. The game compensates for that by packing in a very generous amount of content, so if you like what you get mechanically in this game, you’ll have plenty to enjoy. Lots of tracks, lots of modes, lots of unlockables, and so on. Up to eight can race locally, and that’s a hoot if you can set it up.

The track editor in particular is a lot better than I was expecting, and I had a lot of fun making various tracks to race on. You have to be careful as it’s fully possible to make a track with enough detail to bog down performance, which is something you’ll stumble over in the pre-made tracks at times too. Those playing in handheld mode might have trouble making out the action on the screen when dealing with the larger tracks if you want to play zoomed out. Your car becomes quite tiny, and the various things cluttering the track go from annoying to enraging in a hurry. Zooming in helps you see your car but reading the track from this perspective can be a bear. But these are the prices paid for maintaining the iconic perspective, so what can you do?

If you’re a huge fan of the old Sprint games or their many clones, I think you’ll probably enjoy NeoSprint. It does what it needs to, and it’s rather faithful to the core principles of the games that came before it. It’s also filled to the brim with things to do, and if you love to play “Spot the Atari References” then you can look forward to finding a lot to point at. For those without any real attachment to the series or publisher, this is an approachable casual racing game that could probably use a touch more complexity in its mechanics.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

EGGCONSOLE Topple Zip PC-8801 ($6.49)

Topple Zip is a little break from the action-RPGs we’ve been seeing so many of in the EGGCONSOLE line-up. Is it a welcome one? Well, it depends on what you’re after with these games. It’s certainly an interesting game, with some good ideas on paper. You’re in an aircraft race, but not really. Instead you’re trying to find the right path to the end of the game, a process that involves taking the right warps in the right order. Finding those warps is tough without a radar, but you can get one by knocking it out of one of the other racers. They’ll drop all kinds of other items too. But be careful, because they can knock the items out of you.

It’s a bit chaotic but the real problem with Topple Zip is that it’s a scrolling action game on hardware that really isn’t good at that kind of thing. There’s just too much going on here for the game to be running as choppily as it does, and it makes it very unpleasant to play. The good news it that there is very little text to worry about here, though you will need to pay careful attention to the HUD to notice when you have the radar in your inventory.

While I respect Topple Zip‘s unusual design, the PC-8801 probably wasn’t the best platform to realize it. This release is up to the usual standards of the EGGCONSOLE line in terms of the wrapper’s options and extras, and there’s almost no language barrier to worry about either. But the game itself just isn’t very fun to play, so it’s really just one for people who enjoy poking at ancient oddities.

SwitchArcade Score: 2.5/5


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Oh hey, a big Atari sale. And all the Atari-owned studios, too. That means some rare deals on Nightdive’s games in particular, but there are plenty of other goodies to be found too. Inti-Creates and ININ are running some nice sales of their own, so check that inbox list carefully. In the outbox, the incredibly rare discounts on the Metroid games are soon to expire. Check those lists!

Select New Sales

Wizardry ($35.99 from $39.99 until 7/10)
Atari 50: The Anniversary ($27.99 from $39.99 until 7/10)
The Making of Karateka ($17.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story ($26.99 from $29.99 until 7/10)
Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster ($20.99 from $29.99 until 7/10)
Turok ($5.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Turok 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Turok 3 Remastered ($26.99 from $29.99 until 7/10)
PowerSlave Exhumed ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition ($13.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
PO’ed: Definitive Edition ($17.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Shadow Man Remastered ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Blade Runner Enhanced Edition ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Strife: Veteran Edition ($2.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Head over Heels ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)

Swords & Soldiers 2 ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/10)
Bubsy Paws on Fire ($12.49 from $24.99 until 7/10)
F-117A Stealth Fighter ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/10)
Spirits of Xanadu ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/10)
Haunted House ($13.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Lunar Lander Beyond ($23.99 from $29.99 until 7/10)
Tempest 4000 ($5.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Akka Arrh ($10.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Days of Doom ($16.49 from $29.99 until 7/10)
qomp2 ($15.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Pong Quest ($6.74 from $14.99 until 7/10)
Atari Flashback Classics ($17.99 from $39.99 until 7/10)
Atari Mania ($11.24 from $24.99 until 7/10)
Mr. Run and Jump ($13.74 from $24.99 until 7/10)
Kombinera ($6.74 from $14.99 until 7/10)

Berzerk Recharged ($7.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Caverns of Mars Recharged ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Quantum Recharged ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Yars Recharged ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Gravitar Recharged ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Black Widow Recharged ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Centipede Recharged ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Asteroids Recharged ($4.49 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Breakout Recharged ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Missile Command Recharged ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 CE ($13.49 from $29.99 until 7/10)
RollerCoaster Tycoon Adv. Deluxe ($31.99 from $39.99 until 7/10)
Hell Blasters ($3.74 from $14.99 until 7/12)
Surmount ($10.04 from $14.99 until 7/12)

Bloodstained Curse of the Moon 2 ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/12)
Blaster Master Zero 3 ($7.49 from $14.99 until 7/12)
PuzzMiX ($3.19 from $3.99 until 7/12)
Gal Guardians Demon Purge ($13.74 from $24.99 until 7/12)
Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 ($14.99 from $29.99 until 7/12)
Luminous Avenger iX 2 ($12.49 from $24.99 until 7/12)
Gunvolt Records Cychronicle ($11.24 from $14.99 until 7/12)
Yohane the Parhelion BitD ($20.99 from $29.99 until 7/12)
Cotton Reboot ($11.99 from $39.99 until 7/13)
Spelunker HD Deluxe ($4.99 from $24.99 until 7/13)
Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade ($17.99 from $44.99 until 7/13)
Darius Cozmic Collection Console ($17.99 from $59.99 until 7/13)
Turrican Flashback ($11.99 from $29.99 until 7/13)
The Legend of Steel Empire ($14.99 from $24.99 until 7/13)
Irem Collection Volume 1 ($12.49 from $24.99 until 7/13)

Taito Milestones 2 ($21.99 from $39.99 until 7/13)
Ray’z Arcade Chronology ($29.99 from $49.99 until 7/13)
Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! ($25.99 from $39.99 until 7/13)
Puzzle Bobble 16-Bit Console Vers. ($5.59 from $7.99 until 7/13)
Ikki Unite ($11.99 from $14.99 until 7/13)
Trip World DX ($12.99 from $19.99 until 7/13)
Ninja JaJaMaru Retro Collection ($2.99 from $14.99 until 7/13)
Ninja JaJaMaru: Great Yokai Battle ($3.99 from $19.99 until 7/13)
Cannon Dancer Osman ($5.99 from $29.99 until 7/13)
The Ninja Saviors ($5.99 from $19.99 until 7/13)
Wall World ($5.99 from $9.99 until 7/13)
Air Twister ($12.49 from $24.99 until 7/13)
Double Dragon Gaiden RotD ($14.99 from $24.99 until 7/15)
Gordian Quest ($1.99 from $19.99 until 7/15)
Teslagrad Remastered ($2.99 from $9.99 until 7/15)
Teslagrad 2 ($5.99 from $19.99 until 7/15)

Saga of Sins ($5.99 from $19.99 until 7/15)
Afterimage ($12.49 from $24.99 until 7/15)
Ganryu 2: Hakuma Kojiro ($1.99 from $19.99 until 7/15)
God of Rock ($2.99 from $29.99 until 7/15)
Crime O’Clock ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/15)
Quadroids ($8.39 from $11.99 until 7/15)
Before the Green Moon ($5.99 from $11.99 until 7/16)
Treasures of the Aegean ($5.99 from $19.99 until 7/16)
New Joe & Mac Caveman Ninja ($8.99 from $29.99 until 7/19)
Asterix & Obelix Slap Them All 2 ($9.99 from $24.99 until 7/19)
Nocturnal Visitors ($3.99 from $4.99 until 7/19)
Noob The Factionless ($15.99 from $39.99 until 7/19)
Frog Detective: The Entire Mystery ($13.96 from $19.95 until 7/20)
Dead in Vinland ($2.79 from $27.99 until 7/21)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, July 2nd

Cook, Serve, Delicious! ($5.19 from $12.99 until 7/2)
Metroid Dread ($41.99 from $59.99 until 7/2)
Metroid Prime Remastered ($33.99 from $39.99 until 7/2)
PlateUp! ($13.39 from $19.99 until 7/2)
Super Mega Baseball 4 Ballpark Edition ($17.99 from $59.99 until 7/2)

That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow morning I have to go get a wisdom tooth pulled, so that should be fun. Provided everything goes okay, I’ll be back tomorrow with more new games, more sales, more reviews, and maybe some news. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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