I could understand SEGA's decision to leave out analogue stick controls if it was trying to make a game completely playable with just a Wii Remote, but many of the included 20+ mini-games need a Nunchuck plugged in. Analogue stick support wouldn't have even had a negative impact on the leaderboards, given that the game already differentiates between Balance Board and Wii Remote scores, and there's no online functionality at all.
Outside of that annoyance, Step and Roll is perfectly enjoyable, especially for younger gamers. The original-style levels can be played with a friend (with one player blasting obstacles out of the way) or played in long marathon sessions where the next course is loaded directly after you head through a gate. You'll likely rush through all the stages in an afternoon, but the leaderboards promote replaying them all at least one or two times more.
On the mini-game side of the package, there's a fair amount of throwaway rubbish that won't be played more than a handful of times, but others, including the classic Race and Target games, are much more enjoyable. Most are incredibly simple to learn so there should be no trouble if you're playing with younger or less experienced family members.
There's an incredibly annoying new personal trainer monkey character, appearing all over the place, clearly designed to be someone kids will like (if he's not slipping on a banana skin he's being crushed by a big bunch of them). Combined with the game's irritating music, Step and Roll becomes quite hard to play for extended periods of time, simply because of these irritants. It's definitely still got some of what made the series popular with hardcore gamers in the first place, but the balance has definitely shifted in favour of the new casual gaming Wii audience.
Super Monkey Ball: Step and Roll might be marketed as a game to play using the Wii Balance Board, but it's a much better game when played using standard Wii Remote controls. If I had to choose I'd go for one of the original two Monkey Ball games on GameCube, but newcomers and younger gamers will find a lot to enjoy in Step and Roll.
VideoGamer.com Score7 Score out of 10
- Some of the mini-games are great
- Classic gameplay is still fun
- Lots of the mini-games aren't good
- Balance board support feels gimmicky