UPDATE 6/15/21, 11pm: In much the same way that Sonic made a surprising roly-poly appearance in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD, it looks like the blue hedgehog will return to play in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania – and this time with Tails in tow. .
One enterprising internet sleuth (as spotted by fan site Sonic Sonic Stadium) has been poking around Sega’s newly launched Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania website and – perhaps through a combination of curiosity, cunning, and guesswork – uncovered the hidden art while this is for a potentially playable Sonic and Tails.
You can see for yourself! Scroll down to the Characters section and you’ll find six squares, each displaying one of the rosters that Monkey Ball can play. But strikingly, the site layout leaves enough room for two more characters – and manually changing the image path so that both portrait and in-ball art end up in sonic.png or tails.png revealing hidden versions of Sonic and Tails of both:
So there you have it – possibly two fun little additions to the game that have excited Monkey Ball fans. Presumably Sega will reveal more soon.
UPDATE 6/15/21, 5:21 PM: Following yesterday’s leak, Sega has confirmed that Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania is indeed a thing and will be coming to Switch, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Steam on October 5 this year.
But what is Banana Mania? Well, as fans have concluded, it’s a remaster of 2005’s Super Monkey Ball Deluxe – combining the original Super Monkey Ball, its sequel, and some new content not seen in any of those games.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania arrives in time for the 20th anniversary of the Super Monkey Ball series, and you can get a peek at the action in the trailer below.
ORIGINAL STORY 6/14/21: Looks like Sega may not be done with its spherical simian yet; images have emerged for a new entry in the long-running Super Monkey Ball series, this one titled Banana Mania, purportedly heading to Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Series X/S.
The image in question, shared by freelance journalist Nils Ahrensmeier on Twitter earlier today, it purportedly showed off PlayStation 5 and Switch box art for Banana Mania, along with four usually cheery screenshots from the game.
This is “Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania”.
Platforms: Switch (obv), PS4, PS5, XBOX One, X Series
– Nils Ahrensmeier (@NilsAhrDE) June 14, 2021
One of these shots teases the return of much-loved Monkey Ball party game Monkey Target, while the other is a little harder to pin down. However, some experienced Monkey Ball fans nowadays do some deductive work and speculated that the images could point to a 2005 remake of Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, which combined the first two Monkey Ball games with new content.
Sega’s last foray into the world of Monkey Ball came in 2019, when it released an HD remaster of the largely-disliked Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz on the Wii. The remaster finally proved to be more fun than many had hoped, so sprucing up for a more memorable title like Super Monkey Ball Deluxe would no doubt be fun.
Obviously, we won’t know for sure until Sega unveils it, but it’s worth noting this isn’t the first time we’ve heard the name Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania; the mysterious title appeared on a list by the Australian Classification Board earlier this year. Maybe everything will be revealed tomorrow, during Nintendo E3 Direct.