Review: Ace Banana
As one of many launch titles for PlayStation VR, Ace Banana is one of those games that most likely got overlooked. However, there may be a reason that it hasn’t gotten much attention. It’s an arcade shooting game where you shoot oncoming monkeys coming to steal your hoard of bananas. Lose all the bananas and it’s game over. It’s a wave-based game that doesn’t work well at all, whether you are playing with PlayStation Move or the DualShock 4.
If you were to take a dive into Ace Banana, the DualShock 4 would be the best way to go, as the PlayStation Move support is poorly handled. When I started a new game, I needed to turn about 90 degrees to the left even see the playing field. I tried holding the Start button numerous times to try and re-center the playing field, but it just didn’t work. I had this trouble with the DualShock 4 and Move controllers. When playing with Move, it hardly works. It occasionally works, but only for a few minutes before the calibration gets off again. With many enemy monkeys coming toward you at one time, your arms are going to get tired, as mine did with just a little use.
Monkeys come in various varieties. Clown monkeys take more hits than normal, boxing monkeys can block your arrows, and monkeys in Hawaiian shirts throw fruit at you to blind you. There’s enough to keep it interesting, as each of the enemies don’t get too repetitive during each wave. Different upgrades can be found such as a porcupine arrow that shoots out extra needles to hit surrounding enemies and a panda that will defeat all enemies in the surrounding area. Some of the worst upgrades, which you want to avoid, are arrows with rocks on them. These decrease the range you can shoot. Another bad upgrade is a pillow, which is a soft projectile that slowly flies toward enemy monkeys. Plenty of other upgrades are available, but I never seemed to understand what they did, and the in-game database doesn’t seem to add any insight either. After a few waves, you’ll face a boss. These fights are extremely tough and the bosses are so unforgiving that it wasn’t fun. I have only been able to get past the first boss, as over time the monkeys become more relentless and the game doesn’t do you any favors when trying to aim and shoot them.
A mini-game in the menu can be played in which you’ll grow and feed new bananas which act as new avatars for you to be. You don’t see these characters in the game, but you can see and mess around with them outside of the game. To grow new bananas, you water them, feed them and provide sunlight so they can grow into new looking bananas. This mini game can seemingly only be played with Move, so if you only have a DualShock 4, you’re mostly out of luck.
Ace Banana is a tough game to recommend, and it’s even tougher to decide which control scheme you should use. If you care about the small menu mini-game, then you’ll need PlayStation Move controllers, but if you want to play the game with any reasonable success, you’ll want to play with the traditional controller. I didn’t have much fun with Ace Banana, as any enjoyment I did have was from mindlessly shooting monkeys early on in the game. The more I played, the more frustrated I became.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Various amounts of monkeys to fight
What I Dislike:
- Terrible tracking
- Punishing, not fun bosses
- Some upgrades I had no idea what they did