‘Yakuza’s’ Kazuma Kiryu rolls into ‘Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania’

Yakuza: Like a Monkey

Sega continues to expand the roster of guest characters set to appear in the upcoming Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, with the reveal that Kazuma Kiryu, long-time protagonist of the Yakuza series, will be available in the game.

The announcement was made today (August 18) on Twitter, with Sega confirming that “The legendary ‘Dragon of Dojima’ will be a playable character, free and unlockable through normal gameplay!”

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Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is essentially a hybrid remake of the classic puzzle franchise’s earliest games, combining and remastering more than 300 stages from across the series’ history – mainly 2001’s Super Monkey Ball, 2002’s Super Monkey Ball 2, and 2005’s Super Monkey Ball Deluxe.

Gameplay involves rolling characters around floating mazes, without falling off and plummeting into the void below. The aim is to collect as many bananas and safely reach the goal as quickly as possibly. However, players don’t move their character but rather tilt the maze itself.

Playing as Kiryu seems to mix things up slightly though, with the notorious gangster collecting power-up drinks from his home series, rather than Super Monkey Ball’s default fruit of choice.

The Banana Mania package will also include several of the series’ various mini-games, such as Monkey Racing, Monkey Soccer, Monkey Bowling, and Monkey Baseball, all spruced up in high definition for modern players.

The collection is also shaping up to be a celebration of Sega’s wider history. The publisher recently announced that company mascots Sonic the Hedgehog and his tech-savvy sidekick Tails will be joining the game, along with Beat, the roller-blading, street-painting protagonist from cult favourite Jet Set Radio.

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Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is set to arrive on Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC on October 5 2021. Fingers crossed, Kiryu’s successor, Ichiban Kasuga from Yakuza: Like a Dragon may also be announced before the game’s release.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania isn’t the only way Sega is keeping track of its history – it also renewed its trademarks on a trio of classic Mega Drive and Saturn games.

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