PlayStation has a long history with primates, dating all the way back to 1999 with Ape Escape for the original PlayStation. Now in 2016, it’s time to take the battle to these pesky monkeys and shoot them full of arrows in VR no less!
Ace Banana is a fun and family-friendly PS VR title, backed by a distinct visual style and amusing characters, but issues with bugs prevent it from being a perfect banana of the bunch.
The player assumes the role not of a little boy with spiky hair, but of an anthropomorphized banana, the yin to the yang that are the monkeys of Ace Banana. Your job is to repel the thieving monkeys from stealing away our yellow comrades, armed with a bow that uses all sorts of ammo, like a potassium-rich Robin Hood if you would.
With three stashes of banana buddies to protect, you would have to move from point to point (three in total) and vanquish your foes, and they can be often overwhelming in number. Powerups will drop from time to time, granting you monkey-seeking arrows, triple arrows or a useless rock arrow to name a few.
The antagonistic primates come in all shapes and sizes as well, adding a dash of personality into the game. Monkeys donning construction hats, wearing Hawaiian shirts, and even fun-sized lemurs join the battle to snatch up bananas, it definitely ups the ante in the humour department.
Some Ripe, Some Rotten
Ace Banana can be really fun to play, the addition of leaderboards and high scores could easily sustain gamers who love to chase scores, but the experience is not always a smooth one. The tracking and movement of the aiming reticle can be finicky at times, even when using the PlayStation Move controllers and holding steady. This can be really frustrating when you are trying to get long range shots and even more so when the enemies are right in front of you.
The centering of your view in the headset can also be a problem, especially evident when you move from vantage point to vantage point. This is usually remedied by re-centering the view using the holding the Options button, but the issue returns indefinitely.
The inconsistencies and lack of accuracy often frustrate, and while it may be possible to power through the game and hope for the best, it can also be game-breaking and a really bad experience.
Ace Banana is worth a shot in this early period of PS VR, a game that is fun and not overly difficult. The happy music and amusing visual design definitely extend the game’s longevity, but ultimately it is bogged down by some nasty bugs that can ruin the experience completely, this is one banana that has yet to ripen.