I give you impressions from the main game.
I love the original Super Monkey Ball. The sequel controlled the same way, so I could derive some enjoyment from it, but the level designs were inferior. We shall not speak of a certain adventure title featuring monkeys that hit the Cube this summer past. That brings us to Banana Blitz, Amusement Vision's Wii take on the franchise. So far, I can only say that I'm less than pleased.
If you had to imagine how SMB should control with the Wii, what would it be like? Stop to think for a moment. Now contrast your thoughts with how the game actually plays. The tilt sensors in the remote control the tilt of the board. So far so good right? Ok, but the designers apparently decided that you ought to hold the remote in one hand. However, when doing this, it's natural for the remote to be angled upward a bit and pointing at the TV. So they made that the neutral position. If you can manage to find and hold this position, your monkey will not roll anywhere. Good luck with that.
The problems with this are numerous. The biggest problem for me is that no matter what I've tried, I cannot play the game with one hand. When holding the remote as I just described, my wrist quickly starts hurting. Even worse, I can't make my wrist go forward enough to control forward tilt well. I could exchange the word "well" for the phrase "at all" if I happen to be reclining a bit, which I tend to do when gaming. On the other hand, if I try to hold the remote with two hands, there's no natural way to hold it, particularly considering that you need to be able to hit the A button for jumping still. The remote is only meant to be held in two hands when it is sideways (ala Excite Truck or a virtual console NES game). Speaking of Excite Truck, why isn't there an alternate two handed horizontal control mode? That would have been my first choice by a long shot. Despite this, I'm making it work anyway.
So as I progress through the levels, I reach 8 and find that there are environmental hazards. Birds are flapping their wings creating wind. This was a really bad idea. By level 8 I've barely figured out how to hold the remote yet. I definitely haven't figured out how to control the game well enough to keep these birds from blowing me off the level. Still, after about ten tries, I managed to make it through. Not that it was much fun. Maybe if I continue forcing the issue things will get better. I'm not too hopeful that this game can live up to the original. The level designs so far suggest that the designers were well aware that the game is more difficult to play with the remote. Would you play a console FPS instead of a PC one because aiming is more challenging? So far, the addition of a jump button is an interesting element, but the verdict is still out on that one.
While I'm here, I should mention that the music I've heard so far is rather excellent. At first I found it annoying, but I was just angry with the controls. The lack of Excite Truck style control in the main game still baffles me.
I haven't tried any mini games yet, so SMB may yet turn out to be a relatively good launch title.