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Yakuza's Kiryu Joins The Growing Super Monkey Ball Cinematic Universe

Jet Set Radio, Sonic the Hedgehog, and now Yakuza collide in the next Super Monkey Ball

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A stern cartoon man in a nice suit appears unhappy to be trapped in a plastic ball.
Screenshot: Sega

Move over, Jet Set Radio’s Beat, you’ve been usurped as the coolest guest character in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania. Sega announced this morning that Kazuma Kiryu, the principled protagonist of the Yakuza series, will also be playable in the upcoming game.

Kiryu is the fourth Sega crossover to be introduced to Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, which features appearances from the aforementioned Jet Set Radio tagger as well as Sonic and Tails of Sonic the Hedgehog fame. Every guest also appears to have their own unique collectible in place of the ubiquitous bananas: Beat picks up spray paint, Sonic and Tails grab rings, and Kiryu is all about that Staminan X.

Super Monkey Ball (YouTube)

Honestly, this pairing only makes sense. Super Monkey Ball and Yakuza are both handled by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, after all, and famed Sega producer Toshihiro Nagoshi really made a name for himself with the former before moving onto the latter. Not only that, but Super Monkey Ball characters previously appeared in the Yakuza series as UFO catcher prizes; it’s about time Kiryu returns the favor.


That’s not to say Super Monkey Ball has never featured crossovers, of course. Sonic previously appeared as a playable character in 2019’s Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD. But Banana Mania seems poised as a pure crossover game designed to celebrate Sega’s massive breadth of iconic properties in much the same way as Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, the hugely popular kart racer released in 2012.

Thankfully, every guest character revealed for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania so far will be unlockable in the base game with no downloadable content required.


Although Banana Mania is technically a remake of the platforming series’ first three home console releases, updated gameplay mechanics and an all-new story mode make the upcoming game sound like much more than a simple compilation. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania launches for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and Steam on October 5.