UPDATE 11/8/21: Sega has finally confirmed the appearance of Sonic and Tails in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, after a previous leak tipped their inclusion.
But while we knew they were coming, today brings word that the pair thankfully won't be DLC - unlike other in-game characters. Both Sonic and Tails will be free and unlockable via normal gameplay. Selecting them also switches the game's bananas to rings, with the Sonic series' classic sound effects included.
The duo's announcement comes a week after Sega revealed Beat from Jet Set Radio would also be included - more on that below. Who's next - Idris Elba?
ORIGIBALL STORY 4/8/21: Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania will let you play as Beat from Jet Set Radio.
It's a nice nod from one Sega series to another, even if there's not much else going on with Jet Set Radio these days.
Beat will be available to unlock for all players for free at launch, Sega revealed via Twitter today. That's in contrast to an array of other retro skins which you will have to pay for.
Let's get scratchin'!— Super Monkey Ball (@SuperMonkeyBall) August 4, 2021
Beat from Dreamcast classic Jet Set Radio is coming to Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania as a playable character, free and unlockable on all platforms through normal gameplay at launch! 🎨#SuperMonkeyBall #BananaMania #JetSetRadio pic.twitter.com/A50xTUtGt1
Meanwhile, Banana Mania's Deluxe Edition includes a set of classic character skins so you can make your monkeys look like their original (and far superior) GameCube designs. You can also play as a Game Gear, Dreamcast or Saturn in a ball for some reason.
Alternatively, these packs are available for purchase separately, priced $5 each.
Back in June, leaked artwork spilled the playable appearance of Sonic and Tails in the game as well - though Sega is yet to explain more on that front.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania will launch for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation and Xbox on 5th October and features a compilation of courses and mini-games from the franchise's first two entries and Deluxe re-release.
Nostalgic for Jet Set Radio? Christian Donlan wrote of his two decades playing Jet Set Radio Future, off and on, a couple of years ago.