Review by Master Cube 10
"A good game, but slightly flawed."
Mario Superstars Baseball is the forth sporting game of the Mario series, this much anticipated game finally came out this late summer, but does it live up to the hype? In some ways, yes, in other ways, no.
Story: The story is simple, Mario and his friends get a challenge from Bowser to come to his palace and beat him. Basically everyone plays because they love baseball.
Gameplay: The gameplay in this game is pretty good, but there are a few mistakes. For example, controlling fielders is hardy than it should be. You can not alternate controlling fielders, so you are stuck with whoever is closer to the ball to begin with. You can not switch the position of any fielder before the ball is thrown, and sometimes the ball will basically hit the first/third basemen yet you can only control the short stop or second baseman, letting a hit by. Homeruns are, at first, hard to hit but as you become better at aiming you quickly learn how to hit two or three homeruns a game easily. The arcade-style of the game makes it lack a lot of detail that realistic sims would have, but it's still very fun. The AI in this game is annoying, they never take risks on baserunning, and with good management of your baserunners you can get extra bases everytime the ball is hit basically. They also seem to always get hits when they need them, and come back from games a ton. Runners are sometimes unresponsive, but running is still fairly easy once you get used to it.
Graphics: The graphics of this game are pretty well done, nothing real special but there are a few nice animations. There aren't any glitches or anything like that in the visuals.
Sound: I generally do not notice sound in a game, each stadium has it's own old-school music (i.e. Princess has Mario 64 music, Bowser has Bowser show-down music from NES/SNES) that really gives the game a certain Mario flavor. The sounds are nicely done, but the announcer (Lakitu) needs to learn how to say "Strike" correctly.
Content: This game has several modes including a story (Challenge) mode, a mini-games, and exhibition. Challenge mode is where you will spend most of your time, doing in-game tasks for your characters to obtain stars that improve your characters stats throughout the game, and unlocking certain characters to play in other modes. In challenge mode you pick a captain and face the other 4 teams, getting players from their team if you complete in-game "scout" missions that including striking people out, getting a doubleplay, doing a sacrifice fly, etc. Most of the harder missions give you multiple scout flags, but generally you only get a scout flag for one character but can get around 3-4 scout flags per game per character. Eventually you can take on Bowser, and if you beat him you can select the next level of difficulty.
Replayability: Challenge mode actually makes you work to improve your characters, and takes a few hours to beat. Once you spend 20+ hours getting your stars and unlockbles, you will probably spend a lot of time being bored in single player. This is when your friends come in play. With friends, this game is great. Pitching and other strategy is finally used, and if everyone knows how to play well you should have tons of fun. Otherwise, in single player, after doing challenge mode there isn't too much to do other than minigames which get old soon.
Final Verdict: If you have friends who play the GCN, by all means buy this game! If you don't play with your friends much then I would suggest renting this game and completing challenge mode then moving on to another game, in any effect with better AI and controls this game would have really been a good game. It came out as a mediocre game that is limited by your social life.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 09/06/05
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