Review by chaerulez
"If you like Mario and you like baseball, you can't go wrong with this game"
I remember reading about this title in previews, but with all the other events right now happening in gaming (most notable the soon to be released X-Box 360), the game took a back seat in my mind. So I was surprised to find out a few days ago, Mario Superstar Baseball was already out. I figured there would be no risk in buying the game without playing it because I was determined it would have the quality of the other Mario sports games. How right I was.
This is an excellent game that exceeded all expectations and I hope Nintendo continues this series because they have a chance at making something special.
Great graphics and sound, although I do wish there was a little more speech by the characters. But the actions of the characters when they succeed or fail are humorous and it's hard to argue with how the game is presented.
This game takes me back to the retro baseball gaming days of RBI Baseball and Baseball Stars where it was just an overhead view and you just determined if the pitch goes left or right (and most of those games you could throw a sinking change up with the up button). The gameplay is very similar to that except the change up is now the down button (although I think they should have had some kind of sinker pitch as well), and you get a special pitch as well. Most of these special pitches are very hard to hit, but you only have limited use of them through star points. Although I think during multiplayer games many players will horde the star points until the last out so they can use minimal effort to try and strike out a player.
There is only one real flaw with the gameplay and that is base runners running on contact no matter what. Even if the ball hit is a line drive, the runners take off forcing the player to try and move them back which leads to unnecessary double plays. The only other problem with gameplay is the lack of a lead off system, which is sort of minor.
This is the only place Namco/Nintendo could've spent a little more time on. They should have made either a better story mode or some sort of season mode that kept track of stats. The story mode is still fun after five plus hours of playing for me, but I'm sure it will get old quickly. You basically just pick a captain from Yoshi, Mario, Peach, Donkey Kong, and Wario. You play the other four teams until you complete enough missions to take the other teams captain. After that its a game with Bowser and you are done. You can repeat this process under three more difficulty levels and thats it.
I think if Nintendo expanded the game to add more of their characters outside of Mario (Link, Kirby, Fox McCloud, Ness) they could've actually made a "league" with season mode and that would've been interesting. Despite all this, this game will have great replay value in multiplayer. Since this game is more casual than a MLB baseball game, it will attract a lot more people that would be willing to play than just serious baseball fans. Just like Mario Power Tennis is an excellent multiplayer game that a lot of people are still playing, this is a game that people will be playing against each other for a while.
I know the review says a 9/10, but its more of a 8.75/10, if a sequel is made and they fix the base running problem and add a little more single player depth, this will be a perfect 10/10 game. But sequel or not, Mario Superstar Baseball is an excellent game that fans of both Mario and baseball should enjoy greatly.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/07/05
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