Review by Killa Whales
"Its a bird! Its a plane! No, its Mario playing baseball!"
Mario Superstar Baseball is yet another edition to the Mario sports series and it does not disappoint. This game can be described with one word: addicting. From the second you take that first swing with your favorite character, Mario Superstar Baseball's amazing antics will have you hooked for good.
Wow. Is it possible to give an 11/10? I simply cant find one flaw with the gameplay. First, the hitting and pitching are easy to learn but hard to master. The simple batting and pitching systems are very much alike the systems of the NES and SNES baseball games. You may move your stance in the box at any time during the pitch but there is one difference however. In Mario Baseball you can charge up your swing which gives you more control of how far you want to hit the ball. There is also a special power-up swing and each character has their own. You hold down the L button, and if contact is made, the baseball will perform a special action depending upon the character you're using. For example, when Mario makes contact using his special power-up, he sends a rocketing fireball into the field of play. Each character also has his or her own batting stance and throwing style along with their unique set of skills dependent upon that players strengths and weaknesses. For example, diddy kong is known for his speed in practically every game he is in. This is why stealing bases is one of his strengths but hitting is one of his weaknesses because of his small stature. This will come into play when picking teams against your friends or the CPU. Instead of a season mode, there is a challenge mode in which you walk around a landscape and play other characters like Yoshi and Peach. Your team versus their team in each characters respective arenas. Even though the mode is short-lived, There are different difficulty levels for you to test your skills on. Along with this, there a horde of new minigames. They involve all the basic skills, like hitting and base running, but incorporate substantial amusement into each game. The gameplay could not have been any better.
Mario has never looked sharper than he does swinging the bat. Every character is expertly detailed down to Wario's last nose hair! There are solid animations throughout which include diving for balls, getting hit by pitches, and home run dances! Yes, each character has their own dance every time they let one fly. Even though there are only a small number of parks, the diversity in each is enough to keep you from being bored. The only problem with the graphics occurs when a line drive is hit and the camera cannot move fast enough to capture the motion of the ball. This might cause you to think that your game is broken when really it is only a trivial flaw with the camera speed.
Do all bats in Mario Baseball sound like they are corked? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No. It actually makes you feel a greater sense of accomplishment every time you hear that rewarding pop. Outside of that, the stadium and menu music are both upbeat and gratifying. There is one factor, however, that significantly brings down the sound' score. The umpire's voice is just flat out unacceptable for such a good game. The noise (I wont even call it a voice) is a mix between the voices of Woody the Woodpecker, Barney, and Elmo all calling balls and strikes at the same time. If not for this horrible sound you hear every pitch, sound' would receive a 10. After all, you can always use the mute' feature on your T.V.
Play time/ Replay value: 10/10
You could play the minigames forever and the challenge mode will last you as long as you're interested in baseball. If you have anyone to play this game with, that greatly increases the replay value too. If you get started there is a good chance that you wont be able to stop.
Final Recommendation: BUY
If you own any games in the Mario sports series then I would recommend you BUY this game. It is a solid game throughout and will keep you playing till the next Mario baseball game comes out. If it never does, then that's fine because this game is high quality. An edition to the Mario sports series never disappoints. Mario Superstar Baseball is the real deal.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/04/06
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