Review by BlueYoshi579
"It's no Mario Tennis."
I bought this game on recommendation... and quickly regretted it.
Unlike other Mario Sports games like Mario Tennis, where Camelot managed to simplify things just enough to make it enjoyable to pick up and play, Mario Superstar Baseball feels completely devoid of any of the complexity, depth, or longevity of baseball. Aside from custom hits and pitches for a limited number of characters, there's only stock types of players (good defense/poor hitting/poor pitching, poor defense/good hitting/poor pitching, and so on) with limited room for customization of players or improvement of your team - the only way to make a team better is to win players from other teams. There's a very limited number of parks, albeit some rather distinct ones. Ultimately, the game waters down baseball while simultaneously making it less interesting - even the typically zany multiplayer modes don't fix how unappealing the game itself is.
Uggh. Hitting is frustratingly simplified to the point where it feels entirely like guesswork, pitching is only slightly better, and defense is needlessly frustrating. Instead of copying the A = Home, B = 3rd Base, Y = 2nd Base, X = 1st base scheme that other baseball games use, the game forces you to use the A button and directional controls, which results in frustratingly uncontrollable throwing to the point of shutting off the Gamecube in disgust.
The game looks largely unremarkable, aside from the occasional flashes of innovation that come from designing the limited number of parks. The characters look like they do in other Mario games for the GCN, although the larger than normal cast for this game does prompt some extra points.
There's nothing good to say about the sound in Super Mario baseball. It has all the basic sounds one would expect from a baseball game, and little else. The sounds for things such as hitting, pitching, and player voicing feel recycled pretty quickly, and re-using the old themes and songs for characters isn't worthy of much credit to the developers, since they're basically obligated to do so. When they did try to add to the sounds, it didn't turn out too well.
A lot of people say baseball is too slow and too complex. They might welcome the idea of an up-tempo, simpler version that Mario Superstar Baseball appears to offer. However, they will be sadly disappointed.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 09/06/05, Updated 06/14/07
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