Review by Nonoke
"One of the greatest Mario Sports games I've ever played, hands down."
If you have played any of the video games in the Mario series, you would know that it's all about good, wholesome fun. This game isn't an exception. From the world of generic baseball games comes Mario Superstar Baseball.
This is one of the most solid parts of this game. This game is like any traditional baseball game, but with all of the Mario elements mixed into it. This game has four great game modes: Exhibition, Challenge, Toy Field, and Minigames. Exhibition is a straight-up baseball game. You pick nine characters from the large character list, from a team, and play against your rivals. This is where it gets interesting. Every character has their own statistics, strengths, weak points, abilities, and Star Abilities. For example: Mario would be your typical all-around character, while Bowser will be a powerhouse who can earn you home runs, but is a terrible fielder.. Boo's hits cause the ball to curve, and he's a great pitcher. Dixie Kong is a top-tier fielder, but lacks a bit in the hitting area. Luigi can perfrom Super Jumps, Toadette can jump off walls, and Donkey Kong can climb. Peach can pitch a disappearing ball, and Bowser Junior can fire a Bullet Bill. Characters' different abilities and powers add to the strategy of team-building. You can even change the colors of some characters, like Toad and Noki, which can alter their stats a little. You can pick from any of the fields available, like the Piranha Plant-infested Yoshi Park or the block-infested Peach Garden. Each level has something different. Challenge Mode is different than most baseball games. You wander the Mushroom Kingdom, earn power-ups and draft new players, so you can win the final match against Bowser. While it's a fun thing to play, it's annoying that you can't change colors of drafted players, and that , if you remove a player,like Blue Toad from the default team, you can never have him back on your team. Toy Field isn't a very entertaining mode. You have two characters field, while one bats, and another pitches. You need to earn the most points you can at the end of the game. If you catch a ball or strike someone out, you can bat next. You have to aim at the panels on the ground so you can get a bonus. The problem is, it can sometimes land on the Coin space, where the other players can easily steal the Coins you were meant to earn from it, and that (?) Spaces can be bothersome, and let any loser win the game. Next up is the Minigames section. While the minigames are fun, they can't keep you entertained for a long time. It IS nice that each minigame incorperates baseball skills, though. It's a nice touch.
The sounds are solid. Everything sounds like it should. There are some pretty good tunes that you might want to keep listening to, like Yoshi Park's song or Peach Garden's track. Nothing spectacular, but it's not average.
Everything looks great. Animations are solid, backgrounds are detailed, and the menu screens look nice and sleek. Textures look realistic, the lighting effects and details give a very great atmosphere to the levels, especially in Peach Garden. Dazzling effects are everywhere when you make a big play, and everything has the typical bright, cheery colors you see in any Mario game.
So, Mario Superstar Baseball is one heck of a game. Not only is it great fun, but it allows you to replay many times, listen to high-quality sound, and drool whenever you see Peach and Daisy on-screen. I mean, who wouldn't like THAT?
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/09/08
Game Release: Mario Superstar Baseball (US, 08/29/05)
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