Review by dodgersfan7800

"Mario and company decide to pass the time with the national pastime!"

Taking a break from his usual adventures, Mario and company decide to pass the time with the national pass time.

This game has a few different modes, but the main ones are challenge mode and exhibition mode.

Exhibition mode lets you play with one to four players in an exhibition game. You can choose your team captains and then choose from the usual cast of Nintendo characters to play a baseball game. As far as the characters go, there are several of them (think Super Mario Melee). You can then choose a stadium in which to play, and you're on your way.

Challenge mode is the heartbeat of the game. According to the story, Bowser has formed a baseball team and challenged Mario to a contest. So you, as Mario, along with brother Luigi must practice in order to be good enough to take on Bowser & Co. You then navigate through a map, similar to many other Mario games, and go from place to place to try to fill up your team with stars. You start out with Mario and Luigi with secondary characters to make up your nine. On the map, you challenge Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Peach and Daisy, and Baby Koopa to games. Some of the games are longer than others. If you win, some of the better players on this team are impressed enough to join your team and the beat goes on. Once you build your all-star team, you take on Bowser. Some characters are unlockable as you go through the game, but I won't reveal which.

Gameplay is not bad. Most of the real rules of baseball are intact. I was especially impressed when the infield fly rule was called. This is a nuance of baseball I didn't expect from this game. Games are 5 innings, unless nobody scores. After five innings you go into extra innings and the game ends as in real baseball.

Each character has its own strengths and weaknesses and its own characteristics. You can change pitchers at any time during the game if your pitcher gets tired, so you aren't stuck with one pitcher all the way through. Batting is interesting. Each character has a bizarre stance and you can power them up by holding the A button down and letting go at the proper moment to make them swing with a little power, rather than hitting the A button to make them swing regularly.

My only real complaint with the game is that the players run too slowly in the field and along the basepaths. You will get doubled up on fly balls a lot.

Navigating in the outfield takes some practice.

You don't have the opportunity to trade players or sim games. So if you are interested in a deep baseball experience a la MVP Baseball, this title isn't for you. But if you want to play the greatest game in the world with some great characters, I recommend this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/18/09

Game Release: Mario Superstar Baseball (US, 08/29/05)

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