Review by Cybernetic Fury

"Grand Slam for Mario fans"

TITLE: Mario Superstar Baseball
GENRE: Sports/Baseball

GRAPHICS: [9 - / - 10]
The graphics are outstanding and create standard "Mario-feel". Everything from the shadows of the characters to the reflections of objects is finely detailed and superb. However, I feel that Nintendo could have perfected the graphics just a bit more and made them as good as Mario Power Tennis' graphics. However, the graphics in Mario Superstar Baseball are just fine the way they are.

CONTROLS: [10 - / - 10]
The controls are excellent and easily-adaptable. Everything from stealing bases to throwing dynamic pitches can be quickly learned. And if you still can't understand the controls their is a practice mode that teaches you step-by-step every maneuver. Characters have special abilities that require very little effort to execute such as Bowser's torpedo-bill pitch and Mario's Fireball Slam.

SOUND: [8 - / - 10]
Mario Superstar Baseball offers everything from the solid sound of an explosive home run to a the classic bleeps of the old school. The music ranges from reworked Mario classics to techno and rock. The characters grunt, cheer, pant, and shout depending on what they are doing and you can recognize their voices as clear as ever.

DIFFICULTY: [10 - / - 10]
Mario Superstar Baseball offers an extremely talented AI system which can prove unfair in many situations. Even if they've ran out star specials and are exhausted, they can still manage to miraculously gather enough strength to slam any pitch thrown at them out of the ball park. They may even be able to throw sizzling shots at you when you aren't prepared. Even when you're in the lead by several runs, don't be too confident. I recall an instance where I was ahead 6 to 3 and it was halfway through the match. Suddenly, the opponent managed to blast two blazing home runs in the same inning, each scoring multiple runs and ending up the inning with a score of 7 to 6. After this grueling inning, they managed to score one run in each of the following innings and two runs in the last. The final score of massacre was 12 to 7 and they won. So if you want a challenge, you'll definitely be satisfied.

GAME-PLAY: [9 - / - 10]
This game offers everything that a great baseball game should have: hit-run/steal-score batting system a charge, pitch, strike-out pitching system, not to mention other fundamentals like fielding and whatnot. Customize your own team with dozens upon dozens of characters from the Mario universe. Then select a stadium and play ball! Challenge mode serves as the main mode for this game...The "Story Mode" if you will. Select a captain for your team and then journey across the land to different stadiums while battling teams, recruiting players, and even unlocking new characters and a new stadium. Purchase items from the shops that will temporarily improve your performance. There are also mini-games that you could test your skill at.

-Depending on which players you select for your team and who your captain is, the game generates a name for you team. For example, if you captain was Mario and you had certain themed players, your team would be the Mario Sunshines. However, if you had Mario as captain but had different players, you team could be called the Mario Fireballs. If your captain was Donkey Kong and you had mighty players, your team would be the DK Wild Ones. However, if you had a different players, your name could be the DK Kongs. There are a variety of names that could be generated.

-After a long time of playing, the cartoon-like style could get annoying very fast. In other words, watching Luigi leap into the air and spin around for two seconds just to throw a pitch or watching a batter plummet over after missing a pitch could be very tiring. You'll just have to acquire a liking for these antics. However, there is a problem that could be fixed. If the insane and cartoon-like special abilities are getting on your nerves, you could always disable them right before a match.

OVERALL: [9 - / - 10]
This game is a definite buy for any fans of the Mario sports series, and a definite try for other Mario fans as well. For baseball fans fearing that this cartoon-like playing might ruin their experiences, you have nothing to worry about. However, for those die-hard baseball fans looking for an intense and serious baseball game, you might want to avoid this game. Otherwise, you'll might not like this game. Other than that, this game is DEFINITELY WORTH IT'S MONEY!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/06/05

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