Review by linksbabiigurl

"Yet another Mario spin-off. Correction: Yet another GOOD Mario spinoff."

Even the most avid, Nintendo-dedicated gamer can get tired of all of the Mario related spin-offs. But when they're so good, you just can't resist getting them, can you? Golf, tennis, dancing, and pretty soon, soccer, there almost isn't a sport that Mario and company have not participated in. Pretty soon we'll be seeing a Madden 2010: Mario Edition. All these Mario sports spin-offs have all the basics of the sport itself, with Mario and Nintendo related twists. In Golf we had the Mario themed courses. In tennis we had the character specific Power Shots. And now we have a unique pitching and batting item and style. DK throws curve balls with his banana, while Bowser hit's Yoshi's eggs into the outfield with his giant spiked bat.

Simple controls, great gameplay, and the classic baseball feel make this a solid title, even for a way to get Nintendo to make a quick buck off of the Mario franchise. Experimenting with different characters and their unique abilities is just part of the fun. Implementing classic baseball strategies and using a characters abilities to carry them out make the possibilities endless. If you're a fan of any of the other Mario sports titles, this one is definitely worth a second look.

Sometimes during the gameplay, the AI can quickly turn the tables back on you. While baseball titles like this make it easy to figure out a simple strategy and play through it quickly using that one strategy, the computer players in this game are different. They make the pitches unpredictable, and you will have to be quick on your feet at all times. If you make one mistake, the AI can quickly turn the tables and score an in the park home run, so you will always have to be alert to the situations.

The graphics in this game actually surprised me, with nice lighting and camera placement, better than past Mario sports titles graphics in my opinion. While you don't get the same feel of fast-paced action as you do with Mario Tennis, Superstar delivers in other areas. The slow pacing of the sport of baseball itself will heat up quickly as the computer player surprises you with a hard hit using a Star Special.

Another little detail and aspect of the game that I really enjoyed was the naming of your team. As crazy as it sounds, this was actually a fun part of picking your time. Depending on who you actually pick as your captain and your players, your name will change. For example, a team with Mario as the captain, and only selected characters of a certain theme, like Luigi, Peach, etc. that would generate a certain name for your team. I found this to be a better way to actually implement the created team idea in a baseball game than just naming your own team. It was a fun little minor detail that I enjoyed.

All in all, if you're a baseball fan or a Mario sports fan, this game is worth a second look. If you enjoyed any of the other titles and like the classic sports gameplay with Mario twists and turns, I'd recommend this game to you. If you're eagerly anticipating the next classic Mario platformer like the rest of us, this should keep you busy until them.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/15/05

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