Mario Superstar Baseball
- August 29, 2005 00:00 AM PST
Mario makes baseball fun with Mario Superstar Baseball.Who knew Mario - let alone some of his more portly adversaries - was so athletic? Contrary to popular belief, these denizens of the mushroom kingdom seem to enjoy getting together for some casual games of competitive sports as much as they seem to like fighting each other. Case in point, the latest entry into the sport arena, Mario Superstars Baseball.
Like Mario and company's previous forays in competitive sports, Mario Superstars Baseball is first and foremost an easily approachable adaptation of your standard baseball game. No simulation-type gameplay here, folks. Instead, we're treated with what Nintendo has made its name in; easy-to-learn, fun, and at times unnervingly cute games. Sticking to that formula, Mario Superstar Baseball does well. Controls take no time to learn, and gameplay is smooth and simple. Each character has - as in Mario Tennis - their own special moves to help give them an upper hand when things get tough, and lends an air of humor and arcade-like gameplay to the mix. The addition of multiplayer modes and a selection of mini-games only add to further the appeal.
Speaking of characters, the cast of players is a noteworthy achievement, with a gamut of Mario's acquaintances - old and new - available to play. Standbys like Peach and Yoshi make an appearance, but so too do less recognized characters like Bones and Birdo. Younger players may not notice such extra effort, but those of us old enough to remember will no doubt appreciate Nintendo's infusion of nostalgia. Graphics too, are impressively done, with sharp textures and bright, colorful areas giving life to the game. Unfortunately, the sounds of Mario Superstar Baseball can't stand up to its graphics. Though certainly not bad, they are rather tepid, with the repetitious umpire calling strikes the most egregious of offences. As it stands, Mario Superstar Baseball is an enjoyable game that will no doubt appeal to Nintendo fans and casual gamers alike.
KEY MOMENT: Realizing you can bean your favorite (or most despised) characters, including the sickeningly precocious Baby Mario! Child abuse!