What is Mario Sports Superstars?
Mario Sports Superstars is a 3DS and 2DS compilation of five Mario-themed sports games - Football, Baseball, Tennis, Golf and Horse Racing. Stepping into the shoes of your favourite Mushroom Kingdom characters, from Mario and Peach, to Wario and Donkey Kong, it's up to you to try your hand at some light-hearted takes on your favourite sports.
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How do you play Mario Sports Superstars?
Each of the five sports on offer plays slightly differently, although all are easy enough to pick up and play. Football is a basic take on the beautiful game, with a team led by two Mario stars, as you pass, tackle and shoot your way around the pitch. There are even special moves that all but guarantee you a goal, even if only the two "main" characters on each team can use them. Baseball is a little more streamlined, as you take it in turns with your opponent to bat and pitch (there's no fielding) through some well-timed button presses. For Tennis, coloured circles will appear on the court during rallies with your opponent - using the touch screen to perform the colour-coordinated shot type, such as a lob, dropshot or topspin, while standing in said circle, will get you a more powerful shot that'll catch your opponent off guard.
Golf is essentially the same as in the Mario Golf games, and sees you and your opponent putting your way through hazard-filled courses. Last but not least, Horse Racing puts Mazza and co into the saddle as you gallop around hazard filled courses, aiming for first place. You can giddy up your pony with the B button, but need to balance it with its stamina, lest you exhaust him before the end of the race; carrot pickups scattered around the course will restore a chunk too. Horse Racing also has an additional light virtual pet mode, where you can feed, brush and dress up your horse, as well as taking them on short walks to search for accessories.
How easy is Mario Sports Superstars to pick up and play?
On the whole, Mario Sports Superstars is relatively easy to pick up and play, distilling each sport into a short, snappy, mini-game style take that's not too hard to get your head around. With fairly simply controls, and plentiful (but unvoiced and text heavy) tutorials to help you find your way, you shouldn't have too many issues in the majority of sports.
Some games, of course, are trickier than others - most notably, the timing for Baseball can be a little finicky, with no obvious prompt given to tell you when to swing the bat. Likewise, you may have to manually change character in Football to get someone closer to the ball, as the game's automatic changing is a bit slow. However, Tennis and Golf especially are pretty user friendly, both revolving around simple Touch Screen controls, either matching the colour-coded shots to the circles on a court, or tapping to set the power of your golf swing.
Sample Sentences include:
- "Use the Circle Pad to dribble. Slide it lightly in a direction to walk and all the way to run. Try dribbling to the right now."
- "If your opponent returns the ball, move toward the ball and choose a shot to return it with."
- "Your horse looks happy! It must have enjoyed that!"
While the game comes with full support for both local, and online multiplayer, there's no support for single card Download Play, meaning anyone who wants to join in will need their own copy of the game.
Like most Mario games, Mario Sports Superstars is pretty much as tame as they come - there's no bloody violence, no bad language and no sex whatsoever.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo 3DS