The latest sporty title for our favourite Italian plumber to get his teeth into is here. Will the fan’s favourite race for the tape, or will he fall at the first hurdle? Join us for the GamesMediaPro review of Mario Sport Mix.
Everyone’s beloved sink blockage botherer is back with his latest crack at life on the track. Mario Sport Mix is the nest in the long line of gaming hits for the fantastic record-breaking franchise, but can it continue the success, or is it doomed to failure? Let’s find out together shall we?
With more content than you could shake a WiiMote at, featuring all of those familiar faces that you know and love, Mario is back! The lovable gaming grandfather has returned to doing what he does best in this compendium of sporting mini-games, and long may he continue to do so when there is this much fun to be had by all ages of gamer.
The main stay of the title are the four games within the game that make up Mario Sports Mix. These are Basketball, Ice Hockey, Dodgeball and Volleyball. A very American collection of ‘sports’ and one that we felt could have been improved by the inclusion of good old English football, or maybe even a match of Tennis in there or two would have raised a few smiles this side of the great pond? Whoever it was that decided ‘dodgeball’ would translate anywhere outside the shores of the USA over the likes of Football, Tennis or even Rugby for that matter need’s to consider a wider appeal when putting together future multiple sports titles. But nevertheless, our patriotic fervour did not in any way detract from our enjoyment of a Mario title, and truth be told, nothing ever does. So onward and upward in the search for good health and sporting goodness as we don the red shirt and denim dungarees’ of the mustachioed one himself.
Complimenting the already highly popular four sports that make up Mario Sport Mix comes the excellent inclusion of any number of cracking modes to enjoy them in. For example all of the games can be played as the single player, but they can also be enjoyed in a very fast and frenetic 3-on-3 Mode, or the far more sedentary affair that is the 2-on-2 Mode. Whichever decision you opt for you can be certain that the ‘Campaign Mode’, which we allow you to learn the story that lies behind the title, as well as attempting to earn your right to winning your place in those all-important Mushroom, Star and Flower Cup Tournaments that everyone should be aiming for.
The gameplay is typical Mario with easy to use controls, a variety of interactive characters and power ups in the well-known shapes and symbols that we have all grown up with. So running around whichever sports court, or rink depending on your game of choice, will see you collecting the eponymous gold coin that litter the scene and produce everything from the Mushroom’s right through to the Koopa Shell’s and Star Power’s. Although the AI in the game can easily be trumped by even the most inept of gamers in the early rounds, don’t expect the later stages to be anything like the pushovers that face you in the preliminary settings of the opening few games, as the competition gets progressively tougher the longer your round continues.
The Ice Hockey is entertaining and has, for want of a better word, ‘traffic bollards’ appearing on court to cause you added difficulties as you attempt to skate and pass around the rink before slotting home the puck in the gaping net. Basketball is an absolute riot and will probably be where a lot of you will spend most of your time. Fast paced gaming that makes good use of the stiffer AI in later stages to produce some of the finest sporting gameplay to be found in the entire title. The Dodgeball side of things we have to say seems a little tamer than its real-life counterpart, although not having spent any time really playing the game at any point during childhood we could not say for sure. The end result is still good fun and will still have family members giggling like loon’s at each other as they enjoy playing the title. Volleyball brings similar feeling’s of mirth and merriment and, after many hours laughing at some of the staff members puffing and panting their way through the review, turned out to be a firm favourite of all here at GamesMediaPro Towers.
Graphics: Bold and beautiful and everything that you have come to expect from Nintendo when it involves everyone’s favourite gaming character. Really well done visuals set to some picturesque backdrop’s make Mario Sports Mix yet another winner in the eyes of all of those family gamers who will be snapping this title up like hotcakes. No frame rate, glitching or tearing problems whatsoever. 9
Gameplay: Four firm family favourites brought together in one brilliant bundle. Regardless if you are a fan of casual gaming or not you have to admire the work put in by Nintendo to appease the absolute millions of their customers who are! Easy to learn, and even easier to master control’s make for gaming that stretches right across the broad range of players that make up the age groups that play these inoffensive titles. Good clean family fun. 9
RePlay Value: As with the vast majority of the Nintendo back catalogue Mario Sports Mix is going to be enjoyed by record numbers of so-called ‘casual gamers’ time and again for the one simple fact that seems to elude the comprehension of those reviewers that continue to underrate and underestimate the value and appeal of these titles: People want to play them! It’s just that easy. And thanks to Nintendo catering to the needs of their fan base, Mario Sports Mix will be enjoyed by young and old right around the world for many a year to come, and long after the ‘blockbusters‘ of today are forgotten. Hat’s off to Nintendo then for listening to their customers and responding to their wants and needs. A well deserved. 9
Presentation: You have to admit it, when it comes to Nintendo and their favourite franchises there really is noo-one to do it better than they. We started off with this game by griping about the lack of football or tennis, and ended up having a whale of a time bouncing around the office to the high energy tunes of the best-selling Plumber. Mario will alway’s sell well, regardless of the gameplay contained therein. But’s its just nice to see a company that doesn’t sit back on its laurels and actually still gives their breadwinners the best of their abilities. 9