Mario already did a lot of sports, and he’s rather good at them. Now he tries four new ones – dodgeball, basketball, hockey and volleyball.
This has the same setup as some of the prior Mario sports games such as Mario Tennis, but is incomparable to the others in terms of its depth and level of difficulty. However, the games here are still tolerable and still quite enjoyable to play. The game offers you a choice to play either in an exhibition or tournament mode, and modes are further split to three cups – Mushroom, Flower, and Star, each of which has three matches to play. All of these modes can be played either alone or with a friend or two, which rather is one of the facts that make it enjoyable to play. If you play it alone, you will fight with the game’s AI, choosing between different characters with different abilities in terms of speed, power, and overall ability. If you play it with friends, you can have different characters, of course.
The dodgeball is played by dodging balls from your opponents to hit them back, once the ball hits them, it will either reduce their life bar or completely knock them out. This is a team play, and the goal is to win two sets to complete a complete match. The only problem in this game is the fact that there is only one ball, and it does not automatically switch the ball to the next team whose turn it is.
I didn’t like volleyball that much. It is just the typical volleyball game without any unusual challenge or variety offered. But don’t worry, everything is functional here.
There is ice and tarmac hockey which is rather more physical than just sporty, cause they made fighting and violence legal according to the rules. I personally didn’t get amused much by it, as I had to make extra movements to either attack or avoid getting hurt.
Of all the four games, Square Enix almost perfected basketball, maybe because they already got Mario Hoops 3-on-3 before. This mode is really awesome and incredible with all the moves you can execute – the dunks, layups, three-pointers, and alley-oops. Definitely an amazing game addition.
This game boasts simple controls for all sports, but don’t worry as they did not forgot that they’re playing with Mario – you wouldn’t miss the stars, shells, and even the jumping to hit a ? block to either get a coin, point, or Mario’s beloved fireball. The only thing I did not like at all is the fact that I had to finish each game to unlock more. But well, it’s part of the game.
Mario Sports Mix is best played with friends and family, and it is definitely recommended for everyone to try, especially if you still can’t get over Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom. Don’t expect too much though, and just enjoy the game while it lasts.