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North America

Mario Superstar Baseball

by Mike Sklens - May 17, 2005, 12:36 pm EDT

Mario and pals take a swing at the great American past time.

When Mario Baseball was first announced, many assumed that it was being developed by Camelot, who also made both Mario Golf and Tennis. However, Mario Baseball is being crafted by Namco for release on August 29th.

The basic game is designed as such. At the start of a game, players will choose a team captain, who is also the pitcher. The captains are all major characters from the Mario universe. These characters include Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, and others. From there, it’s just like playing sports in grade school. Captains pick from lesser Mario characters to build their teams. These characters encompass the likes of Dry Bones, Monty Mole, Mushroom King, and others.

The gameplay is simplified down from more complex baseball games like EA’s MVP series or Nintendo’s own Pennant Chase Baseball. Holding the A button winds up for pitches and swings, and releasing the button inside the character’s “sweet spot” will result in the best possible pitch or swing, indicated with a “Nice!” callout on screen. Pitches (excluding the fast ball and change-up) can be guided with the analog stick after being thrown.

The fielding is equally simple. A target appears on the ground, instructing you where to catch the ball. Throwing the ball between fielders is a skill similar to pitching and batting. Doing it correctly will result in faster “Nice!” throws.

To mix things up a bit, characters have “star points” that can be used to activate character specific pitches and hits. Star Points are earned by winning “Star Chances,” which are randomly selected match-ups between pitchers and batters. The special moves are reminiscent of Ultra Baseball 1.000 on the SNES. Pitches move erratically or are hidden within illusions, and special hits do things like spawn off decoy balls.

Similar to Mario Power Tennis, Mario Baseball has several themed fields and special modes. The themed fields contain special power-ups and hazards. Challenge mode contains an overworld and will dish up various goals to complete. Toy Field Mode has a huge field full of all sorts of characters. Whichever character catches the ball goes up to bat next, like a game of "Three Flies Up".

One of the coolest things about Mario Baseball is the bats. Most of the characters have their own unique bats. For example, the Pianta uses a palm tree from Delfino Island. Still crazier, some characters don’t use bats at all. Petey Piranha slaps the ball with his leaf-hand, and Donkey Kong smashes it with a boxing glove!

Mario Baseball will support single and multiplayer modes. The two-player modes are full baseball games, while four-players are supported for baseball themed mini-games.

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Genre Sports
Developer Namco

Worldwide Releases

na: Mario Superstar Baseball
Release Aug 29, 2005
jpn: Super Mario Stadium Miracle Baseball
Release Jul 21, 2005
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