|Developer||Namco, NOW Productions|
JPN - July 21, 2005
USA - August 29, 2005
EUR - November 11, 2005
Ever wonder when Mario was going to hit the baseball diamond? Well here he is! Was this another Mario sports success?
This game is your basic 9 inning game, right? Of course not, because when Mario comes into town things will always get wacky. There are 6 fields, and each field has gimmicks that can help or hurt your fielding and batting (other than Mario Stadium), such as Piranha Plants that eat the ball and spit it out somewhere else. And Mario and co. are bigger than ever, with 32 playable characters, 6 being unlockables. There are 12 captain characters. Each captain has there own special hitting and pitching power. For example, Mario does a fireball pitch that goes really fast and when he bats with his special he hits a flaming ball that goes fast through the field and anyone who catches it has their hands burning temporarily, sending the character running in circles. All non-captains have their own specials, but not extraordinary. Each team is limited with 5 special moves (co-captains use 2 special pieces when they use their special) per game, but there are always star chances at random for each team to try to earn back a special move.
Of course each team is made up of 9 characters and you get to pick your own roster. You also get to decide where they field and the batting order, really putting the player in control. The 32 characters are split up into 4 groups: technique, power, speed, and balanced. You can tinker around with the settings of the game, such as the amount of innings played and allowing special hits. But there is more than just baseball. In the exhibition games a game MVP is announced, and after you make a character an MVP you get to see a short bio about them, so trying to collect all 32 is one goal to set in this game.
There is also a minigame mode, where you play 6 minigames (one per field), such as running around the baseball diamond collecting…diamonds with a Chain Chomp obstacle. Each minigame requires different character types to suceed, such as a speedy character like Yoshi for the running game. And there is one special game called Toy Field, where you play a crazy game where the batter tries to land on spaces on the field to get points and the fielders, along with the pitcher, try to stop the batter. There is also a practice mode in case you need to fine tune your skills, or learn how to play in general.
This game has many different options to play and each are great additions, which makes the gameplay great.
Well, baseball controls are never complicated so controls aren’t a huge factor. But they are good and luckily we didn’t get some weird control set so the controls get a thumbs up.
Sound is good in this game. The ballpark background songs are decent and there aren’t really any flaws.
The story gets a 9/10 because I am shocked at how well designed they made a story mode for a baseball game. Just facing all the teams to take down Bowser’s team with some side-things like trying to unlock your favorite characters is a cool idea. And trying to star up your character makes story mode so much more fun.
Definitely one of the best GameCube graphics out there, this game is a beauty to watch.
This game hits a home-run in replayability. There’s just so much you can do and spend your time on in this game. Trying to star up all the characters is a great task to go after and even playing an exhibition match here and there doesn’t seem to get old.
This game is definitely worth picking up, and when you get it you’ll easily see why this game has gotten such a high rating.