Mario Sports Superstars
Today Nintendo announced Mario Sports Mix, which takes their power-up-based approach to the sports genre into multiple games. We recently got some hands-on time with a demo of the game and have the scoop on what waggle athletes can expect.
The first sport we tried was basketball, and the similarities to previous Mario basketball titles are obvious. You can choose from three different arenas, each with its own theme and special rules. On the court we played, random circles appear that give you score multipliers for each shot. Expect big swings in matches, as you can easily have your shot multiplied many times over (or if you’re unlucky, subtracted from your score).
The controls are very much waggle-oriented: shooting the ball consists of swinging the Wii Remote up to jump, pausing at the apex, and then swinging down to take the shot. Blocking shots is performed by swinging the remote sideways, although it’s easy to accidentally jump if you’re not careful. Passing works well though, and the use of items (such as the familiar banana peels and green shells), and overpowered special moves keeps things thoroughly entertaining. The one set back is that after each score, the game plays a cutscene of the characters celebrating and crying, which slows down the gameplay considerably.
We also saw a demo of the second game, volleyball. The action is similar to basketball, although because of the nature of the game, cutscenes aren’t as intruding. As players jump into the air to spike the ball, they aim where to hit it via the analog stick. Players can also use special moves: Luigi’s involved pulling out his vacuum cleaner to shoot the ball at his opponents.
The game features two more sports which weren’t demoed: hockey and dodge ball. Both are interesting choices, and should fit in well with the frenzied action of the title. Mario Sports Mix won’t give more serious sports titles a run for their money, but it offers more gameplay depth than your typical party title. We’ll bring you more on Mario Sports Mix in the near future.