Mario Sports Mix Impressions: Basketball

Yesterday I took us through the dreadful hockey component of Mario Sports Mix, today I played all the way through the game’s basketball campaign, which is probably a sign that it is slightly better quality than hockey. What is not better though are the ‘screenshots’ of me taking photos of the screen with the worst digital camera on the market (iPhone 3Gs). After receiving positive feedback on yesterday’s shots for their clarity and resolution, today I present you with this:

Mario Sports Mix Basketball match.
Live gameplay screens are not hard to take when you're this far ahead.

So anyway, basketball. Now unlike hockey, a game I love, I hate basketball. I enjoyed Mario’s basketball more than hockey however I still think it might rate just below real basketball for me. Crucially, it also rates below Wii Sports Resort basketball and NBA Jam. It differs from hockey by having the A button steal the ball, instead of waggle. Square Enix kept the waggle content in check by requiring a double waggle to shoot. One to jump, one to shoot. You can also waggle like a maniac to block and attack opponents in the air. Items can be used more offensively in basketball but many of them are useless. Adding bomb-omb power, causing your ball to explode when you land a basket might seem cool at first until you realise that the shot was going in anyway.

Like hockey, the courts vary up and some of these variations are actually worthwhile now. My favourite had a match taking place on a raft with stationary hoops above. The raft would float and roll back and forwards throughout the game so some ends of the court may require you to jump over for slam dunks or slot three point shots from under the basket. A less cool court was Bowser Jr’s casino or whatever culturally irrelevant thing their lashing him to  now. On this casino stage, “luck” played a key role with spots on the court awarding additional points or even taking them away. I say “luck” in quotation marks because it operated more like an AI compensation. The computer, twice had the entire court turn into a giant rainbow 10x multiplier while it was half a second away from landing a slam dunk, meanwhile I’d have 3x multipliers suddenly vanish as I dribble the ball over them. I still won the game, but the final score of 63-51 made it look closer than it was.

Waluigi, Toad and Mario, not good ballers.
Typical half time score. Not even bragging.

Winning that game took me to the Star Cup semi final, in the second half I made a sandwich, my housemate’s boyfriend asking if I wanted him to pause the game for me (no). During the final I ate the sandwich, difficult as it was playing against the inspiringly named Squaresoft trio of White Mage, Black Mage and Ninja. That might’ve been a spoiler. As the credits rolled I found myself uttering curses about the staff:
Producer; dickhead
Art Director; talentless
Lead Planner; disorganised
Thankfully it could be skipped and then it told me I’d unlocked hard mode! Honestly, hard mode should be available from the start but I guess I’ll have to play through it to unlock White Mage’s sexy arse.

I am tempted to ask my housemate’s boyfriend for a match, just to try out the multiplayer but I honestly expect his intelligence to be close to that of the AI in game.

5 thoughts on “Mario Sports Mix Impressions: Basketball

  1. Mario f**king basketball now you have GOT to be joking. What next Nintendo. Where are all the real games. All I see is Mario playing basketball.


  2. Charles, here.

    Did you find it daft that Square Enix included a basketball stage on a sandy beach? How does that work?

    As a young lad in Oxford, “basketball” had quite a different meaning in our dormitory.

    -Charles, UK


  3. Ah, that’s right. SE doesn’t have to make a good arcade sports game as long as Mario is in it. Final Fantasy Flag Football just wasn’t going to cut it.

    Wonder when their next financial disaster will be announced.


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