Mario Hoops 3-on-3

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Mario Hoops 3-on-3
Mariohoops3on3 boxart.jpg
Developer(s) Square Enix
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Release date Japan July 27, 2006
USA September 11, 2006
Australia October 26, 2006
Europe February 16, 2007
Genre Sports
Rating(s)
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
USK:USK 6.svg - Six years and older
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Media Nintendo DS Game Gard
Input
Nintendo DS:

Mario Hoops 3-on-3, also known as Mario Slam Basketball in Europe and Mario Basketball 3on3 in Japan, is a Mario sports game developed by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS. It features Mario and his friends participating in basketball.

In the beginning, it was meant to be an original intellectual property, but Square Enix felt that it would work well if it were a part of the Mario franchise, and so Square Enix contacted Nintendo, who then allowed it to use the Mario label. This game is the first in which Mario and Final Fantasy characters appear together as playable characters.

A follow-up called Mario Sports Mix, which includes not only basketball, but volleyball, hockey, and dodge ball as well, was released for the Wii in 2011. It once again features the five playable characters from the Final Fantasy series, as well as Slime from the Dragon Quest series.

Characters[edit]


Character Types

  • All-Around characters are balanced. No high stats, no low stats.
  • Technical characters have a good aim but they can be slow and weak.
  • Speedy characters are very weak. However, they are pretty fast.
  • Powerful characters are very slow but are good at stealing and have a far shot.
  • Tricky characters have one large stat, the rest are rather low but they have trick moves.

Mario Hoops 3-on-3 has twenty-one playable characters, five of them being from Square Enix's Final Fantasy franchise. Ten characters are playable from the start, with the other eleven being unlockable (See the Unlockables section for the methods of unlocking each character). There are five different character types, listed at the side, each character type having its own pros and cons, that can help or halt the players progress in a game. Additionally, all twenty-one characters have a special move called a Special Shot, with each character having their own unique Special Shot.

Starting Characters[edit]

Mario Luigi Peach Daisy
MarioHoops.png LuigiHoops.png PeachHoops.png DaisyHoops.png
Character Type All-Around Character Type All-Around Character Type Technical Character Type Technical
Special Ability Fire Shot Special Ability Green Fire Shot Special Ability Heart Shot Special Ability Flower Shot
Baller Name "The Jumpman" Baller Name "Mushroom Dynamite" Baller Name "3-point Royalty" Baller Name "Cash Money Coin Collector"
Yoshi Wario Waluigi Bowser Jr.
YoshiHoops.png WarioHoops.png WaluigiHoops.png MH3on3 BowserJr1.png
Character Type All-Around Character Type Powerful Character Type Technical Character Type Speedy
Special Ability Flutter Dunk Special Ability Move-It Dunk Special Ability Twist Dunk Special Ability Graffiti Shot
Baller Name "Piranha Playa Hater" Baller Name "Sir Stomp" Baller Name "The Question" Baller Name "Masked Man"
Donkey Kong Diddy Kong
DKHoops.png DiddyHoops.png
Character Type Powerful Character Type Speedy
Special Ability Konga Dunk Special Ability Jet Shot
Baller Name "Dunky Monkey" Baller Name "Diddy? No he didn't!"

Unlockable Characters[edit]

Paratroopa Dixie Kong Bowser Birdo
ParatroopaHoops.PNG DixieKongHoops.PNG MH3on3 Bowser1.png BirdoHoops.PNG
Character Type Tricky Character Type Speedy Character Type Powerful Character Type All-Around
Special Ability Wing Shot Special Ability Cannon Shot Special Ability Bomber Dunk Special Ability Egg Shot
Baller Name None Baller Name None Baller Name "The Big Shell" Baller Name None
Boo Fly Guy Moogle Ninja
BooHoops.PNG FlyGuyHoops.PNG MoogleHoops.PNG NinjaHoops.png
Character Type Tricky Character Type Tricky Character Type Tricky Character Type All-Around
Special Ability Thriller Dunk Special Ability Thunder Shot Special Ability Moogle Dance Special Ability Leaf Veil
Baller Name None Baller Name None Baller Name "Game & Watch Me" Baller Name "Mr. Invincible"
White Mage Black Mage Cactuar
WhiteMageHoops.png MH3on3 BlackMage.png MH3on3 Cactuar.png
Character Type Technical Character Type Tricky Character Type Speedy
Special Ability Holy Shot Special Ability Meteor Shot Special Ability 1000 Needles
Baller Name "The Light" Baller Name "Abracadabra Kid" Baller Name "Stick and Sting"

Courts[edit]

The fourth course of each tourney (excluding Rainbow Ship) is an unlockable and can only be played in Exhibition Mode. The rest of the courts are played in Tourney Mode as well.

  • Mushroom Tourney
    • Mario Stadium - The basic basketball stadium, with no hazards.
    • Koopa Beach - Pirate ships shoot cannonballs onto the beach occasionally. Also, the water on the edges slows down movement.
    • Peach Field - Lakitu holds the only basket on this course - he moves it depending on which team has the ball. Also, Cheep-Cheeps appear periodically to bounce over the field.
    • Sunset Beach - No pirate ships, but otherwise the same as Koopa Beach.
  • Flower Tourney
    • DK Cruiser - Taking place on a raft, sometimes the barrels come loose and roll around, flattening players in their way.
    • Luigi Mansion - Ghosts sometimes take the ball in midflight, and players must jump to retrieve it.
    • Daisy Garden - Two Petey Piranhas act as baskets, and reject any dunk unless they fall asleep or if the player gets a star.
    • Malboro Garden - Malboros spit poisonous gas if players come too close. The garden itself is the exact opposite of the Daisy Garden.
  • Star Tourney
    • Wario Factory - Players ride an elevator as the court and bigger Bob-ombs are sometimes dumped on the course, which anyone can use and throw - before they automatically explode.
    • Jr. Street - Taking place in a city, players can take a risk by collecting Slot Coins to make the slots spin to either gain or lose points.
    • Bowser's Castle - Fireballs and Bombs spring up from underneath the course. A player affected by a burn will run randomly if not directed by the D-pad and can still do defensive maneuvers, but cannot retrieve the ball for himself or herself. Huge, living fireballs sometimes appear, burning a few characters and, after a few seconds, spontaneously combusting. Also, Thwomps are sometimes hidden under ? Panels.
    • Glare Desert - A tornado moves around the course at midfield, otherwise a standard course.
  • Rainbow Tourney
    • Sherbet Land - Missed steal attempts while running causes the player to slide on the icy field. Also, a unique item to the course, Freezie, can encase a player in ice for a few seconds.
    • Bloocheep Sea - Taking place underwater, everything moves much slower. If the ball hits a Blooper, it will bounce off. Finally, Mimic appears here.
    • Pirate Ship - Cannon balls roll down the court, exploding upon being touched. Also, Gooper Blooper appears as a sideline threat, and the stage tilts slightly left to right.
    • Rainbow Ship - Despite being on a flying ship, it is a completely standard course. At the end of the Rainbow Tourney, there is a match against the Ninja, Black Mage, and White Mage here.

Gameplay[edit]

The main mode is Tourney mode, where a team of 3 is chosen and they compete against other teams for the cup, in generally 3 matches. Exhibition mode is like quick-play, as well as customizable.

Almost all of the gameplay in the game is controlled by the Touch Screen. The only exceptions are moving a character, which is controlled by the D-pad, and a special form of passing, which uses the L button. This can be switched around with the buttons controlling movement and the R button for passing for left-handed players.

There are many moves for offense and defense. The player's team of three is identified with a red circle below them, a blue circle for the opponent team's players. The player's team's basket is always facing ahead of them, and the opponent's team in the back, even when switching court. Therefore, generally, stroking up on the touch screen is used for offense and stroking down is used for defense. For more on moves, see the Practice section.

The match starts at half court, with the center of each team preparing to jump for the ball that Lakitu will release at the start. Matches are played in at least two periods lasting two and a half minutes. At the end of each period, each team's coin count is reset to 0 and another jump-ball at half court is initiated. Whichever team has the most points overall when all periods are played, wins the match.

Scoring[edit]

The player already has 100 coins, making it (if the player scores) the highest possible score outside of Jr. Street, 140 pts.

Scoring is a bit different in Mario Hoops than in a real world basketball game. Each shot made is worth 20 points. Shots made outside of what is normally the 3-point line are worth 30 points (therefore, the basic shot is multiplied by 10 in Mario Hoops). Special shots, regardless of position are worth 40 points. To compound the points, coins also come into play. Players can collect coins by dribbling over the ? Panels scattered about the court. Regular coins add 1 point each to the score, and red coins add 10 points to the score. Every time a team makes a basket, their coins are reset to zero. Getting hit, either from items or other players, will result in some of the player's coins scattering on the field, which can be picked up by anyone, including the character who lost them. The limit to the number of coins one team can have is 100 (therefore the maximum normal score for one shot is 140, and for Jr. Street, the maximum score is 420), and the more coins one has, the more are lost on a hit. If the player make a shot with a lot a coins, the player can really go from losing to winning in a matter of seconds. If the ? Panels aren't on the field, then the shot value is divided by ten, making normal shots worth two points, three-pointers worth three, and special shots worth four.

Items[edit]

When players are on the defensive, ? Panels always produce items very similar to the Mario Kart series. A few items can also be picked up on the offensive. To use most items, players stroke in the direction the item is to be thrown.

  • Banana - The simple yellow peel still trips up anyone who slips on it.
  • Green Shell - Bouncing freely, Green Shells are more powerful than Bananas when they make contact. They are discarded from the field when they have bounced twice off the boundaries.
  • Red Shell - Red Shells have less accuracy than in the Mario Kart series, and miss often if the player makes a sudden turn (quick-dash). The Red Shell will then act like a Green Shell.
  • Spiny Shell - The shell, even though without wings, can fly in the air and target the ball, creating a familiar blue explosion. Does not miss.
  • Fake ? Panel - When thrown, disguises itself as a ? Panel, except for a backward question mark. A character trying to get an item or collect coins will be knocked down when he or she steps on the fake panel, as well as lose the ball if it is on offense.
  • Bomb - When thrown, they explode within 3 seconds, knocking anyone in the vicinity down.

The next four items can be collected by both the offense and defense:

  • Mushroom - Boosts speed for the character for awhile.
  • Poison Mushroom - Contrarily, slows the character for awhile. This is the status ailment the Malboro inflicts.
  • Star - Invincibility. A single touch causes the character to drop the ball; it is impossible to steal the ball from anyone invincible.
  • Lightning - Everyone except the user is struck down for a couple of seconds. Initially, the player must jump at the bolt to use it, as it is up high, giving the defensive player the edge. However, it eventually hovers down, allowing the offensive player to run into it.

The next three items are specific to one court:

  • Slot Coin - only available from purple ? Panels on the offensive, this powers the slots in Jr. Street.
  • Mimic - A treasure-chest item from Bloocheep Sea, Mimic will slowly go after the player with the ball, chomping away. Sometimes he will spit up many Red Coins instead.
  • Freezie - Characters can become icicles if hit by this item from Sherbet Land. Acts like a Green Shell when thrown.

Modes[edit]

The title screen with all four modes.

Challenges[edit]

Challenges contains both practice modes and then a true extra challenge-like mode after completing the main practice mode.

Practice[edit]

Practice game skills to use during games. Choose a skill you want to practice from the menu.

As Mario, players will practice basic techniques upon starting the game, then advanced techniques after winning the first tourney (Offense 2 and Defense 2). If a defensive man is needed for practice, it is always Wario.

The following is a table of each lesson, which explains the control mechanism for each move, as well as each exercise to practice the lesson. If the requirement is just a number, the player must do the move that number of times. If it's a time limit, the player has that much time to do that objective (i.e. block a player from dunking).


Mario Hoops Rules
A demo is shown of a game between Mario, Luigi and Peach vs. Wario, Waluigi and Paratroopa, showing what is possible once practice is complete.
Offense
# Lesson Move Exercise Requirement
01 Dribble! Tapping the touch screen causes whoever has to ball to dribble in the direction the touch screen was tapped. Dribbling on ? Panels produces coins. Collect coins quickly! 0:30
02 Guard the ball! Dribbling away from an opponent player is important to avoid a simple steal. Guard the ball for 20 seconds! 0:20
03 Shoot the ball! Players stroke the stylus up to shoot the ball towards the hoop. Aim for the basket! 3
04 Do a charge shot! By holding the stylus down on a touch screen for a few seconds, the ball will "charge up". Upon shooting, there is greater accuracy. Do a charge shot! 3
05 Pass! Stroking sideways left or right passes to the teammate in that direction. Pass the ball around! 5
06 Run and dribble! By dribbling in the same direction as the character moves, the player will pick up speed. This is essential to grab as many coins as possible from ? Panels. Chase the ? Panel! 1:00
07 Quick-dash! By dribbling in one direction and then turning in the same direction, the player will make a quick turn, perhaps avoiding trouble. Quick-dash! 8
08 Dunk the ball! By stroking up while running near the basket, the player will dunk the ball. Dunk 3 times! 3
Offense 2
# Lesson Move Exercise Requirement
09 Do a fake! When charging, it is possible to move the stylus around to move the ball around. Thus, simple steals can be avoided and the ball can still be shot. Fake, then do a charge shot! 3
10 Rebound-dunk! If the ball doesn't quite go in from a normal shot and is bouncing on the rim, the player can approach it like a dunk to regain control and score. Rebound-dunk! 3
11 Charge-dunk! When dunking, the player can swipe up again, then start rubbing the screen to gain coins. Swiping down ends the dunk. Charge-dunk! 3
12 Do a trick! When moving, swiping down and then again left or right causes the character to quickly move sideways, possibly getting by defenders. Use trick moves! 3
13 Direct-pass! While holding down L and then stroking in any direction, it is possible to pass in any direction, instead of the character automatically moving to a position. Make a direct-pass! 4
Defense
# Lesson Move Exercise Requirement
01 Steal the ball! Stroking down causes a simple steal attempt. The steal must be placed where the ball is, not just at the opponent. The ball then comes loose, giving the opposing team a chance to get the ball. Steal the ball! 3
02 Jump! Stroking up means to jump on defense. It can be used to deflect and block both simple and charged shots, with good timing. Jump and block! 3
03 Jump-steal! Stroking up while jumping causes the player to do a steal motion in the air. Likewise, it can lodge loose a ball about to be dunked, if the timing's right. Jump-steal to guard the hoop! 3
04 Items When ? Panels are run over on defense, an item is produced and, in the example here, a Green Shell is thrown in the direction the stylus is stroked. Hit Wario with a shell! 3
05 Swap characters! Pressing L changes control to the player closest to the ball. Stroking sideways left or right while pressing L changes to that character regardless of proximity to the ball. Switch players! 4
Defense 2
# Lesson Move Exercise Requirement
06 Block 'em! Rubbing the stylus causes the character to create a small blue force field in front of him or her, and move around with it. Opponents can't get by this field. Block Wario! 0:20
07 Charge-steal! Eventually the force field will turn red. Stroking down then will cause a stronger steal that can knock down any player. Charge-steal! 3
08 Drop-steal! Jumping and then stroking down causes the character to do a ground-pound related move. The opponent can drop the ball within a wider range than a simple steal. Make 'em drop it! 3
09 Sidestep! Stroking left or right causes the character to quickly move sideways. He or she can sneak up on an opponent and catch them off-guard by doing a simple steal. Sidestep and steal! 3
10 Rebound! Catching the ball by jumping as the ball bounces around the opponents' rim is known as rebounding. It requires some timing to when the ball is at a low point. Nab a rebound! 3
Free Practice
With Mario, Luigi and Peach, any move can be practiced here.
To play defense, the player can pass-direct down, but there are no real opponents to practice most defensive maneuvers.

Special Shots[edit]

Practice dribbling commands of players who've mastered their special shots!

Players can practice Special Shots with any player unlocked (the shots themselves don't have to be mastered, despite the in-game description). It acts like a lesson, with the objective to do the special shot 3 times from anywhere on the court, with two other characters supplied for alley-oops. The following is a list of Special Shots, with the relevant character who performs it.

Dribble Race (Time Trial)[edit]

Get 100 coins from ? panels and head for the goal! Beat the best time!

This extra mode allows the player to pick any character and try to gather 100 coins from ? Panels and cross the finish time in as little time as possible. There are three of these mini-courses, to unlock the last one the preset records must be beaten in the first two.

  • Peach's Castle - Green Shells come out of three pipes. Each ? Panel has 10 coins. (45 sec)
  • Sunshine Road - Metal flatteners line this course. Most ? Panels have 5 coins. (55 sec)
  • Rainbow Road - Blue fireballs erupt out from under the course. Colorful Bombs can here found. Most ? Panels have 5 coins. (1 min)

Tourney[edit]

Yoshi's team rejoices in winning the Mushroom Tourney. Trophies are spectacularly presented; it is not known on what courses the CPU vs. CPU matches are on.

Tourneys are the equivalent of tournaments in the Mario Kart series. After picking a team of three, players go on to compete in a set of matches (2 periods of 2:30 each), each on a different course. In fact, the tourney is composed of a 8-4-2-1 basis. The other 7 teams are chosen random, and are represented by the captains (center / first character picked) on the elimination screen (shown right). When the player beats the first team, the captain breaks through a classic block while the losing CPU captain comes up with a deactivated block. The gold trophy stands at the top of this screen, with a ? Block below it. The player goes through Round 1, Round 2, and the Finals. Each time the player loses a match, he or she can try it again as many times as necessary to win and move on (i.e. there's no ranking out like in Mario Kart).

When the Final Fantasy team steals the trophy after the Rainbow Cup, the ? Block reveals a tall vine, which the captain climbs up to the Rainbow Ship, initiating the Extra match.

There are four tourneys, and they nearly follow suit with the Mario Kart series in being named Mushroom, Flower, Star and Rainbow. Once all four tourneys are won, their respective hard mode versions are unlocked. Each of the eight tourneys receives a bronze, silver, or gold trophy (separate from the automatic trophy presented upon winning, this is like a grade on how well the player did). They are determined as follows:

  • Gold - Winning all matches by 200 points or more over all cpu in the tourneys
  • Silver - Winning all matches by 100 points or more over all cpu in the tourneys
  • Bronze - Winning the tournament

Therefore, losing even once automatically puts gold & silver out of the question. By abusing the quit feature (which saves the player's position upon winning each match) when about to lose or win by too little, "redos" are possible.

Upon winning the tournament, the player is asked whether he or she wants to move on to the next tourney. If it is the Rainbow Tourney, the credits roll.

Exhibition[edit]

Players can choose a team of three, even the opponent's players if desired (each spot left blank is chosen randomly), and jump into any course played and won in Tourney Mode. There are some settings to enhance the one match as well:

  • Time per Period: 1:40, 2:00, 2:30 (default), 3:00, 3:20.
  • # of Periods: 2 (default), 4.
  • ? Panels: On (default), Off. If off, shots inside the outer line are worth two points, outside of the line three, and special shots worth four.
  • CPU Level: 1 (Amateur), 2 (Weak, default), 3 (Normal), 4 (Tough), 5 (Brutal), 6* (Pro).

*Unlocked after winning Hard Rainbow Tourney.

After the match, the player can play with the exact same settings or quit the mode (there's no way to just change the course or one character).

Matchup[edit]

This is the multiplayer mode of Mario Hoops. DS Wireless Play includes three modes, while DS Download only includes two of those three.

Exhibition[edit]

Mario Hoops Face-off! Game results will be recorded in the player ranking. Win matches to earn points and rank up!

The single mode that is limited to local wireless, two players can choose their team of 3 and face off against each other, subject to the same settings as normal Exhibition Mode.

Dribble Race[edit]

Dribble Race Versus Friends! Nab 100 coins from ? panels and beat everyone to the goal!

Same as Dribble Race Mode, except it's not a time trial: the first to cross the finish line with 100 coins wins, and is available with 2-4 players.

Coin Hunter[edit]

Coin Hunting with Friends! Throw items and scramble for coins! Hold on to coins until the end to win!

This is a non-basketball related mode that draws heavily on Mario Kart's battle mode. Each player (up to 4) starts with 50 coins. Players then use items to reduce the other player's coins. The single player remaining with coins wins. In a three or four-player game, players eliminated early can stick around to annoy players still in the competition (similar to Mario Kart 64). There are four courses; the last two are unlockable by winning five of these battles in a row.

  • Mario Classic 1-1
  • Mario Classic 8-4
  • Mario Classic 2-2
  • Forest Stage

Unlockables[edit]

Two minor unlockables, the other courses in Dribble Race and Coin Hunter modes, have already been mentioned in this article. There are many more unlockables in the game, including characters and courses previously mentioned.

From Tourney Mode[edit]

Most of the unlockables come from winning trophies in Tourney Mode, including all but one character, costume changes, and most balls. By getting silver or gold on the first try, more than one unlockable can be obtained.

The following is understood: Winning the Rainbow Tourney unlocks Hard Mode, winning the Hard Rainbow Tourney unlocks Pro difficulty in Exhibition matches.

Normal Mushroom Tourney Normal Flower Tourney Normal Star Tourney Normal Rainbow Tourney
Bronze Paratroopa Dixie Kong Bowser Ninja
Silver Costume Change: Peach Costume Change: Daisy Moogle White Mage
Gold Watermelon Ball Yoshi Egg Ball Spiked Ball Black Mage
Hard Mushroom Tourney Hard Flower Tourney Hard Star Tourney Hard Rainbow Tourney
Bronze Birdo Boo Fly Guy Costume Change: Black Mage
Silver Soccer Ball Costume Change: Yoshi Costume Change: Fly Guy Costume Change: White Mage
Gold Cheep-Cheep Ball Dice Ball Goomba Ball Costume Change: Ninja

When selecting characters by placing them in the hoop, holding the D-pad in a direction or a button at the same time causes a cosmetic change if unlocked, not affecting gameplay abilities. Yoshi and Fly Guy each have three different changes, while the others have one.

Courses[edit]

  • Sunset Beach - Playing an exhibition match on Koopa Beach during the sunset; that is, 4:00-6:00 PM (or in military time, 16:00-18:00 hours) according to the DS's internal clock).
  • Malboro Garden - In the Flower Tourney, dunking the ball three times in Daisy Garden in the first half, then finding a blue seed in a ? Panel in the second half.
  • Glare Desert - Getting 800 points or more on Jr. Street in the Star Tourney.

Last Character[edit]

  • Cactuar - Its head moves across the sand in Glare Desert. Dribbling on it a few times will cause it to run off the course. Winning the exhibition match unlocks it.

Balls[edit]

  • Blue/Silver - Finishing Practice Mode
  • Blue/White/Red - Winning one match in tourney mode using only three-point charged shots
  • Black/Red - Winning an exhibition on Rainbow Ship without ? Panels
  • Purple/Orange - Playing an exhibition at Bowser Castle
  • Yellow/Green - Playing an exhibition at Daisy Garden
  • Star - Using all of the team's players' special shots in one match
  • Silver - 2000 points in profile
  • Gold - 5000 points in profile
  • Rainbow - Winning 7 games in wireless exhibition
  • Pumpkin - Losing 5 games in wireless exhibition

Official Soundtrack[edit]

Main article: Mario Basketball 3on3 Original Soundtrack

An original soundtrack that is based on the game is released only in Japan and is published by Square Enix, the same company for the game. It has thirty-one songs from the game.

Gallery[edit]

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Hoops 3-on-3.

Staff[edit]

Main article: List of Mario Hoops 3-on-3 staff

References to other games[edit]

  • Game & Watch: Moogle's baller name was "Game & Watch Me".
  • Donkey Kong: Mario's baller name is "The Jumpman", referencing the fact that Mario was named in this game.
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!!: Luigi's special shot is Green Fire Shot, a reference to Luigi's green fireballs acting like Mario's.
  • Mario Sports Mix: This is the second project developed by Square Enix using the Mario Hoops 3-on-3 formula. Basketball is one of the featured sports there. Additionally, the Final Fantasy characters return in that installment.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオバスケ3on3
Mario Basuke Surī-on-surī
Mario Basket 3-on-3
Spanish (NOE) Mario Slam Basketball
French (NOE) Mario Slam Basketball
Dutch Mario Slam Basketball
German Mario Slam Basketball
Italian Mario Slam Basketball
Portuguese Mario Hoops 3-on-3