The 'Shroom:Issue LIII/Review Corner
This month, I will be reviewing a game that was released in November 2010 in Japan and in early 2011 everywhere else: Mario Sports Mix! This game recently won Favorite Sports Game at Mario Awards V. Square Enix developed this game. Since they also developed the Final Fantasy series, Ninja, White Mage, Black Mage, Moogle and Catcuar appear as playable characters. Slime, from Dragon Quest, is also included in the game.
This game doesn't have a great plot, but for a sports game, it's pretty detailed. A group of Toads find some magic crystals that represent the four sports in the game: basketball, dodgeball, volleyball and hockey. The Toads decide to organize tournaments for each of the sports and give the crystals to the winner. After winning all the tournaments, the players fight Behemoth, from the Final Fantasy series, using their skills they learned playing the four sports to win the fight.
Overall, the controls are good and the graphics are smooth. As for each of the four sports, they are broken down as follows:
Basketball, of course, is a game that involves two teams trying to shoot a ball into a hoop. Shots from longer distances are worth more points, and ? Panels (just like in Mario Hoops 3-on-3) and Coins make shots more valuable. I like the inclusion of the shot clock. My main problem is that the court goes from the top of the screen to the bottom. I feel that going from left-to-right would be a better way to play basketball.
I feel that dodgeball was very well-executed. Hits could do a certain amount of damage based on how hard the ball was thrown and if the player uses a special shot after charging their star meter. There is also a colored Yoshi that stands off the court that you can pass to to help your team. To win a set, you have to either eliminate all the players on the opposing team or have more players remaining when time runs out.
I think that hockey had some high points and low points. The fact that they brought in fighting was nice, and hitting was included as well. However, I feel that it was far too easy to score. The goalies were awful.
I like volleyball because it was pretty realistic and included most of the rules from the game. Coins were included to make it easier to earn points, and if a player's star meter was full, they could use a powerful shot.
Overall, I found this game to be fun for casual fans, but hardcore sports fans would be letdown by a game like this. I also considered this to be quite an easy game, at least when you're playing against the CPU. I give this game a 7.5/10.
Hello! This is Nabber, and I'll be reviewing the latest game in the most successful racing series yet, Mario Kart Wii! This hectic multiplayer kart game is infamous for the drastic changes of place - one moment, you're in first place, but with a simple Blue Shell, you can be knocked into dead last.
MKW has some major differences in it's gameplay that distinguish it from previous Mario Karts. First up: tricks. When in the air, your character can do a speed-boosting trick by shaking the Wii Wheel. Also new are bikes. Bikes are similar to karts, but they can gain some extra speed by doing a wheelie. However, they give up the second drift boost level. Thirdly, races now include 12 players, so the game can get pretty crazy at times, especially online. All of these changes work pretty well, and add a new layer of strategy to the game.
MKW has some slick visuals and has never looked better. The courses are beautiful, whether it's racing through the treetops in Maple Treeway or falling off in Rainbow Road, you'll be doing it in style.
One of MKW's worst problems is items. There's a bigger chance than ever to get stuck in last place, with items like the Blue Shell, Mega Mushroom, and POW Block. These items almost guarantee that you'll get stuck in last place, but meanwhile, there's not a good chance of getting back up. Other than that, though, there's not much wrong with MKW.
Mario Kart Wii is, in my opinion, the best Mario Kart yet. The Wii Wheel is an excellent addition to the game, providing a natural way to play. I give it a 9/10.