Mario Sports Mix (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Adam Riley 16.10.2010 11

Review for Mario Sports Mix (Hands-On) on Wii

When it was originally revealed that Square Enix would be working with Nintendo once more, there was a furore amongst the fan community since they expected a true follow-up to Super Mario RPG. As it turned out, though, the result of the second collaborative project was the extremely pleasing Mario Hoops 3-on-3 for DS, a surprisingly good basketball effort featuring both Squaresoft and Nintendo characters. Fast forward to this year’s E3 event and the development duo have joined forces for the third time to create an expanded sports collection for Wii. Cubed3 recently got the chance to try out two of the sporting events included in Mario Sports Mix to see what we can expect early next year.

Whilst the final version of Mario Sports Mix promises to have a wide selection of different sports on offer, including dodgeball and hockey, the build that was on show at the recent Eurogamer Expo in London, England, merely had two of them unlocked, Basketball and Volleyball. Both of these, sadly, were nowhere near as enjoyable as expected. The usual line-up of characters from Nintendo’s heritage are up for selection, with no surprises in the mix from the off (could Square Enix ones be included as in Mario Hoops 3-on-3? It seems we will have to wait until launch to find out), meaning the choice for players for now is simply from the following: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Yoshi, Toad, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Wario, Waluigi, Bowser, and Bowser Junior.

Diving into the basketball option was the obvious first choice given how the DS game from Square Enix was indeed quite fun for the most part. Rather than three players per team, though, for Mario Sports Mix it is a quick two-on-two affair where the Nunchuk’s analogue stick moves the primary character around and flicking the Wii Remote leads to jumping and attempting to score some vital points (or defend at the other end of the playing field) in what turns into real end-to-end action that strangely lacks the tension of NBA Jam, which gamers can also pick up on Wii. Tapping on ‘A’ allows for stealing the ball from your opponent, whilst ‘B’ activates one of the various items that can be collected (yes, never fear, Green Shells are in there) to increase the arcade feel of proceedings. Additionally, each of the Nintendo pack has its own characteristics to add more spice to every match, meaning that Luigi is slightly faster than his portly plumber brother, Bowser and Donkey Kong throw their weight around and the likes of Princess Peach and Daisy are generally good choices for those focusing on 'technique.'

Screenshot for Mario Sports Mix (Hands-On) on Wii

Trying the volleyball part of Mario Sports Mix, Mike and I once more found that disappointment washed over us. The control system was pretty much the same as before, with players moving their character to wherever the coloured indicator, representing where the volleyball is to land, appears, and then flicking the Wii Remote upwards to steady and set-up the ball for your partner to then make a quick downward motion in order to slam back over the net, aiming with the Nunchuk to keep the ball from landing outside of the designated markings of the playing court. As with basketball, there are various game boosting elements, such as the special power move that can be activated once your character’s individual meter has entirely filled up (by performing successful passes, shots, and so on), leading to an almost unstoppable attack on the other team’s basket/court/goal, complete with fanciful animation that cannot be skipped.

All the correct ingredients that made Camelot’s Nintendo sports titles so addictive and fun look to be have been included, yet oddly something was definitely missing and the whole experience felt terribly flat. If something drastic does not change before its release in Japan next month, then this could be one of the biggest Nintendo-published disappointments to arrive on Wii.

Screenshot for Mario Sports Mix (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

Currently things are not looking too wonderful for Mario Sports Mix. Whilst Square Enix was able to craft an extremely enjoyable portable basketball experience, the same level of quality appears to be distinctly lacking in this Wii expansion, with the Volleyball and Basketball modes tried in the demo version both proving to be highly frustrating and extremely limited, thusly leading to little fun being had, yet plenty of boredom setting in. What could have been a fantastically fun experience looks set to ultimately become a very disappointing one, unless there is a major turnaround in the development side by the time the game launches in Japan on 25th November.

Developer

Square Enix

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Sport

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10 (7 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

graphics arent all that, and isn't this pretty much mario and sonic at the olympics, crossed with wii sports resort???

( Edited 08.12.2012 10:43 by Guest )

AdamC3 (guest) 17.10.2010#2

Wii Sports Resort was brilliant and used MotionPlus. This, however, looks so basic and very disappointing. I expected better from Square Enix. Perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised by the final product...but I'm certainly not holding my breath.

( Edited 08.12.2012 10:43 by Guest )

Debs (guest) 17.10.2010#3

Smilie

( Edited 08.12.2012 10:43 by Guest )

Smrpg fan !!! (guest) 17.10.2010#4

Hopefully square will add some smrpg characters like geno, Mellow etc.

( Edited 08.12.2012 10:43 by Guest )

Smrpg fan !!! (guest) said:
Hopefully square will add some smrpg characters like geno, Mellow etc.

Don't bank on it

( Edited 08.12.2012 10:43 by Guest )

Looks like there are only four sports, but at least there's online...There are also seven more characters to be revealed, taking the total to 19, plus I reckon there's one extra special hidden one to make it a round 20.

( Edited 17.10.2010 10:20 by jesusraz )

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

A game like this should have been created by Nintendo, Next Level or Intelligent Systems, not Square Enix. If it turns out to be crap, it's down to that bad decision.

3DS Code 2578-3122-0744

Wait, Square Enix is making this game? I didn't know that. Hopefully it will still turn out somewhat good.

Scorp said:
Smrpg fan !!! (guest) said:
Hopefully square will add some smrpg characters like geno, Mellow etc.

Don't bank on it

I don't know, their character page on the Japanese website shows a lot of empty slots. And the usual number of characters have already been taken. We may be in for a few surprises. Just nothing lame like Hammer Bros or Dry Bones.

Shy Guy and Geno ftw


Mario, Mega Man and Rayman FTW!!!
vv (guest) 10.01.2011#10

thxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Im hoping this game turns out to be good, but ill wait until i know. Nintendo should have made this.. it would have been even better than it looks now

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