By Video_Game_King 23 Comments
Mario Superstar Baseball( First, because I'm playing this song for absolutely no reason.) Second, because I think it's pretty obvious that I'm not into sports. The closest things you'll find to sports games in my entire list of beaten games (and, just for the hell of it, StarFoxA's mere imitation) are two Tony Hawk games (except on StarFoxA's list. I'm not gonna make a habit of this, even though I totally should.). So in enters Mario Superstar Baseball, an actual sport game wrapped in a colorful Mario wrapper. Unfortunately, this game proved to me that I can't digest wrappers.
The only thing that wrapper is good for is letting me set things up with some type of story. Mario is in the Mushroom Kingdom (supposedly after the Great Mushroom Civil War), just hanging out, when he receives an invitation from Bowser to play some baseball. There's just one problem: his entire team is shit. Mario must now make like Genghis Khan and conquer his nearby enemies before forcing them to join his army. Standard Mario stuff, and not much to complain about, but it does fail to explain one key aspect of the game: why it keeps calling me a fag. No, I am not making this shit up, the game will call you a fag at every opportunity. Daisy will yell it while up at bat; the game calls you a fag when you get a strike; and it even calls you a fag when you strike out the computer! My conclusion: the game hates me, and will do everything in its power to prevent me from having a good time.
Sure, things seemed OK in the tutorial; the controls felt easy to grasp and fairly responsive, giving the impression that I'd give the game higher than a 7. But once I got into the single-player mode, things took a hard right turn into Kefka levels of hatred. Hitting the ball is more of an effort than it should be, but I can't blame the game for that, even when the characters aren't suited for baseball. After all, I managed to get out by bunting. It was at this point that the game renamed my profile to Jon Stewart, which is weird, given that this game doesn't use profiles. What I can blame the game for is what happens when you hit the ball: it flies in the air and into a catcher's hand. This isn't a one-time thing, as the balls I hit spent more time in somebody's hands than they did in the air. Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly), this magical accuracy dried up as soon as I started pitching; while the computer had as much luck as I did actually hitting the ball, on the occasions that they did, my catchers struggled in vain to catch the damn thing. This time, it's hard to blame me, mainly because of how the game chooses which catcher you control. It's usually the one closest to the ball (why usually?), which sounds good until you watch your character start running away from the ball like it's a vampire in orb form.
Of course, this is all probably par for the course in baseball games. I wouldn't know, as the only other baseball game I've ever played is that Ken Griffey Jr. game for the N64. Mario, not being par for the course (haven't really played Mario Golf, either), adds a bunch of stuff to the mix, even if it all amounts to nothing. Certain players have chemistry between each other, which amounts to dick when you realize that people bat alone, and that words of encouragement usually precede balls of head-hitting. You can also throw star pitches, which are super powerful pitches with weird-ass trajectory quirks. You can also star hit, but why the hell would you? It usually just drives the ball down the middle, and regular charge hits work much better at moving the ball. In fact, now that I think about it, charge everything works well. Sure, you have a ton of options when it comes to pitching, but all of them immediately bow to the charge pitch. That explains why I was charging everything in the single player mode, turning things into a repetitive mess.
Oh, right, there's a single player mode. Remember how I said that Mario's team consisted entirely of five year olds who had trouble spelling tee ball, let alone playing it? Blame RPG stats for that, or more accurately, the fact that they're pulled off poorly. Batting does not determine how far a ball flies, but how big your bat is; pitching doesn't determine anything because Mario's already good enough, you idiot. Everybody else sucks, though, which explains why you spend most of the single player mode recruiting other players through missions. Don't be fooled by the name, though, as these missions pop up randomly in games. They range from embarrassingly easy (get a hit, you dumbass) to fiendishly dickish (get these guys out in three batters). Oh, and you have to win the game for it all to mean anything, which you already know as hard. What you don't know is that ties don't count, either, which really sucks when you realize that baseball is a lot like gay sex: it favors bottoms. I'd call the game out for it if Bowser Jr. didn't walk around the map handing out freebie characters. That's how I beat the game: Bowser freebies. What do you get for beating the game? A simple picture and the chance to play again on a harder difficulty. I give this game the Mother Brain Award for Being Such a Passive Aggressive Bitch.
- The controls need quite a bit of adjusting.
- Same with the AI.
- Or maybe I just suck at the game.
Aw, I always thought Drew was a lady's man.
Evil Zone( What?) No, seriously, what? I was supposed to do this first paragraph on how I jumped from game to game, searching for one that was actually playable/beatable, but fuck, look at this game! Nothing about it makes sense. Keep in mind that I'm not saying this is weird because it's Japanese, like I'd say about, for example, anything Shin Megami Tensei; I'm saying that even the most Japanese guy you could find would look at this game and explode into a billion gallons of blood and confusion.
Did that freak you out? Now you know how I feel about this game. Hell, just look at the intro and point to anything that makes sense. Let's recap: there's this woman named Ihadurca (pronounced with an L, presumably because she'd sound like this otherwise), and she can exist in multiple dimensions, which I think means she lives in wherever the hell Super Paper Mario is. Either that, or it means she's the only woman in the world with boobs that aren't hardened watermelons. The people of Happy Island (damn it, you guys were a synonym away from being awesome!) decide that this sucks and that she belongs in the Evil Zone. Then they summon a bunch of warriors and make them fight each other for no reason. All this, and we have yet to get into the actual game, where things get infinitely more confusing. Each character's story makes you fight yourself, which came off as OK when robot-dude was doing it, but it eventually came off as the game saying, "Oh, fuck this." Speaking of story, there's definitely a story, but it's hard to tell what the shit it is. I can't even tell if it's actually confusing or just going for some type of camp feel. Each fight begins with some corny introduction that takes place next week, meaning this game should take almost two years to complete, and half the characters look like they were ripped directly from animes of some type.
However, they all sound batshit insane. Again, confusion arises: is it the voicework that's insane, or the script? On the one hand, that Ihadurca thing I said; on the other hand, one of the characters (or voice actors, I can't tell) starts eating a sandwich in the middle of his speech before his wife bitches him back into relevance; on the third hand, some of the story pictures are upside down, because, hey, why the hell not? Notice how none of this relates to the gameplay, which also sounds pretty insane. People have called it a one-button fighter, but they're wrong; it's a two button fighter. That's right, this game could fit on an NES controller and still have a useless button. One button attacks, and one button guards. It sounds simple until you realize that like any Super Smash Bros game, you perform special moves by jamming forward and attack. This is where things get awesome, as you and your opponent start dodging, sidestepping, and exchanging blows, like it's an actual fight. Best of all, though, unlike Tekken, grabs don't destroy the game, since grabbing your opponent is as easy as grabbing a sweaty, naked dude. DON'T ASK WHY, DAMN IT!!!
Instead, ponder the roughness of this what-the-fuck sandwich. For example, you can charge your HP bar for super-moves, but why you'd want to isn't very well explained. You need three charges to do anything, and while these super moves do decent damage, you could get equally good results from any other attack. This assumes that you're using melee, as projectiles turn out to be shit. Not regular projectiles, but the ones that look like they can do decent damage. I suspect that they could if they flew straight, but the reality is that they actively avoid your target, possibly because they're looking for a way out of this game. Or maybe it's because hitting them would require touching a biker chick wearing short shorts that look like permanent residents of Ass-Crack City. I can't tell, because this game is seriously confusing. I found myself saying this (or similar phrases) more times than I did pushing buttons. The weirdest part of it all? I like this game. Obviously, this game gets the 後背位で拍子抜け悪 Award for What?
- The story's more confusing than an FF12 orgy.
- The gameplay is surprisingly fun, if a bit flawed.
- ˙noʎ ǝsnɟuoɔ pןnoɥs ǝbɐssǝɯ sıɥʇ ǝʞıן ʇsnظ 'ǝɯ sǝsnɟuoɔ ǝɯɐb sıɥʇ ʇnoqɐ buıɥʇʎɹǝʌ3