Update: click here for more gameplay footage for Mario Sports Superstars!
Last week, Nintendo opened the official website for Mario Sports Superstars, providing us with plenty of details about each sport, but also some gameplay footage, screenshots, and more.
First, here’s all the gameplay clips from the website, gathered in one video for your viewing convenience (apologies for the poor quality, but there’s only so much you can do with 240p footage…):
As mentioned previously, Mario Sports Superstars features 5 full-fledged sports:
- football / soccer
- Horse Racing
Naturally, each one can be played in Single Player (with various challenges and tournaments, along with training and some mini-games), but also in multiplayer (local or online). You can chose the characters that will join your team, but you have to think carefully before chosing: they all have their own strengths and weaknesses after all.
Football / Soccer
You start by assembling your dream team, then selecting your formation. To win, you need to pay attention to the attributes of your team members. Players are encouraged to try out various teams and formations, in order to find the one they’re comfortable with. Your goal is, obviously, to make your way to your opponent’s goal and make sure the ball ends up inside. Yup, that’s football / soccer alright!
By keeping the ball moving, you charge your special gauge. When it’s fully charged, you can unleash a powerful special shot, which varies depending on the character (technical characters try to aim at corners, while power characters such as Bowser go with brute force).
In order to reach the goal, you can use skill moves while dribbling, in order to get past those pesky opponents. And with the help of different passing options, feints, and step overs, you will end up in front of the goalkeeper in no time.
In Baseball, you create a team of 9 players, and just like in an actual baseball game, you play through 9 innings (with both defense and offense). It looks like there’s 4 different stadiums to compete in.
When comes the time to send the ball flying, you have the choice between different types of swings:
- Power swings are tough to pull off, but there’s no better way to send that ball soaring;
- Contact Swings
- Bunts (almost guarantee a hit every time)
As for pitching, the pitching techniques you have access to depend on the character you picked up. Here’s some examples of techniques you can use:
- and more…
To win, you need to keep the batter guessing, and confuse them by mixing the various techniques.
You can give instructions to the team members, via a number of quick options, so that they always know what to do. You can tell team members on base what do, tell fielders which base to throw to, set your infield to sit deep or push closer, bring in relief pitchers, and more. There’s plenty of options for you to chose from, and set up the perfect strategy.
Just like in regular Mario Tennis games, you need to chain together lobs, drop shots, and more at just the right time to keep your opponents on their toes. Your timing is key, just like your positioning, and the shots you chose. For example, there’s nothing like lobs against opponents adopting a high line. You can also aim at the far corners (using the Circle Pad to aim) to take them by surprise.
If you keep the rally going, you can fill up a gauge that allows you to unleash a powerful Ultra Smash when filled. The Jump Shots and Chance Shots are back, just like Simple Mode for players who want as authentic an experience as possible.
Regarding multiplayer, you can use a Mario Sports Superstars amiibo cards to tag along as your Doubles partner.
Just like in other Mario Golf games, you need to chose the right clubt to win. And before swinging, make sure to take into account not just the distance, but also wind strength, and terrain.
For players who want as much precision as possible, there’s the manual shot mode, that allows you to accurately add curse and spin to your drives. And Thanks to various camera options, that can be selected via the touch screen, you can always get the best view!
Mario Sports Superstars features a mode called Stroke Play, where you can chose the nine holes, but also the environmental settings (such as wind stregnth), the tee position, the hole order, and more. There’s also a training mode, and Ring Challenge for players looking for… well, a challenge!
Nintendo describes this one as a “high-speed sport”, where you go “neck-and-neck with other racers as you dodge obstacles, leap over hazards and dash to the finish line”. It can be played with up to 6 players via local wireless or online.
You can chose not just your horse but also your jockey, before speeding around 12 different courses (set in 4 distinct areas). To be the first to reach the finish line, you need to pick up the various items that litter the tracks: the stamina-replenishing carrots, and the special-building Stars. And using double-jumps, you can reach high-up items, that your opponents may not be able to reach.
Speaking of the Stars mentioned above, once you’ve collected enough of them, you can use the Star Dash to get an “incredible” speed boost: a great way to catch up to your opponents if you’re lagging behind. But don’t try to get too far ahead: horses actually gallop faster when they’re together (something known as the Herd Effect). In order words, you need to chose the right time to dash!
Finally, you can head to the Stable in order to feed, pet, and brush your horse… you can even go for a stroll together, or have it wear various accessories. And it’s a pretty important aspect of this sport, as taking care of your horse improves its Mood, which in turns makes it perform better in races.
Regarding amiibo, they can be used to boost your characters’ stats and abilities, but also to unlock new gear for them to use (tennis rackets, baseball bats, and more. As for the amiibo cards themselves, Nintendo specifies that there’s 5 cards for each character, so one per sport.
Here’s what we wrote about amiibo the other day:
Now, you’re probably wondering what the cards are used for: they allow you to unlock more powerful versions of each character, and in each sport to boot. More precisely, you unlock the Star version of a character when you tap their amiibo, but only in the corresponding sport. As you can imagine, a Star character has stronger stats.
But that’s not all amiibo cards are for in Mario Sports Superstars: they let you participate in the Road to Superstar mode. If you manage to complete this mode, then your Start character will get a Superstar status, with an even greater boost to their stats.
Superstar characters are quite literally at the top of their game, which is why they’re great to use in multiplayer in order to get the upper hand.
Here’s the list of amiibo compatible:
- Mario Sports Superstars amiibo cards: unlock more powerful versions of characters, unlock new gear;
- all amiibo figures and cards (other than Mario Sports Superstars series): unlock in-game collectible cards.
Finally, Nintendo reveals that the retail copy of Mario Sports Superstars include not just an amiibo card selected at random, but also a chart that allows you to keep track of your collection.
Here’s plenty of screenshots for all 5 sports:
Mario Sports Superstars (3DS) comes out on March 10th in Europe, March 24th in North America, and March 30th in Japan.