Unfortunately there are only a few different types of missions that you will take on in Challenge mode, and each obviously revolves around baseball play! The ones that you need to focus on the most are the Star Missions. When you win baseball games based on star missions, you will have the opportunity to boost the members of your particular team! However, some missions actually don’t require that you go through a full-length baseball game in order to progress. Some characters will spark missions that mainly just involve a quick mini-game or a small challenge. Each have their own unique requirements that will provide a nice challenge! Then finally we have Scout Missions, and just like the concept states, your team acts as a “recruiting” group! Winning games under Scout Missions will give you the opportunity to “sway” opposing team players over to your team!
Mario Baseball is just like all other Mario sports titles. It prides itself on delivering simple gameplay mechanics that are definitely easy-to-learn. But of course, just like a typical Mario title, it isn’t without its strange and wacky aspects! However, both the more realistic and the more “entertaining” elements of Mario Baseball will indeed require some strategy on the part of all players! Just like in all other Mario sports titles, each character has their own unique stats for you to take advantage of! Each character has a set rating based on their hitting and defense play as well as a preference for which characters they play best alongside with!
During the actual baseball games you’ll be playing, you’ll see all the various things you can do with hitting and pitching and even some surprises! When you’re at the plate waiting for the next pitch, you have the option of advancing all your base runners with the simple tap of a button. You will have access to both normal and charge swings with obviously charge ones being more powerful. Then based on whichever way you may be utilizing the “analog thumb pad,” you have a certain level of control over where the ball may fly to once it leaves your bat! Each character will also have their own unique “special shot,” which is utilized from a particular meter! This meter is call your “charm star” meter and it virtually allows you to connect with any pitch that will be thrown next and smashing the living daylights out of it!
Then just like in a real baseball game, you can easily play out a strategy in the in and outfield. You can check on certain base runners and try to toss the ball to a base for a “tag out” with yet another simple button press! When it comes time for your turn to actually pitch to the opposing team, you too have both normal and charge throws! Then just like how you can slightly “motivate” the change in the direction the ball goes when you hit, you can utilize the analog thumb pad to change the ball’s path in flight! You can also have your pitcher execute a character-exclusive special pitch at the cost of a point from your charm meter! The charm meter for your pitcher is increased when you happen to execute certain defensive plays that can be deemed as a “Star Chance.”
Finally, somewhat borrowing from a feature of Mario Tennis, the very stadiums that will be featured in Mario Baseball can also feature certain unique obstacles! For example, the Wario Stadium has various sand storm clouds that will trap the ball and make it much more difficult to play defense! Peach’s Stadium happens to have floating blocks which may cause the ball to fly in unpredictable directions when you hit it! However, not all of them are like this. If you want to play in a stadium that could just as easily be considered a standard baseball stadium, head to Mario’s place!
So far Mario Baseball seems to be turning out to be yet another blockbuster Mario sports title! It combines both the realistic elements of true baseball while adding that typical “Mario atmosphere” which allows for some true strangeness to occur. Next month we will all have the opportunity to play the game dubbed as “America’s past time” and while it may not be a simulation of the real MLB, it is bound to offer any fan or loyalist of the Mario sports titles hours of entertainment!