Mario Sports Superstars: Quantity over quality
One thing you can’t accuse Mario Sports Superstars of is lacking content. With each of the five sports you can either play a one-off exhibition match, take part in a tournament or engage in multiplayer.
In exhibition matches, you can select the difficulty, the arena and your opponent's character. It’s the perfect mode if you’re tight for time and just want a quick game against the computer.
The tournament mode sees you competing for a trophy in a series of knockout rounds. Frustratingly, you have to begin at the easiest difficulty and work your way up the ranks before you can face more challenging opponents. That said, if you lose to any of your opponents, you’re given the chance of replaying them immediately rather than being forced to restart the tournament. Even at the highest difficulty, Nintendo still finds a way to hold your hand.
Multiplayer is perhaps the most enjoyable way to experience Mario Sports Superstars, as your opponents’ varying styles of play offer more diversity. You can play with friends locally and online, or you can compete against strangers on the internet. You’ll be paired with someone of a similar ability to you, so hopefully you won’t be the victim of a crushing defeat too often.
Upon completing matches, offline or online, you are rewarded with gold coins which can be spent on virtual cards. These cards provide no benefits other than being added to your collection. Honestly, they just feel like a cheap trick to try and get you to purchase the newly release Amiibo cards, adding no real worth to the game.
Mario Sports Superstars verdict
Frustratingly, Mario Sports Superstars feels like a missed opportunity. I’d love to see Nintendo tackle crazy golf or build upon the Super Mario Strikers series, which strikes the perfect balance between over-the-top mayhem and the competitive nature of football.
Instead, we get a series of sports which just don’t feel all that Nintendo.
You might get five games in one package with Mario Sports Superstars, but the only sports I can recommend playing are tennis and golf. And, since both of those sports are available as individual games for half the price, there’s little point in splashing out for this collection.