I did not anticipate how much my kids would want to play Mario Sports Superstars. Nintendo gave me two codes for the game to download onto two 3DSes – I put one on my 11 year old daughter Déla’s and one on mine. With horse racing as one of the events I figured she would be at least interested in that sport, plus she has the smallest catalog of games. The other code went on my 3DS because I figured if I would be writing the review then I should have ready access to the game.
I got the codes late on Wednesday, downloaded the games Thursday, checked out the game, then wrote up my initial impressions Friday. As the kids got home from school Friday afternoon the 3DSes disappeared. Déla kept a death-grip on her 3DS, not sharing the game, but August (age 13), Ciaran (age 9), and Xavier (age 6) each kept taking turns with my 3DS and making bargains for how long they could play.
Each of the kids have a favorite sport, and unsurprisingly the horse racing is Déla’s. Soccer was the most universally acclaimed by all four of the kids, with horse racing close behind.
There was a little bit of multiplayer that took place, mostly with the horse racing, which was sort of like an equestrian version of Mario Kart. Besides going up against each other the kids also took in the Stable function which allows players to care for their horse in order to hopefully increase its performance.
It isn’t just the horse racing that gets an area to work on things outside of the game itself. Each sport has a training mode to work on the various moves to better finesse a win and get better with the controls. The initial tutorial players are forced to go through for each sport should be enough to get that first win, but players definitely need to spend some time outside of the single matches and tournaments in order to be able to figure out what it will take to advance.
Doing well in the game earns players virtual coins which can be used to purchase packs of virtual cards. These cards will then unlock new characters or perhaps beef up existing ones. This is perhaps my least favorite aspect of Mario Sports Superstars.
Is Mario Sports Superstars worth the $40? Do you have more than one kid? You’re going to need multiple copies of the game. Will it be worth it for you then? Chances are if your kids have their own 3DS then they aren’t in the habit of sharing games unless they are playing against each other. In that case picking up multiple copies of Mario Sports Superstars will be a worthwhile investment.
So the bottom line is, yes, Mario Sports Superstars is worth the price.