Mario Sports Mix is a Wii video game by Nintendo released in 2010 in Japan, and 2011 in Australia, Europe and North America. It is the sequel to the 2006 game Mario Hoops 3-on-3. It includes four different sports games including Ice Hockey, Volleyball, Basketball, and dodgeball, along with the Final Fantasy characters who have appeared in Mario Hoops 3-on-3 as well. Slime, a Dragon Quest mascot, makes an appearance in this game. This game was developed by Square Enix, who also developed Mario Hoops 3-on-3.
The game supported the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection feature, which enables players to play with other players in their region. To save any game data, three blocks of memory have to be used on the Wii system. However, due to the game's Wi-Fi compatibilities, the game data is copy protected, which means it cannot be transferred onto other Wii systems. As of May 20th 2014, Nintendo has terminated the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, meaning that it is no longer possible to play Mario Sports Mix online.
One day in the Mushroom Kingdom, Toad is gardening flowers when suddenly the sky turns dark, and a strange object falls from the sky and crashes. Toad is worried about the situation, so he, along with some other Toads, rushes to the crashed object to examine it. The Toads find four colored crystals: a red crystal containing a basketball; a green crystal containing a volleyball; a yellow crystal containing a dodgeball; and a blue crystal containing a coin. While observing the mysterious crystals, the Toads suddenly come up with an idea of introducing new sports - Basketball, Volleyball, Dodgeball and Hockey - to the Mushroom Kingdom. The Toads also organize tournaments for the four sports. The best players of the tournament earn a prize: one of the four crystals that fell from the sky. Mario, his friends, and his foes are ready to play sports and enter the tournaments to find out who are the best players of the Mushroom Kingdom. When the players' team wins the Mushroom and Flower Cups, and gets to the end of the Star Cup, everything seems to be normal. However, in the final round, a Star Ship appears and the players' opponent turns out to be Ninja in disguise. Ninja steals the trophy and jumps onto the Star Ship, which prompts the players to follow Ninja to get the trophy back. They end up playing against the Final Fantasy team, while the Star Ship flies through space. When the players win against the Final Fantasy team, they receive one of the crystals that fell from the sky. The leader of the team then uses it to power the Star Ship and take the team back home.
After players receive all four crystals, the crystals merge and turn into a dark, glowing crystal. The dark crystal takes the players to another area. In this area, players encounter the Behemoth, a creature from the Final Fantasy series. The players must defeat the monster before it defeats them. When the players defeat Behemoth, the dark energy from the dark crystal disappears and turns into a rainbow-colored crystal. The players use the crystal again to power the Star Ship to take them back home.
Sports Mix mode's story is highly identical, except after the players' team defeats the Final Fantasy team, the three Sports Mix trophies that they receive will end up merging into a dark crystal. That crystal also leads them to an alternate dimension, where the Behemoth King is found. Similarly with Behemoth, players have to defeat the Behemoth King before it takes them out. When the Behemoth King is defeated, the crystal's dark energy disappears, and it turns back into a rainbow crystal. The players use that crystal to power the Star Ship to take them back home.
Mario Sports Mix features four playable sports, all unique from each other. Players can play either alone with CPU allies, cooperatively with others up to three players, or against one another. Four players can participate; however, they can participate only in Vs. mode since it is impossible to have all four players team up. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk control style is used as the primary control scheme for the game. However, the players can also use the Wii Remote in the horizontal position. Players are able to perform actions through shaking the Wii Remote and/or inputting buttons as shown in horizontal Wii Remote scheme. All sports are played in periods, where, except for volleyball, there is a certain time limit to each period. When the time limit reaches zero, players move to the next period and change sides. Excluding dodgeball, points acquired in past periods also add up to the current game's total score. In dodgeball, another period commences when all team players get knocked out.
? Panels return from Mario Hoops 3-on-3, where they serve the same purpose: to provide players with either coins or an item. Unlike Mario Hoops 3-on-3, items are held in reserve rather than players holding them. The more coins players have, the more points they can get when they achieve a scoring. Players lose coins when they get hit by an opposing item, which makes the coins scatter on the floor. However, in dodgeball, coins increase the attack power of attacks, and players cannot lose coins from items.
There are also special options that can be adjusted for each sport in exhibition mode, such as turning on and off ? Panels, setting the number of periods and the time limit, and other options which can be specific for each sport. Once the options are set, they do not reset whenever a players turns off the game.
On a side note, there's an option which enables the players to receive commands. However, this option is available only when the CPU level is set to "Easy".
Basketball is played in a similar fashion as in Mario Hoops 3-on-3. Players must score points by shooting a basketball into their hoop in order to win the game. Whichever team has the most points after all periods wins the match. Two points are acquired when the ball makes it in the hoop; three points are acquired when the ball gets shot from the three pointer and beyond or when a special shot is performed. The coins that the players gather along the way are added to their total score. Also in this sport, which is exclusive to this game, there is a shot clock on the bottom-left hand corner of the screen so the characters can shoot within the time limit, just like in a professional NBA game. If they do not shoot before time runs out, the other team gets possession. Players are also able to defend, block, and make dunks in this game in a similar way to the actual sport. If the score is tied at the end of regulation, then overtime will begin. With overtime in this sport, no game ends in a draw.
Volleyball is played by hitting a ball without making it touch the ground. Players first start matches by serving the ball, either by ground or by air. The match then proceeds, while the players try to smack the volleyball so it touches the ground. If that occurs, the last team to successfully hit the ball over the net gains a point. When a point limit is reached (the default is fifteen points), the set is won. Players can spike the ball, deflect a spike, and use many other moves that bear resemblance to the actual game. Volleyball also has an out zone, much like tennis: any player who hits the ball into this zone forfeits a point to the opposing team. Volleyball is the only sport in the game that can never have a time limit.
A Dodgeball game always begins with a jump-ball that is done by Lakitu to determine which team gets to attack first. Dodgeball is mostly played by throwing a ball to the opposing team. There are two teams of two or three characters and a colored Yoshi on the players' teams. Players can prevent a hit by catching the ball. Players who fail to catch the ball or dodge it will lose their vitality. They can prevent this if they catch the ball before it hits the ground, especially if the ball flies upwards. Players cannot catch the ball if they are facing away from them, nor can they catch it if an item is in effect.
Players have a Health Meter and lose a portion when they get hit, except for the colored Yoshi, who can never be "knocked out," but cannot leave the box at the back of the court. Players cannot control the Yoshis, unless they encounter the ball, and even then, the only commands that the players can give them is to pass or attack. If players lose all their HP, they are out, and they are sent into their box. However, unlike the Yoshis in the box, they can leave if they damage their target with the ball. Players that do this also get a small amount of their HP regained, but are out immediately if damaged again. However, some alternate route objectives do prevent players who are out from leaving the box; this can also be applied to exhibition matches in the settings.
The first team to knock out the opposing team before the time limit expires wins the set. Additionally, the team who has the most number of remaining players automatically wins when time runs out. If both teams have the same number of players remaining at the end of the time limit, sudden death follows. With this term, no set ends in a draw. In sudden death, the first team to take damage loses the set. On a side note, this is the only sport which has a time limit in which players can set the timer to infinite.
A hockey game always begins with a face-off that is done by Lakitu to determine which team will get the puck at the start of the period. If a team scores a goal or a special shot, another face-off will take place. The goalkeepers in this sport are Shy Guys, and their color depends on which team they are in. In order to steal the puck, players must tackle each other, which can be achieved by the motion of shaking the Wiimote 2 in sideways mode) or simply by making a character go in front of the opponent with the puck. Sometimes, a struggle ensues and players must shake their Wii Remote the fastest that they can in order to win the puck over and knock the opponents away. The team with the most points wins and, very much like basketball, this game is played in time limits and transitional periods. This sport uses a Hockey Stick.
Sports Mix is a tournament-only game mode, which uses all of the sports. To unlock it, players must complete all four Star Cups and defeat Behemoth. In this game mode, the sport that is played is chosen randomly for each round. Computer controlled characters are set on the Expert difficulty level, the hardest difficulty level in the game. When the players beat the Star Cup, they fight the Behemoth King, instead of the normal Behemoth. The Behemoth King has more health than Behemoth and is harder to beat.
Players can select only characters and costumes that are unlocked in all four sports. For example, if players unlock Cactuar for Basketball, Hockey, and Volleyball, but not for Dodgeball, it cannot be selected in Sports Mix mode. If players unlock Cactuar for Dodgeball as well, it can be selected in Sports Mix mode. In a similar manner, recolors cannot be used unless they are unlocked for all four sports as well.
- Princess Peach
- Princess Daisy
- Donkey Kong
- Bowser Jr.
- Black Mage (Final Fantasy)
- Ninja (Final Fantasy)
- White Mage (Final Fantasy)
- Moogle (Final Fantasy)
- Cactuar (Final Fantasy)
- Slime (Dragon Quest)
- Shy Guy (Goalie for hockey)
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Pre-release and unused content
In the pre-final version of the game, the Health Meter in dodgeball was originally going to be split up into four sections, just like the health meter in the Super Mario Galaxy series that is divided into three sections. In the final version it is a meter with one section that depletes correspondingly. There was also a different logo shown at E3 2010. Also, the numbers, placement of bars and other text aesthetics have been altered from the final version.
References to other games
- Mario Bros. - One part of the menu theme is the sound effect of losing a life from this game.
- Super Mario Bros. - The underwater theme is one of the tunes available in Harmony Hustle. Also, sound effects are reused.
- Super Mario Bros. 2 - The animation used for Toad whenever he throws an item appears to be influenced by how he threw vegetables and other items in this game. Additionally, Toad's classification as a speedy character could reference the fact that the is the fastest character in Super Mario Bros. 2. His blue outfit from this game is also used.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 - In the underwater theme in Harmony Hustle, part of this game's underwater melody can be heard.
- Super Mario World - The athletic theme is one of the tunes available in Harmony Hustle.
- Mario Tennis (series) - Peach and Daisy's alternate costumes, called "tennis-wear", is based off this series. More specifically, the design overall is based on the outfits that Peach and Daisy wear for Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and Mario Power Tennis.
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - Lakitu holding up the ball with a plunger is a reference to when he holds up a sideways traffic light before the intro of the game plays.
- Mario Hoops 3-on-3 - Much of the gameplay mechanics come from this game, especially in basketball. Most stages are also based off this game. The theme of Bloocheep Sea makes a return as one of the songs in Harmony Hustle. Also, in most of the sports selection song, there is the sound of the main theme of this game.
- New Super Mario Bros. - The design and function of the Mini Mushroom is based off this game. It also has this effect (briefly) in Black Mage's special shot.
- Luigi's Mansion - A court takes place in a mansion based off this game. The Poltergust 3000 appears as Luigi's special shot.
- Super Smash Bros. - Donkey Kong has a defensive, spinning move that strongly resembles his Spinning Kong move from the Super Smash Bros. series.
- Super Smash Bros. Melee - The Green Missile makes an appearance as Luigi's dive in volleyball and dodgeball, and his third consecutive check in hockey. Luigi's dash attack also appears to have been referenced as one of his attacks in basketball, his spike in volleyball, and his second consecutive check in hockey. Also, Bowser's Whirling Fortress move returns as his defense in volleyball.
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games - The gameplay in Hockey is similar to Ice Hockey from this game.
- Mario Kart DS - The concept of Waluigi owning a pinball-themed course returns.
- Mario Kart Wii - In Toad Park, Toads can be seen driving Mario Kart Wii-styled karts. Some item images are also borrowed from this game, such as the Green Shells.
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- The Hockey sport in this game is presented as Ice Hockey. However, on every court except Mario Stadium, the characters play Roller Hockey instead.
- Donkey Kong, Bowser Jr., Daisy, and Toad are the only playable Mario characters to not appear on the box art and the title screen.
- Peach is also the only character who appears on the box art and title screen that has a different artwork.
- If a player stands next to the goalie in Hockey, the Shy Guy will sometimes whack the player with its stick for no reason. The Shy Guy can also hit Dry Bones in Ghoulish Galleon.
- Mario Sports Mix at GameFAQs
- Mario Sports Mix at Wikipedia
- Official Japanese website
- Official Oceanian website
- Official European website
- Official American website