previews\ May 10, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Mario Hoops 3-on-3 - NDS - Preview

E3 2006 First Look Preview

When Mario jumped on the court and showed off his talent in the GameCube version of NBA Street V3, many wondered if this was Mario’s first step into the realm of sports games. Then he appeared in the latest SSX, kicking as much butt on the slopes as he does in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Six months later and E3 2006 has come. Nintendo confirmed what many had been hoping for: Mario would star in his own basketball game – Mario Hoops 3 On 3. Join Mario, Peach, Wario, Bowser, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Diddy Kong, Yoshi, Waluigi, Shy Guy and Birdo for a b-ball experience on par with his other sports adventures.

Mario Hoops looks great with plenty of cool court environments and at least a couple of special moves inspired by the Mario universe.

Mario™ Hoops 3-on-3 Nintendo DS screenshots

Following the trend set by The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Mario Hoops throws traditional D-pad controls off the court in favor of the touch screen and stylus combo. Light touching, dragging, and consecutive tapping influence the way that Mario and co. function. Tapping adjusts the speed of the ballers, while dragging the stylus moves the character along the court. Furthermore, players may execute special passes, super shots, complex dribbles and other fancy moves by manipulating the screen with the stylus. It’s a match made in hoops Heaven.

Three characters are allowed on each team (hence the subtitle, “3 On 3”). As expected, power-ups are going to be a part of the Mushroom Kingdom-inspired courts. Red shells and Bob-ombs (and who knows what else) will give the players who have them the edge. Meanwhile, the team that’s on the receiving end of these power-ups will be dealt a blast they won’t soon forget.

Mario™ Hoops 3-on-3 Nintendo DS screenshots

The Nintendo DS has been a great source of graphical pleasure this year, and Mario Hoops is no exception. The effects, animations, and solid flow of the game have that classic Mario Bros. feel. It’s an impressive title to watch that had many people lining up behind it to take a peak. Do I even have to question how great it will play? Doubtful. Look at the track record: Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, and Super Mario Strikers. I’m ready to add Mario Hoops to that list.


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