Review - Mario Hoops 3 on 3 (NDS)

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Kirby102, Sep 17, 2006.

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Sep 17, 2006
  1. Kirby102

    Member Kirby102 GBAtemp Regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Mario Hoops 3 on 3 (NDS) by Kirby102



    Mario Hoops 3 on 3, has created a new genre within a sports game: 3 on 3 basketball; hence stated in the title of the game. This game consists of an intuitive control system that makes this title enjoyable as a Mario sport. Basically the game is based on a normal basketball game, with three characters on each team. But the twist begins with the Mario Kart-like item effects.


    This game has introduced new gameplay mechanics of renacting as if you were really playing basketball. With the use of the touch screen, you can actually dribble, pass, shoot, and steal the ball while in play. The use of the DS's main feature of the touch screen has put into great use, as you are able to execute any stroke combination to activate the move within the game, providing the user with some strategic elements into play with other players. The rollercoaster difficulty may seem to cease your progression through the game, but it is more challenging if your team AI aren't doing anything to assist you, thus making the game more to be '1 on 3'.

    + Introducing a whole new way to play basketball on a console, techniques well-organised to be able to execute at any time
    ? Stupid AI teammates, rollercoaster difficulty in the last two cups of each difficulty producing frustration upon loss

    Mario scoring a hoop, just like in a normal basketball game

    Graphics / Sound

    The graphical aspect of this game is dominantly superior. The top screen outputting rich, 3D graphics from the character, to the ball itself. The sound is some what decent, as most of the sounds within the game are recycled. In other words, you'll be annoyed with the same two phrases each character will say over and over again. It also consists of retro SFX, which doesn't grow old of, such as the classic Mario Bros. 'ba-ding!' of the coin. The excellent graphics, only consist of about the same quota, which is evident in the characters' dunks being near-identical.

    + Excellent graphics, music well-produced including classic Mario Bros. 'coin' SFX which you will be hearing alot
    ? Lacking different types of animation, recycling both sounds and animations

    Rich textures and even glares from the sun are evident in this shot

    DS Features

    As explained before, the touch screen has increased the gameplay value to provide a greater experience as to playing a real basketball game. Although the graphics may not be comparable to a PSP, these are somewhat superior graphics than the high-end of the catalogue in terms of the DS hardware. Unfortunately, with high expectations of this game, it did not possess the ability to play online multiplayer on the Nintendo WiFi Connection (the online system for the DS, to be able to play online around the world), which was a let-down for everyone. Another disappointment was the lack of REAL 3 on 3 multiplayer, where the other player must also possess the game in order for a proper 3 on 3 match.

    + Excellent use of touch screen to replicate real-life basketball, graphically professional for DS
    ? No Online WiFi Multiplayer, only multi-cart multiplayer [for 2 people] can play real 3 on 3

    Four player multiplayer via single-cart, of only dribbling

    Replay Value

    In tournament mode, there are three difficulty levels, with four cups, consisting of three matches per cup, this game has a decent replay value. The replay value extends with the inclusion of the tutorial mode, mini-games, and exhibition matches to your liking. Further more, the ability to unlock eleven characters -to which 5 of them are Final Fantasy characters- increases the replay value. After this, there is nothing else to do, other than wait for a decent opponent who has the game to meet up with you in real-life to play with you.

    + Single-cart multiplayer minigames, unlockable characters (incl. Final Fantasy characters) and courts and basketballs, custom exhibition matches
    ? No real multiplayer aspect unless you find some local who has this game... and is worth playing against too

    The five Final Fantasy characters to be unlocked in the game


    Mario Hoops 3 on 3, provides an interesting approach to the DS by providing an intuitive control system for a Mario sports game. The display of graphics for this game is -without a doubt- very impressive on the DS, with a decent length of replayability. Although the exclusion of the wifi capabilities and the lacking of multiplayer modes may disrupt some players, and the fact that the AI assistance is shockingly poor, this game will get tiresome when the time comes.

    + Interesting and intuitive control system that is almost identical to playing real basketball
    + Graphically impressive for the DS, nice retro sound effects such as the 'Coin' in Mario Bros.
    ? No decent multiplayer unless local opponent possesses the game also (not even any sign of online WiFi multiplayer)
    ? Lacking of AI assistance providing a very difficult challenge to play 3 on 3 (more like 1 on 3)

    / 10
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