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The Problem With Nintendo Switch's Mario Sports Games (And How A New Mario Baseball Could Fix It)

When it comes to sports, many fans feel like Mario hasn't really been hitting it out of the park lately. The Nintendo Switch has seen new installments for several of the premier plumber's recreation-centric spin-off series, such as "Mario Tennis Aces," "Mario Golf: Super Rush," and "Mario Strikers: Battle League." Still, none of them have entirely managed to match the positive reception towards Mario's best games on Switch.


Some may find the reception towards Mario's more recent sports endeavors rather odd, especially considering Mario's pedigree as a quality franchise and that most of these spin-offs have been getting new entries for years. In many ways, these titles culminate decades of refinements over previous entries. Yet, fans nevertheless feel that they all invariably share some glaring issues when observed as complete experiences. The perceived breadth of what these games do wrong varies from person to person, though many can agree on one shared trait among most of Mario's Switch sports experiences that stands out as particularly frustrating.

Great gameplay, not much else

For many fans, the biggest issue with every Mario sports game on the Nintendo Switch is how the content is distributed. Each game gets shipped with a certain number of characters, modes, and content at launch, and then additional content is added down the line through DLC updates. The result is a slew of games that operate under what essentially amounts to a live service model, prompting players to return to the game when new content drops.


This model isn't unique to Mario's sports games — "Splatoon" does the same thing — but fans feel like it encourages Nintendo to launch the games with a shallow amount of content to start, only to beef up the experience later. "I really don't understand why they keep doing this," Raise_Defiant wrote in a thread discussing the issue. "The games just end up feeling s****y, unsatisfying, underwhelming, lacking depth (from previous entries and in general), and just plain empty and boring."

Indeed, there have been several occasions where fans felt like the new titles were missing crucial elements and features, including some that were present in previous releases. For example, in a post-launch update, "Mario Strikers: Battle League" added Daisy — a character synonymous with the series, thanks to her breakout role in the original "Super Mario Strikers."


"Congratulations Nintendo, you did it," one of the top comments reads on the official announcement video. "You added what should have been there in the first place."

Mario Baseball could be the cure

It's been a hot minute since the last "Mario" baseball game — over 15 years. Nonetheless, with many of the other sports spin-offs out of the way on the Nintendo Switch, it's entirely possible that Mario could make a return to the outfield. Some fans are hoping that a new entry in the series could finally allow Nintendo an opportunity to restore faith in the gaming icon's sports endeavors.


It seems players' recipe for success in a new Mario baseball game would be prioritizing much of what was memorable about the first two entries while also adding some modern refinements. For instance, BebeFanMasterJ requested that a sequel keep "Super Mario Sluggers'" massive playable roster, which included over 40 distinct Mario characters. Meanwhile, AceFs voiced their desire for a new mode and some aesthetic additions. "I just want good online, costumes, and more music variety," the fan wrote.

Above all else, fans stressed the need for a new Mario baseball game to buck the trend of other recent Mario sports titles lacking content at launch and drip-feeding DLC. As imblue89 described it: "A complete, finished game with loads of content, where the only updates needed are regular balancing patches and whatnot." If such a game adhered to these guidelines, it could very well be the home run that the Mario sports spin-offs desperately need.