Mario Slam Basketball dribbles onto DS

Who says wide men can't jump?

Mario Slam Basketball dribbles onto DS
| Mario Slam Basketball

Sports sims and the Nintendo DS haven't exactly been happy bedfellows to date. In fact, we harped on the subject at some length whilst highlighting the handheld's inept attempts to play football via 2006 FIFA World Cup.

So can the DS do sports? Well Nintendo clearly thinks so and is bringing its first team to the format for the upcoming Mario Slam Basketball.

A simulation of three-on-three b-ball featuring classic Nintendo and Final Fantasy characters, Mario Slam Basketball promises to provide an unprecedented level of ball control at your finger tips, literally.

The DS touch screen will enable dribbling and dunking to be controlled directly by your digits or the stylus. Indeed, flashier players will be able to show off special moves (and potentially double their score) by tapping out patterns in sequence that correspond with their characters name.

As well as being one of the most innovative interpretations of b-ball, the sim developed by Square Enix also promises to be one of the best looking. All the characters have been rendered in 'glorious 3D' and dazzling special effects are in store when you're out on the court.

Then again, perhaps it's a little misleading to call this a simulation. With the likes of Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach collecting stars and hurling shells, bananas and Bo-bombs at each other, the action here owes as much to Mario Kart as it does to EA's NBA series.

This is further underlined by the different modes of play available. Alongside the ability to play tournaments, exhibition games and practise in single player, are three multi-player options allowing you to play a straight exhibition match or indulge in a Dribble Race or a session of Coin Hunting.

All-in-all then there's plenty to cheer here, and if Mario Slam Basketball can live up to even half of the hype when it arrives on November 10th it could well be the first DS sports game to have us jumping through hoops.

Chris James
Chris James
A footy game fanatic and experienced editor of numerous computing and game titles, bossman Chris is up for anything – including running Steel Media (the madman).