Mario Superstar Baseball slides home

Nintendo's over-the-top GameCube slugfest ships to stores.

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Rampant steroid abuse may have turned professional baseball into an over-the-top parody of the great American pastime in recent years, but gamers now have their own over-the-top parody of baseball to enjoy...and it's a drug-free one at that.

Mario Superstar Baseball has begun shipping to retail outlets across North America today, bringing with it the same irreverent take on the source material seen in past Mario outings, like Mario Tennis and Mario Golf. Players take to the field with more than 20 familiar Nintendo characters, each with his or her own special powers and unique approach to the game. Bowser pitches Bullet Bills, while Donkey Kong uses a boxing glove at the plate to punch the ball out of the park. Even the playing fields have personality, as players will have to avoid rolling barrels in the outfield and other hazardous obstacles.

Gamers hoping for a more realistic take on baseball from Nintendo will have to cross their fingers and hope that the repeatedly delayed Pennant Chase Baseball emerges from development limbo and gets a release date soon.

Mario Superstar Baseball retails for $49.99 and is rated E for Everybody. Check back later today for GameSpot's full review.

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