Mario Hoops 3-on-3

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Mario Hoops 3-on-3
Mario Hoops 3-on-3 Coverart.png
Developer(s) Square Enix
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Shin Azuma
Producer(s) Toyokazu Nonaka
Hiroyuki Miura
Composer(s) Masayoshi Soken
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Release date(s)
  • JP July 27, 2006
  • NA September 11, 2006
  • AUS October 26, 2006
  • EU February 16, 2007
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Mario Hoops 3-on-3, known in Europe as Mario Slam Basketball and in Japan as Mario Basketball 3on3 (マリオバスケ 3on3 Mario Basuke 3on3?), is a sports game developed by Square Enix and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS in 2006.

This game is the first in which Mario and Final Fantasy characters appear together as playable characters, and the second Mario game developed by Square Enix, the first one being Super Mario RPG. It is the first Mario basketball game ever to be released, although characters from the series have appeared in the Nintendo GameCube version of NBA Street V3.


Touch control is used for all actions besides movement (which is handled by the directional pad). Dribbling is performed automatically, but at a lower rate if the touch screen is not used actively to dribble. Touching the screen in a certain direction causes the character that the player is controlling to change which way the character is dribbling and face in another direction, allowing the player to turn his/her character without having to move with the d-pad and gives the player better defense. In addition, dribbling is faster on coin pads. Dribbling on coin pads also earns the player coins to be used as points while shooting. The player can carry up to 100 coins.

Navigating menus and playing the game can be done with either the touch screen or the d-pad. The player can play left or right-handed, depending on what he or she chooses in the options menu. There is also an option of using the A, B, X, Y buttons instead of the touch screen. There are certain moves that only use the touch screen.

The player shoots by drawing a line forward on the touchscreen. Depending on where the character is and how he/she is moving, the shot will either be a normal shot, a special shot or a slam dunk. Normal Shots and Slam Dunks are worth 20 points, ranged shots are worth 30 and Super Shots gives the player 40. Any coins the player has after making the shot will be added to the total and each one is worth a point.

The game is structured in tournaments, which the player must win to progress. The tournament ladder is made with graphics based on the original Super Mario Bros.. Each tournament consists of three games with two halves of two and a half minutes, except that the player needs to play an extra game with the Final Fantasy team at the end of the rainbow tournament.

The player can win a tournament by winning the three games on its ladder. The player would obtain either a gold cup, a silver cup or a bronze cup. A gold cup is available only if the player has 200 points more than the opponents in all games of the tournament. Silver if all games are won by more than 100 points and bronze for winning all three games.

There are two modes: the normal mode and the hard mode. The hard mode is available after beating the Final Fantasy team on "normal mode".

In Exhibition Mode, the player can customize the rules including the amount of playing time, the number of periods played, and turning items on or off. If off, then teams will receive two to four points for each shot.


Mario Basketball 3on3 Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Masayoshi Soken, Koji Kondo, and Yukio Kaneoka
October 18, 2006 (2006-10-18) (Japan)
Genre Video game soundtrack
Length 41:26

The game's music is composed and arranged by Masayoshi Soken. An official soundtrack that is based on the game was released on October 18, 2006 and it was published by Square Enix, the same company for the game. The soundtrack is called Mario Basketball 3on3 Original Soundtrack, which includes thirty-one musical pieces from the game itself.


Review scores
Publication Score
EGM 6.17 out of 10
Game Informer 6.5 out of 10
GamePro 4 out of 5
GameSpot 7.1 out of 10 [1]
GameSpy 4 out of 5 [2]
GameTrailers 7.1 out of 10 [3]
IGN 7 out of 10 [4]
Nintendo Power 7.5 out of 10

As of July 25, 2007, Mario Hoops 3-on-3 has sold 1.5 million copies worldwide.[5]

Reviews were mixed. While the game was generally praised for its control, graphics, and variety, it was criticized for its simplistic artificial intelligence, unsatisfactory minigames, and overpowered skills for the Final Fantasy characters. The lack of Nintendo Wi-Fi connection support also hurt the game. It currently holds an average critic score of 71% on Game Rankings.[6]


  1. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (September 12, 2006). "Mario Hoops 3 on 3 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ Villoria, Gerald (September 13, 2006). "Mario Hoops 3-on-3". GameSpy. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Mario Hoops 3-on-3". GameTrailers. September 21, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ Burman, Rob (February 9, 2007). "Mario Slam Basketball UK Review". IGN. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2007-07-25). "Nintendo Sales Update". IGN. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  6. ^ "Mario Hoops 3 on 3 Reviews". Game Rankings. 

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