Mario Super Sluggers

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Mario Super Sluggers
North American cover art
Developer(s) Namco Bandai Games, NOW Production [1]
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Series Mario Sports series
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s)
  • JP June 19, 2008[2]
  • NA August 25, 2008
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single-player and multiplayer
Distribution Wii optical disc

Mario Super Sluggers, known in Japan as Super Mario Stadium Family Baseball (スーパーマリオスタジアム ファミリーベースボール Sūpā Mario Sutajiamu Famirī Bēsubōru?), is a sports video game for the Wii developed by Namco Bandai Games and NOW Production, and published by Nintendo. It was previously known by the working title Super Mario Stadium Baseball. It is part of the Mario sports series, and the sequel to Mario Superstar Baseball for the Nintendo GameCube. Mario Super Sluggers was released in Japan on June 19, 2008 and in North America on August 25, 2008. It was unreleased in Europe and Australia, due to being in production at the same time as Mario Kart Wii that was released two months earlier, resulting in a limited release of this game, although an issue of the Official Nintendo Magazine has stated a Summer 2009 release, but it never happened. The game was later re-released in North America for $19.99 as part of the Nintendo Selects range.

Game modes[edit]

Mario Super Sluggers features game modes that are similar to those of Mario Superstar Baseball.

Exhibition[edit]

The player can choose a captain and which eight players to have on a team. The number of innings can be chosen, and which field position the players are on. The player can choose which one of the nine stadiums to play on, as long as it's unlocked.

Challenge Mode[edit]

The player starts as Mario and must recruit all the characters. This is also where to unlock all characters and stadiums. The plot of this mode is that Bowser Jr. is taking over the ball parks and he took over the princess in Peach Ice Garden.

The player can choose between five different captains: Mario and the unlockable captains Yoshi (Yoshi Park), Donkey Kong (DK Jungle), Wario (Wario City), and Peach (Peach Ice Garden). The player may switch captains at any time during gameplay. Then he goes to each stadium and unlocks players until he has a good enough team to challenge Bowser Jr. which lasts for three innings. After defeating Bowser Jr., his stadium, Bowser Jr.'s Playroom, is replaced with Bowser's Castle. Then the player must either challenge Bowser which lasts for five innings or keep unlocking characters to make an even better team. In order to recruit the players, you must either free them from Bowser's minions, help them with their problems, or complete a scout mission that they assign the player.

At each stadium there is a shop where the player can buy various error items, special bats, special gloves, pitching control power-ups, and other items with coins that you find in random places. One of these other items is Luigi's Flashlight, which then unlocks the stadium Luigi's Mansion (which can only be used at night). Another is the Daisy Cruiser pass, which unlocks Daisy's Cruiser. Also, when a player unlocks the secret shop pass, the Daisy Cruiser is its hideout. The player must go to the cruiser at night to access the shop, however. In each ball park, Bowser Jr. and two of Bowser's minions are in control of them. To get rid of these baddies, the player must challenge them to a battle mission. Bowser Jr. will challenge the player to three different battles: A battle mission where the player's team is behind one run and must mount a comeback (this is the first showdown against Bowser Jr.), three ball games which all last for one inning (In the second and third games, Bowser Jr. will start the game with one and two runs already on his team's side, respectively; this means that the player must mount a comeback to score more than the number of runs Bowser Jr. has), and in Yoshi Park, he will challenge the player to a minigame called Piranha Panic (this replaces one of the ball games). For ball games against Bowser Jr., the easiest game has the player bat first, while harder ones have Bowser Jr. bat first, which means that the player must score one or more points to win. If you lose once, Bowser Jr.'s team starts with a point! Also, the innings and the item rules cannot be changed.

Minigames[edit]

Some minigames can only be played in day or night time. There are nine minigames in total. However, several of the minigames are unlockable. Some minigames only play with the Wii Remote with Nunchuk and the Wii Remote sideways.

Toy Field[edit]

Players try to hit baseballs to point spaces all around the field. The other players try to catch the ball. If a player catches a ball, it is his turn to bat. At the end of the game, king medals are awarded for various achievements. The computer adds up the score and the player with the most points will win. Toy Field can be played with the Wii Remote with Nunchuk, or with the Wii Remote sideways.

Practice[edit]

Players learn to bat, pitch, fielding, special moves and base running so they can be better.

Records[edit]

Shows MVPs of exhibition games, star players in challenge mode and high scores of the minigames. There are also videos, and when the game is completed, the records will show the ending movie.

Gameplay[edit]

A pre-release screenshot of Yoshi up at bat against Bowser Jr.

The gameplay of Mario Super Sluggers is similar to that of its predecessor; the main difference being the controls, with the Wii Remote adding immersion using a control scheme similar to the Baseball sub-game in Wii Sports.[3] There are three control methods available: Wii Remote by itself, Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, and the Wii Remote held sideways.

Reception[edit]

Reviews
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 69.72% [5]
Metacritic 69/100 [4]
Review scores
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly B
Game Informer 5.5/10
GameSpot 6.5/10 [7]
GameTrailers 6.7/10 [8]
IGN 7.4/10 [6]
Nintendo Power 7.5/10

In comparison to other Mario sports titles, Mario Super Sluggers received mixed to postive reviews. The lack of online play was a generally major factor in the reviews of Mario Super Sluggers. IGN gave Mario Super Sluggers 7.4/10, explaining that the game is fun but just the same game it played three years earlier. GameSpot gave the game 6.5/10, saying that it was for Mario collectors and "Wii Party hosts" only.[9] Gametrailers gave the game 6.7/10 and explained that a game that was published by Nintendo should have Wii Sports motions, but does not. It also noted some balance issues, the lack of improvement in presentation from the original Mario Superstar Baseball, issues with pitching, and the fact that it is a baseball game with little baseball. Gametrailers also noted that "It doesn't make much use off the system's capabilities with limited motion control and no online play." Overall that prompted them to say in their video review, "The wait for a solid hard ball game on the Wii is heading into extra innings."

Mario Super Sluggers was nominated for the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards,[10] in which it lost to Guitar Hero World Tour.[citation needed]

Promotion[edit]

As part of the North American marketing launch, Nintendo created a series of collectible online cards along with mariosupersluggerscards.com, a website that served as a virtual collector’s album. The site promises that the series will include a card for each of the 41 characters featured in Mario Super Sluggers.

The cards began appearing in banner ads on popular children websites on August 18, 2008, but have since begun to appear as embedded hyperlinks in other, less obvious locations. Mario Super Sluggers Cards have been found on other sites, such as YouTube.

When the Seattle Mariners played the New York Yankees on September 5, 2008, the game was promoted there at Safeco Field.[11] The first 20,000 fans received special Mario Super Sluggers foam mitts. There were also two booths with the game demo, and Mario Super Sluggers Cards were also passed out there. Every inning, someone was randomly chosen to win a Wii system along with the game. Whenever a home run or a good play happened, the Safeco Field video screen showed a gameplay clip with Mario, Luigi, or Bowser. A Mario mascot also appeared before the game with the Mariners' mascot, the Moose, but left after the first inning. Nintendo of America's offices are based in the Seattle area, and also is the majority owner of the Mariners (hence the promotion).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Game Developer Research Institute". 
  2. ^ GoNintendo » Blog Archive » Famitsu - two more Japanese Wii release dates- What are you waiting for?
  3. ^ Nintendo Hits a Home Run with Mario Super Sluggers
  4. ^ "Mario Super Sluggers". Metacritic. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Mario Super Sluggers". GameRankings. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mario Super Sluggers Review". IGN. August 26, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ Watters, Chris (August 27, 2008). "Mario Super Sluggers Review". GameSpot. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ Greg Ford (October 2008). "Power Surge". Electronic Gaming Monthly (233): 80. ISSN 1058-918X. 
  9. ^ "Mario Super Sluggers Wii at Gamespot.com". gamespot.com. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  10. ^ "Kids Choice Awards 2009 Mario Super Sluggers". 
  11. ^ http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/schedule/promotions_popup.jsp?c_id=sea&puid=2008_09_05_nyamlb_seamlb_1 It's "Mario Super Sluggers Night at the Mariners Game!"

External links[edit]