Mario Super Sluggers
Mario Super Sluggers is the Wii installment follow-up to Mario Superstar Baseball. This game borrows many elements from the previous title, but it also includes new elements as well for this installment, including a variety of gameplay controls, such as taking advantage of the motion sensor controls that the Wii Remote provides. The game also has a more in-depth and more narrative driven Challenge Mode, where, rather than only facing off against a Team Captain and a team of opponents, players interact with more characters, including a variety of various sub-characters, and play various small challenges to recruit them for their team. Up to four players can play this title, and a new feature is that players can choose which of the two team sides to be on.
It was released in Japan and North America in 2008. The game was never released in Europe and Australia, even after the Wii Nintendo Selects re-release. Although an issue of the Official Nintendo Magazine has stated a summer 2009 release, it never happened. The game was re-released on the Wii U eShop in North America on March 31, 2016, and will be re-released in Japan on August 17, 2016.
Mario Super Sluggers can be played using three different control methods:
Before a game starts, a roulette will start in order to show which team will be batting first. This is different from the previous game, in which the player could choose which team would be batting first.
Assuming that players are using the Wii Remote (vertical) or the Wii Remote/Nunchuk combination, in order to bat or pitch, players must hold the button and the Wii Remote must be swung at the appropriate time. The more precise the hit/pitch, the further/faster the ball will go. To charge up a pitch or swing, players must pull the Wii Remote back. They can also do curve balls as well by twisting the Wii Remote, while pitching. Once the ball is in a fielder's hand, the Wii Remote must be swung so that the fielder can pitch the ball at one of the basemen.
In the outfield, players can create special moves if there is chemistry between outfielders:
Superstar Matchups return; however, it is set for captains only and occurs when the team captain is not batting first and when one runner is on second or third and two or all three runners on base (only when the runs exceed to 4 or more on the scoreboard). This also applies to RBI chance screens.
While pitching, however, players will have to pay attention to the pitcher's stamina. If the character that's pitching is showing signs of fatigue (depicted by a water droplet in a bubble), their pitches will start to behave in an erratic manner. When the current pitcher is exhausted, players will have to decide to adjust the defense so that a new character plays pitcher instead. On a side note, pitchers can get exhausted even quicker if the batting team manages to make a lot of successful Home Runs. Even a Grand Slam can cause a pitcher to become fully fatigued right off the bat.
Star Skills make a reappearance in Mario Super Sluggers as well. Any player can pitch or bat using Star Skills, however only Team Captains can use special hits/pitches. Team Players can only use Star Skills that will make the ball go faster or slower. Both teams can store up to five Star Skill attempts; they are earned as a result of well executed plays.
At the end of each game, the character who has had the most potential for their team will win the MVP award, which will be recorded in the Records menu. Characters can earn MVP points by striking out opponents, executing nice plays on defense, successful hits while batting (the batter has to make it to 1st base without getting out), stealing bases, close plays, and even for error item usage. The character with the most MVP points will win the award. Also, it's possible for more than one character to win MVP if at least two characters have the same amount of points.
There are a total of nine stadiums (excluding Toy Field) in all. Every Team Captain (excluding Waluigi, Birdo, and Diddy Kong) has a stadium which is based on his or her character's unique persona. Most of the nine stadiums can be played in daytime or nighttime. Mario Stadium is the only one not to feature any gimmicks in the field, making for the most realistic baseball experience. Wario City is the only stadium that switches from day to night with no gimmicky changes. The Bowser Jr. Playroom is only accessible during the day, while Luigi's Mansion and Bowser Castle can only be accessed at night.
These stadiums are accessible when starting a new game file.
Upon meeting certain criteria during gameplay itself, these four stadiums will be available for access.
All of the characters from the Mario Superstar Baseball game make a return appearance in Mario Super Sluggers. Additionally for this game, there are new participants as well. It is now possible to put more than one of the same character on the team in Exhibition Mode, as long as they are different colors. However, it is no longer possible to choose which hand that the characters will bat and pitch with; for example, players can no longer make Mario a left-handed batter.
Players are given the choice to play as their Miis as well, whose stats are all 6/10. Players can't choose to have a whole team of nine Miis, but they can put one captain and up to eight other Miis.
When characters become Star Players, their abilities are boosted by one point each. However, characters can only become Star Players by defeating Bowser's team in Challenge Mode.
All team captains listed below in this section are available to be selected in the game's Exhibition Mode. Luigi, Daisy, Birdo, Waluigi, Diddy Kong, Bowser, and Bowser Jr. are only selectable as Team Captains outside of Challenge Mode. Also, depending on progress made in the Challenge Mode gameplay itself, players are only able to choose Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Wario, and Donkey Kong while navigating the Baseball Kingdom locale.
Not all Team Players listed below are available from the start. In most cases, the player has to go through the Challenge Mode process and find the Team Players in question. Upon finding them, the player is given said tasks in relation to them (including specified Scouting Missions/Battle Missions). The tasks must be completed successfully prior to unlocking the Team Players for use in other modes for the game (in most cases, during the Exhibition mode setup process).
Certain Team Players can also be unlocked by playing the other available modes in the game. The targeted Team Players in question are added to the overall roster for the entire game, provided that certain conditions are met.
Main team players
Alternate team players
Like Mario Superstar Baseball, the characters will have good and bad relations with any other character. However, the characters can make special abilities with another character when they show good Chemistry. The player can receive items with chemistry while batting. If the player is a batter and the next batter shares chemistry with the player, this will result in getting an item that can be used for messing up the outfielder's progress. Players that share good chemistry can also perform buddy jumps and buddy throws. Buddy jumps are used to take away a home run or a deep fly ball. Buddy throws are used to throw the ball faster and more accurate to its destination. Bad chemistry, however, results in slower throws, and sometimes throwing off track.
There are a total of six items that are available during the course of Mario Super Sluggers gameplay, which are used by aiming the Wii Remote immediately after batting. These are as follows:
Challenge Mode makes a return in Mario Super Sluggers, returning as the Story Mode. The gameplay procedure for this mode includes a more in-depth story and an overall map screen involving the Baseball Kingdom locale. Along with recruiting players to go against Bowser's team, the players must solve from time to time certain puzzles and/or complete certain tasks in order to get to the main goals to proceed.
While navigating the Baseball Kingdom, depending on progress made in the Challenge Mode itself, the five Team Captains listed below can use unique abilities to help them do numerous events, including recruiting other Team Captains/Team Players, finding coins, and gaining access to certain areas they couldn't reach before. The abilities in question are as follows:
The "Challenge Mode Cutscenes"
During the course of gameplay for Mario Super Sluggers, players are able to encounter certain cutscenes that correspond with the game's Challenge Mode. There are a total of four videos that await to be seen by the player in this game, which also includes the game's opening (seen right upon game startup).
Although the basic criteria still remains for players to encounter them during gameplay itself first, they are able to view the four videos outside of gameplay as well. These said videos can be accessed for viewing when the "Challenge Mode" category is added to the "Records" section (provided that the player has completed the Challenge Mode gameplay itself at least once). When viewing the Challenge Mode statistics in "Records", players can find the four videos in the "Movie List" sub-category.
The game's opening begins with Toad, Daisy, Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Birdo on a small cruiser riding to the Baseball Kingdom, which is the location for the entire Mario Super Sluggers game. The cruiser arrives, and they meet up with Peach and Toadsworth greeting them at the entrance. Peach escorts her friends to the lighthouse at the Daisy Cruiser, showing them an overview of the entire locale. From there, they run into the Mario Stadium holding Wii Remotes (briefly "demonstrating" the game's targeted controls). Closeups of Daisy, Luigi, and Mario follow in regards to swinging their Wii Remotes. Daisy is shown first encountering her Wii Remote changing to her bat. Luigi encounters the same result as Daisy, and Mario's Wii Remote changes to his ball. Mario pitches the ball to Daisy right away following this, and she is seen countering it.
After Daisy countered Mario's pitched ball, the scenery immediately changes as the ball is chased after by Toad in the Peach Ice Garden until he runs into a large Freezie and turns frozen solid upon collision. Fortunately, he is freed by a Blue Toad who accidentally crashes into the Freezie (with Toad revealing that he made the catch after being defrosted). The ball then rolls onto Wario City, where Wario chases after it to find it shoot into the air from a manhole water spout. The ball lands on Wario's head, causing him to fall backwards, and causing the ball to fly into Yoshi Park. Yoshi jumps over a pipe to catch the ball, realizing he is going to fall, he flutters around, but falls in with the ball. The ball flies to Diddy Kong at DK Jungle, where he is about to be run over by a barrel, when Donkey Kong comes to Diddy's rescue by smashing it.
The view switches back to Mario Stadium, where Mario pitches to DK, who then makes a hit. Yoshi goes for the catch, but both Wario and Waluigi bombard him with Bob-ombs. Yoshi slides to the catch regardless, throws it to Peach, who throws it to Mario, and then to Luigi on base. DK rushes to the same base where Luigi is standing - unfortunately resulting in DK's slamming into Luigi, sending him into the field wall. As Daisy, Toad and other spectators stand in alarm, they find out seconds later that Luigi has caught the ball. Lakitu calls it out, and everyone rushes to center field where Mario and Luigi are standing. After that, a final overhead shot of the Baseball Kingdom is seen to conclude the opening.
Bowser Jr. and Crew Crash the Party
This is the cutscene that is shown as the player is just beginning the Challenge Mode for Mario Super Sluggers. It takes place after Mario, Luigi, and Lakitu notice that there's something very strange going on outside of the Baseball Kingdom.
This cutscene starts with an overhead view of the Baseball Kingdom itself, but this time, through Bowser Jr.'s telescope. Bowser Jr. is extremely jealous that Mario and friends have their very own baseball stadiums there, so he pulls a lever which results in his gigantic block fort emerging from the sea (which is known as the Bowser Jr. Playroom). Then, with an extreme amount of force, he goes full speed ahead toward the Baseball Kingdom, resulting in his own stadium crashing headfirst onto the place. Mario and Luigi are shocked to encounter "unexpected guests" on their territory, which also includes their constant nemesis, Bowser.
The Hard-Earned Victory
If the player does manage to make it to Bowser Castle (while it is night time at the Baseball Kingdom) and defeat Bowser's team, then this is the "main ending" that awaits to be seen.
After a lot of dedicated teamwork from Mario and his friends, they have finally managed to muster enough strength to go against Bowser's team and defeat them in the process. Upon getting the final win, Mario and friends gather around the middle of Bowser Castle to celebrate their victory. Bowser, in the background, is obviously enraged and could not believe that he was just completely humiliated by the prowess of his challengers.
Minutes later, Mario and friends head back to the entrance of the Baseball Kingdom right as nightfall was occurring. After the sun sets, Peach's brooch lights up which magically lights up the island; this possibly symbolizes that the evil that gripped the Baseball Kingdom by Bowser and his gang has finally been eliminated, and all is well again.
The Final Festivities
This is the fourth and final cutscene for the player to encounter in Mario Super Sluggers. It is also triggered during the Challenge Mode gameplay after defeating Bowser's team a second time.
Mario and his friends are celebrating a well played season at the Baseball Kingdom, and Daisy starts things off by inviting everyone to a huge feast at the Daisy Cruiser - especially Bowser and Bowser Jr. (despite their only getting small portions of food while others got a lot more).
Moments later, the fireworks show begins and everyone is enjoying the spectacular display from the Daisy Cruiser. However, they all decided that it was best to join the folks where the fireworks show was really taking place - Mario Stadium.
That is where Mario and Donkey Kong assist in the fireworks display because it was also a homerun derby show as well; the two counter Bob-ombs that were shot out from the cannon across from them. All the spectators are amazed at the fireworks that result afterwards.
Unfortunately, out of nowhere, Wario and Waluigi planned a sneak attack - by inserting a Bullet Bill into the cannon. The cannon fires with the Bullet Bill aimed right at Mario. Mario was in trouble since his bat couldn't counter the Bullet Bill, nor could he react fast enough to dodge it.
But Bowser immediately drops in because his bat was stronger to alleviate the approaching threat. Bowser manages to counter the Bullet Bill with full force using his bat, resulting in the Bullet Bill going the other direction - now headed towards Wario and Waluigi - who are at this point running for dear life. The Bullet Bill destroys the cannon in the process and manages to snag both Wario and Waluigi, taking them straight up into the night sky. After hundreds of kilometers of flying, a huge fireworks explosion from that same Bullet Bill goes off. This was definitely not good news for Wario and Waluigi because of their being caught up in the extremely painful blast. Their beginning to fall down in agony and despair from the explosion hundreds of kilometers in the air doesn't help either. Bowser sneaks away, as if not wanting to be remembered for his moment of kindness, or simply feeling uncomfortable doing Mario a favor.
Back on the ground, all of the spectators turned ecstatic after seeing the final blast, hence ending the show and all the great times they had for the season at the Baseball Kingdom.
Toy Field mode
Toy field has returned from Mario Superstar Baseball. Toy field has one Batter, and three other Outfielders and a cannon that pitches the ball to the batter. Before it pitches it, there is a roulette wheel with three different slots that affects the turn. Each slot is controlled by one of the outfielders; the outfielders tap 'A' to stop the slot they are in control of. If the slots aren't stopped, they are stopped automatically.
While playing the game, various records are kept to see what achievements players have pulled off.
Players can check the top 5 scores for each minigame, along with the top 5 for Toy Field and Minigame Madness (the latter being unlocked by completing all the minigames at all skill levels).
Players can check their status in Challenge mode by seeing which characters they've recruited, the badges that they've earned, along with the four cutscenes and staff credits.
Team Captain/Team Player List
Players can check the former MVPs, the star players, badges, and the Minigame Madness records for each character here.
Players are able to earn badges by completing certain tasks in the game, which are listed on the following chart:
Promotion and advertising
Nintendo of America created an online Adobe Flash program hosted at MarioSuperSluggersCards.com in which players can collect and trade virtual Mario Super Sluggers baseball cards featuring many of the characters, special moves, teams, and stadiums from the title. In addition to the cards, the game also allows players to earn downloads. By placing two compatible cards in the double play drop zone, players can make “double plays” and unlock special videos, wallpapers, and screensavers. When a player completes his or her collection, a post featuring Mario and all of the cards is unlocked. In addition, his or her username will be added to the leaderboard below players who previously completed their collections. Over 700 users completed their collections.
After creating a username and choosing which Mario Super Sluggers character to use as an avatar, players are instructed to click on special banners found on child-friendly websites around the internet in order to collect cards. Lakitu, who gives instructions and hints to the player, tells the player that the one banner can be found on Nick.com. Clicking on one such banner redirects the player to one of eighty-two Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), each of which corresponds to one of the eighty-two cards. The system is based on luck, but players are also able to trade cards with one another using the swap function or discuss where to find banners and which cards yield double plays.
By checking their history, players have found ways to manipulate the system into giving them whichever card they wish. By checking their history, players can find which URL leads to which card and then share the URL with other players.
The eighty-two cards are divided by rarity into four levels. Forty-one character cards make up the first level, twenty-four special swing/pitch cards make up the second level, twelve team cards make up the third level, and five stadium cards made up the fourth level. Each card has a front and a back. For the "Level 1" cards, the front shows the character's artwork, name, and for captains, the team they are captain of. The back shows the character's name, abilities, "rookie year" (the year their first video game appearance was released), description, statistics, and for captains, team logo. An in-game screenshot of the player is also featured.
"Clackety clack...(Must get diamonds... BASEBALL diamonds!)"
"IT'S HORRIBLE! HIDE THE CHILDREN! LOCK THE DOORS! BOLT THE WINDOWS!"
"Look! LOOOOOK! Bowser Jr. turned Princess Daisy into a statue! You gotta do something do something! You gotta stop Bowser Jr.! He went back there somewhere! Princess Peach and Toadsworth are back there too..."
"You need me! I won't take no for an answer!"
Eye Texture Glitch
Names in other languages