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, 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 and is the only Mario-related Wii game to never be released in Europe and/or Australia in physical form. The game was re-released on the Wii U eShop in North America on March 31, 2016, and 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. 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.
If one counts the alternate team players, Mario Super Sluggers has the most playable characters of any Mario game, with a total of 71 playable characters.
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. 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.
Several team player are unlockable. The player usually has to go through the Challenge Mode and find the unlockable team players. Upon finding them, the player is given tasks in relation to them including specified Scouting Missions or Battle Missions. Once the tasks are completed successfully the Team Players are unlocked for use in other modes for the game such as during the Exhibition Mode.
Certain Team Players can also be unlocked by playing the other available modes in the game. These Team Players are added to the overall roster for the entire game, once certain conditions are met.
Main team players
NOTE: Characters marked with an asterisk are unlockable.
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 (and is the primary feature of this installment). 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 in 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 can be seen by the player in this game, which also includes the game's opening (seen when the game starts up).
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.
Although this is seen for the opening of Mario Super Sluggers overall (after the game loads), it is still a combination of previewing the gameplay, as well as setting up what happens in the game's Challenge Mode. This is the very first video the player views.
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 where Mario Super Sluggers takes place. The cruiser arrives, and they meet up with Peach and Toadsworth who greet them at the entrance. Peach escorts them to the lighthouse at the Daisy Cruiser, showing them an overview of the Baseball Kingdom. From there, they run into the Mario Stadium holding Wii Remotes. 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. He is later 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; all while Birdo watches and does nothing. The ball flies to Diddy Kong at DK Jungle, he suddenly screams in terror as he is about to get run over by a giant barrel, when Donkey Kong rescues Diddy Kong by smashing it. Diddy sighs in relief.
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. Donkey Kong rushes to the same base where Luigi is standing resulting in Donkey Kong 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 is something 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. pulls a lever which results in his own stadium, Bowser Jr. Playroom, emerging from the sea. Then, with a large amount of force, he goes full speed ahead towards the Baseball Kingdom, resulting in his own stadium crashing headfirst onto the place. Mario and Luigi are surprised to encounter unexpected guests on their territory, which also include Bowser.
The Hard-Earned Victory
If the player makes it to Bowser's Castle while it is night time in the Baseball Kingdom and defeats Bowser's team, then this is the main ending that is seen.
Upon getting the final win, Mario and the other characters gather around the middle of Bowser's Castle to celebrate their victory. Bowser is in the background and is enraged and starts slamming his baseball bat into the ground.
Mario and the other characters later 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.
The Final Festivities
This is the fourth and final cutscene that the player can view in Mario Super Sluggers. It is also triggered during the Challenge Mode after defeating Bowser's team a second time.
Mario and other characters are celebrating in the Baseball Kingdom, and Daisy starts things off by inviting everyone to a feast at the Daisy Cruiser including Bowser and Bowser Jr. who get small portions of food.
Moments later, the fireworks show begins and everyone is enjoying the display from the Daisy Cruiser. The characters are later seen at the Mario Stadium where Mario and Donkey Kong assist in the fireworks display that is also a homerun derby show as well; the two counter Bob-ombs that were shot out from the cannon across from them, which explode into fireworks. The spectators are amazed at the fireworks.
Wario and Waluigi then walk up to the cannon and insert a Bullet Bill into the cannon. The cannon fires with the Bullet Bill aimed at Mario. Bowser immediately drops in front of Mario where he hits the Bullet Bill with his bat, making the Bullet Bill go in the other direction towards Wario and Waluigi. Wario and Waluigi then run away from the Bullet Bill. The Bullet Bill destroys the cannon in the process and grabs Wario and Waluigi, taking them up into the sky. After flying upwards a large fireworks explosion from the Bullet Bill goes off. They begin to fall down from the explosion. The crowd cheers and Bowser limps away from the baseball field as the camera pans out.
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. The credits layout includes a few snapshots from the four cutscene videos, as well as snapshots from the gameplay itself.
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.
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 can 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.
Mario Super Sluggers received generally positive reviews from critics. Cris Watters from Gamespot praised the game for how "The computer can provide a stiff challenge when set on a high difficulty level, and building your roster and lineup to capitalize on chemistry between your players is a fun exercise." and the fun multiplayer baseball gameplay although he criticized how the production values are not noticeably higher than in the original game, how the game was less challenging and complex than the original, and how there was not a good alternative to motion controls. Anthony Dickons from Nintendo Life praised how well polished the game is and criticized how it is based off baseball which produces a limited gameplay experience.
"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