The 'Shroom:Issue XLII/Review Corner
Good morning/afternoon/evening! My name is Ralphfan, and this is my first Review Corner! This month, I will be reviewing one of the Wii’s many Mario spinoff‐series sequels: Mario Super Sluggers.
Mario Super Sluggers, released in 2008, is the second game in the Mario Baseball series. The game was only released in Japan and North America (baseball is not a major sport in Europe).
The controls are fantastic, utilizing every aspect of the Wii Remote. The pointer is used frequently, as is shaking the remote. However, I’m not a big fan of the Remote‐only control scheme. While the Wii makes a good effort to be family‐friendly (more like noob‐friendly, and frankly, they overdo it), this allows gameplay without having to even control fielders’ movement and baserunning! The addition of more sidekicks is great, but the game should include concepts like substitutions and pinch‐hitting to give the game a real baseball feel.
Graphics in Mario Superstar Baseball were decent, but this game goes above and beyond. The fields look like real grass, the players are more defined (I especially like when Wiggler turns red), and the animation for the fans is terrific. If any improvement was to be made, they should pull a leaf out of Super Mario Strikers’s book and have the crowd react to big plays.
A major letdown. A player can simply unlock eight characters (they begin with Mario), then go challenge Bowser Jr., defeat him, and challenge Bowser. BORING. I like the concept of missions, but I daresay they could make story mode a bit tougher. Unlike most players, who breezed through Story Mode, I bothered to unlock all the players so I could use certain players in my lineup.
In addition to mini‒games and missions, there are (of course) exhibition games. For the players who don’t want to bother with unlocking everyone in Story Mode, it is fun to play exhibition games, tinker around with your lineup and unlock new players through this mode.
My favorite of the other modes is Toy Field. Toy Field is most similar to Monkey Baseball in the Super Monkey Ball series (except with better music). Many baseball pinball games and old baseball arcade games are played in a similar style. Basically, Toy Field is a turn‐based game where the batter tries to hit the ball to various spots on the field. The fielders try to catch the ball to get a turn at bat, and the pitcher tries to strike the batter out (also to get a turn at the plate). Points are given based on the outcome of each turn. It is a four‐player mode, and is great to play with friends or by yourself (but it’s certainly better with friends).
In all, this game was pretty even with its predecessor. Though Story Mode took an enormous step back, all the other modes improved to make up for it. This is a tough game to rate, but I give it a 7.5.
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