The next Mario sports game will be the first Wii Sports spinoff.
Mario and Co. are heading back to the diamond for another baseball game. Mario Super Sluggers for the Wii will feature America's past-time while taking advantage of the Wii Remote in a way not unlike Wii Sports Baseball.
Like its predecessor, Mario Superstar Baseball on the GameCube, Super Sluggers features all-star teams of Nintendo characters playing in various Nintendo-themed baseball stadiums. All the characters from the last game will be back for the sequel, from the classics like Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, and Daisy, to the lesser-appreciated supporting cast of Shyguy, Monty Mole, Toadette, and Boo. We even spotted Dixie Kong during the brief demonstration of the game.
The game will use the Wii Remote for pitching and hitting. Like in Wii Sports, these actions are performed with a throw or swing motion. However, Super Sluggers adds a special timing ring to give actions more power. Starting a pitching motion will create a circle around your character that constricts a smaller circle. Throwing when the circles line up will produce an optimal pitch. In addition, curve can be added to pitches by twisting the Wii Remote while throwing.
Batting works in much the same way as it does in Wii Sports: players must swing the Wii Remote to swing the bat. Batters also have timing circles which can help create more powerful hits. Characters have their own special bats, like Bowser's spiked club. Other characters have more exotic hitting implements, like a Hammer Brother's hammer. Donkey Kong forgoes the bat altogether and just uses a boxing glove.
A combination of button presses and Wii Remote shakes triggers actions such as fielding balls, throwing to base and running the bases after a hit. The faster you shake the remote, the quicker these actions are performed. Players can also execute advanced defensive maneuvers such as diving for a ball using the A Button.
Mario Super Sluggers will be released in Japan this June and later this year in other countries.