Wii

North America

Mario Super Sluggers

by Neal Ronaghan - September 4, 2008, 6:37 am PDT
Total comments: 10

8

What Mario Super Sluggers lacks in online and single-player, it makes up for with depth, accessibility, and Funky Kong’s surfboard.

While there seems to be an inordinate amount of hate for this game since it is one of Nintendo’s titles for core gamers, Mario Super Sluggers features much of the same depth and accessibility of similar titles like Mario Strikers Charged. However, it lacks online play and any semblance of a Season mode, something that Mario Strikers Charged had a year ago. Despite these glaring drawbacks, Mario Super Sluggers is undeniably fun.

The game offers three different control schemes: Wii Remote, Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and Wii Remote on its side. Similar to EA’s All-Play mode, the Wii Remote is the simplified version of Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and they both offer a good use of the Wii Remote’s capabilities. Swinging and pitching are both done in a similar manner, pulling back the remote and then swinging it forward. While it doesn’t offer 1:1 control like Wii Sports, the mechanics of the game work very well; it’s doubtful that the inclusion of 1:1 control would make the game any better.

There are some minor control issues, mostly surrounding the fact that you have to shake the Remote to move faster to the ball when fielding, and you also shake the Remote to throw. Sometimes this causes you to throw inadvertently. The third method of control, Wii Remote on its side, suffers from the same problem that it had in Super Smash Bros Brawl - too many commands for too few buttons.

Challenge Mode is the so-called meat of the game. Being the lone structured single-player mode, Challenge Mode ushers in a story about how Bowser and Bowser Jr. have taken over the Baseball Kingdom. Consisting of a series of challenges that help you with the game's fundamentals, you visit five locations where you must save and recruit up to 58 characters in order to beat Bowser in a 5-inning game of baseball. While the challenges really do help you improve your playing skills, the mode gets tedious and only consists of three games of actual baseball. Mario Super Sluggers’ exclusion of a Season mode is a big disappointment.

The lack of a Season mode – and for that matter, online play - is made even more regrettable by the fact that multiplayer is a blast. Round up an able-bodied friend and Mario Super Sluggers jumps into the top-tier of arcade sports multiplayer. You and your friend can each craft a team from the 71 characters available (although that number is a little inflated, since some of them are color swaps), and jump into a game in any one of the nine stadiums available. This is where the depth and accessibility I mentioned really shines. Super Sluggers’ gameplay is pretty much the perfect marriage between baseball and Mario. There are also a bunch of mini-games, including the old favorite from Mario Superstar Baseball, Toy Field. They provide a nice distraction, but none of them are that much fun.

Mario Super Sluggers has fantastic gameplay and well-executed controls. However, it is very similar to its predecessor, Mario Superstar Baseball. I recommend it highly to anyone that missed the first game, but anyone who played the GameCube original to completion won’t see much of a difference.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
7 9 8 10 7 8
Graphics
7

The graphics are crisp, and while reminiscent of Mario Superstar Baseball for Gamecube, are improved enough to show benefit from the Wii transition.

Sound
9

Using familiar sound effects and variations on familiar tunes, the sound and music in this game definitely enrich the experience.

Control
8

While there are occasional motion control blips and no 1:1 control, the controls are very intuitive. It also offers a variety of control methods, so your options are open.

Gameplay
10

The basic baseball gameplay is a lot of fun and very addictive.

Lastability
7

The entire replay value of this game lies in its multiplayer mode. Season mode and online play are sorely missed.

Final
8

The scrawny single-player modes notwithstanding, Mario Super Sluggers is a very fun game with great gameplay and good controls.

Summary

Pros
  • Full of strategy and gameplay depth
  • Fun multiplayer
  • Wide variety of characters
Cons
  • Lack of online play
  • No Season mode
  • Too few single-player options
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusSeptember 04, 2008

Nice review Neal, I feel very much the same about the game as a whole. As you stated, if you have the GC version you aren't missing much here, otherwise, don't hesitate to purchase because this game is boatloads of fun.

The press release sent with it gave possible story ideas.
"A Mario For All Seasons" was my favorite.

D_AverageSeptember 04, 2008

Wow, very generous score.  I thought about doing a reader review with a final score of 3/5.  For me, I just can't get past:

- Outfield camera man is horrendous, hard to make a play on the ball as you can't see you player until the last second.
- Serious lack of innovation on its 3 year old predecessor
- Wii motions are nothing more than a shake.  The batting blueprint was laid out two years ago in Wii Sports.
- Worst AI base running in the history of video games
- No season mode.  This game would have been perfect for an RPG mode.
- No Rosalina

NinGurl69 *hugglesSeptember 04, 2008

Rosalina already has a bat under her dress.  It's not fair to anyone.

Quote from: D_Average

Wow, very generous score.  I thought about doing a reader review with a final score of 3/5.  For me, I just can't get past:

- Outfield camera man is horrendous, hard to make a play on the ball as you can't see you player until the last second.
- Serious lack of innovation on its 3 year old predecessor
- Wii motions are nothing more than a shake.  The batting blueprint was laid out two years ago in Wii Sports.
- Worst AI base running in the history of video games
- No season mode.  This game would have been perfect for an RPG mode.
- No Rosalina

I haven't played this game, but I still know that the first and fourth items on that list give away just how few baseball video games you've played.

D_AverageSeptember 05, 2008

Quote from: insanolord

Quote from: D_Average

Wow, very generous score.  I thought about doing a reader review with a final score of 3/5.  For me, I just can't get past:

- Outfield camera man is horrendous, hard to make a play on the ball as you can't see you player until the last second.
- Serious lack of innovation on its 3 year old predecessor
- Wii motions are nothing more than a shake.  The batting blueprint was laid out two years ago in Wii Sports.
- Worst AI base running in the history of video games
- No season mode.  This game would have been perfect for an RPG mode.
- No Rosalina

I haven't played this game, but I still know that the first and fourth items on that list give away just how few baseball video games you've played.

Incorrect.  I've been playing baseball games since I was four on the Comodore (Yes, I'm THAT old).  In fact, I've always owned 2 or 3 baseball games on every other counsel I've owned.

At the end of the day, MLB Power Pros still reigns king on the Wii for Baseball, and we STILL don't have a proper Wii-A-Fied Baseball game.

Quote from: D_Average

Quote from: insanolord

Quote from: D_Average

Wow, very generous score.  I thought about doing a reader review with a final score of 3/5.  For me, I just can't get past:

- Outfield camera man is horrendous, hard to make a play on the ball as you can't see you player until the last second.
- Serious lack of innovation on its 3 year old predecessor
- Wii motions are nothing more than a shake.  The batting blueprint was laid out two years ago in Wii Sports.
- Worst AI base running in the history of video games
- No season mode.  This game would have been perfect for an RPG mode.
- No Rosalina

I haven't played this game, but I still know that the first and fourth items on that list give away just how few baseball video games you've played.

Incorrect.  I've been playing baseball games since I was four on the Comodore (Yes, I'm THAT old).  In fact, I've always owned 2 or 3 baseball games on every other counsel I've owned.

At the end of the day, MLB Power Pros still reigns king on the Wii for Baseball, and we STILL don't have a proper Wii-A-Fied Baseball game.

But maybe that's it. Maybe a Wii-A-Fied Baseball wouldn't work. I finally played MLB Power Pros and that game is fantastic. I think this game is fantastic. I personally think the way batting and pitching are in this game are great.
Like Insanolord said, the outfield camera and baserunning are similar to most baseball games that I have played.
I'm not bothered by the lack of innovation considering this is the second Mario Baseball game ever even though I made a comment in my conclusion about how "if you played the original, this might be too much of the same."
And my one major complaint was the lack of a season mode. I do think, however, that this game is a lot of fun and has great gameplay even if the controls hold it back a little bit.

And what's so great about Rosalina?

MarioSeptember 05, 2008

Her bat.

D_AverageSeptember 05, 2008

She's a hawt story teller.

Quote from: Mario

Her bat.

Would it be a Luma?

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Super Mario Stadium Family Baseball Box Art

Genre Sports
Developer Namco Bandai
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Mario Super Sluggers
Release Aug 25, 2008
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Super Mario Stadium Family Baseball
Release Jun 19, 2008
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages

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