Mario Super Sluggers is the Wii sequel to the popular Mario Superstar Baseball for the Gamecube. It showcases Mario and the gang in a lighthearted and ludicrous arcade-style baseball simulation that is surprisingly competitive. Mario Super Sluggers offers a lot of family-friendly multiplayer action and massive replay value.
With the Wii remote, the player can bat, pitch, throw, run, and perform abilities by flicking and moving the controller back and forth. A friendly tutorial gives you the gist of the main mechanics, and the learning curve is not steep at all.
There are five game modes. Challenge mode is the meat and potatoes of the game. In this mode, you travel around the beautiful Baseball Kingdom in single-player action and recruit other members for your all-star team. These members include the majority of the Mario universe cast. They are unwilling free agents at first, and you have to complete various imaginative challenges in the baseball field in order to win them over. The Challenge mode offers different locales which are colorful, animated, and can be played at either night or day to add variety. The ultimate objective of the main storyline is to build up a strong team and defeat Bowser in a baseball match.
Exhibition mode is where multiplayer battles are fought. In a standard skirmish, both teams follow the conventional rules of baseball. However, it wouldn’t be a Mario game unless outrageous arcade action is involved. True enough, power-ups and weapons are available for both sides. Those pitching and batting have star skills which, when utilized, perform a powerful attack that includes covering the ball in smoldering flames or turning it into an intense twister. Another unique feature is Player Chemistry. When two members of the same team have a high chemistry ranking, the tandem can perform amazing feats that tip the balance scales. The abilities keep everyone on their toes and prevent an otherwise boring baseball simulation.
Mini Game mode offers nine separate minigames that players can access if they desire to take a break from the normal season. Toy Field mode is another category that allows players to set limits and skill levels in a batting and fielding competition. Finally, Training mode lets you sharpen your talents for future matches. The game also delivers helpful hints to improve your in-game baseball abilities.
Mario Super Sluggers is chock full of content, but it still suffers some drawbacks. For visuals, the different baseball arenas only have average graphical backdrops. It’s not as appealing as other Mario games and could have done with some sprucing up. This flaw stands out all the more when sharply contrasted with the highly detailed characters.
Another huge misstep is the choppy controls for the directional pad. Although the game’s motion sensor for the Wii remote is excellent, the traditional directional pad and sideways play is a lot less refined. This can be a source of frustration for those who prefer to use the buttons than flail their arms about.
For AI difficulty, the game is too easy. In Challenge mode, it usually takes only a few minutes until you can get the gist of the mechanics, and from then on it’s relatively smooth sailing. The maximum benefit you can get from Mario Super Sluggers is the multiplayer action, because the single player gameplay doesn’t pose much opposition.
The Wii Mario Super Sluggers game can have up to four players at a time. The minigames are specially designed for this purpose, ensuring that the entire family can join in the fun. Mario Super Sluggers also supports the use of the Wii Nunchuk to further enhance control of your baseball team.
Although inferior to Mario Superstar Baseball in some aspects, the Mario Super Sluggers Wii game is in a league of its own compared to other sports simulations. The wacky antics and aggressive multiplayer competition will make you spend countless hours on this gem. Despite some minor annoyances, Mario Super Sluggers holds up pretty well and is definitely a solid entry.