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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Nintendo
Developed By: Nintendo
Genre: Sports Action
Players: 1-4
Rated: E (everyone)
Release Date: August 25, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Bu Now!
Written By: Tyler Norton

Play ball! It’s been three years since Nintendo launched Super Mario Baseball for the Gamecube and now they’re back up to the plate with their latest installment of the Mario baseball series; Mario Super Sluggers. With a new platform to play on and new gameplay elements to explore, Mario Super Sluggers aims to hit one out of the park and surpass the success of its predecessor and put another run on the board for the Mario sports series.

The objective of Mario Super Sluggers is very simple; teams composed of characters from the Mario series play exhibition baseball games. It’s a concept that shouldn’t be hard to understand for anybody who has watched baseball – and even if you aren’t a fan of the diamond, it’s quite easy to pick up and follow. Besides the straight baseball games there are several other modes to play in including a story mode and mini-games.

The idea of story mode is to take your team and play a ‘seasons’ worth of games in hopes to defeat Bowser’s team. The mini-games offer comic relief and serve as a mini-camp, not only offering amusement but sharpening the skills of players. The mini-games are similar to that of those in Super Mario Baseball and include knocking of barrels with baseballs you hit.

The gameplay of Mario Super Sluggers is eerily similar to that of Wii Sports Baseball. While there are three different ways of playing, two are incredibly similar to Wii Sports Baseball (one is identical) and the other is a classic style of gaming. By playing with just the Wii-remote, players use tactics similar to that of Wii Baseball by using complete motion controls to play the game. By using the nunchuck attached to the Wii-remote motion controls are still implemented and advanced offering a large array of possible moves. Finally using the control as a classic remote uses no motion control at all.

When up-to-bat, a gauge will appear giving a rough estimate of where the pitch is being directed to. Once a player feels comfortable with their position they swing and hope to hit a fair ball. If the ball is declared fair it’s up for the player to start running the bases. While most of the running is done automatically, by shaking the Wii-remote you can pick up speed and hope to beat out the toss.

It wouldn’t be a Mario sports game if there isn’t any ‘catch’ to the game. Like its predecessor, Mario Super Sluggers is centered on “special shots” that are the equivalent to signature moves used by specific characters. By charging a Star Gauge and holding the A and B buttons the characters unleash their special shots and fire off moves that the likes of A-Rod and Big Papi just dream of.

Like batting, pitching is very Wii Baseball-esque. The objective of the pitchers is to flick his or her wrist as fast as possible to power up the pitch and add your own spin on it (like curves and other pitches). “Special balls” are the equivalent to “special shots” and super-charges the pitches making them incredibly difficult to hit.

The teams are composed of their captains and other players. There are a wide array of characters to choose from ranging from more prominent characters like Mario and Luigi to the Koopa Troopas and Hammer Bros. While each captain (prominent characters) have certain trademarks, the remaining characters are balanced and get the job done. If they don’t interest you, you can also incorporate Miis into your team and take a swing as them.

While the game is multiplayer it is not compatible with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Players can partake in two-player games with each other or play the computers. Similar to most Mario sports games, multiplayer is usually best for competitive reasons seeing as the computers don’t generally put up too much of a fight. The multiplayer mode can offer a large amount of fun at parties or just playing around with friends.

Mario Supper Sluggers seems to be following the beat of the Mario sports drum. Looking eerily similar to its predecessor the game may lack originality but does make up for it with the new gameplay elements. Nintendo sure isn’t reinventing the wheel, but they are aiming for a scoring run with this title. Mario Super Sluggers hits shelves August 25th, be sure to look for it!

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