More Reviews
REVIEWS Life is Strange: Episode 2 - Out Review
The secret lives of ordinary American teenagers packs an emotional wallop in the latest installment of Life is Strange.

The Sims 4 Get to Work Expansion Review
Electronic Arts hopes that Get to Work will make you Get to The Sims 4.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Dirty Bomb Preview
Looking for a more competitive, challenging online FPS multiplayer game? Splash Damage is introducing just that by dropping a Dirty Bomb on the free-to-play game market.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones
Release date: 04/01/15

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Release date: 04/07/15

LATEST FEATURES Buy, Try, Die: April 2015 Releases
It's really all about Mortal Kombat X this month. So will you buy it, try it, or should it die?!

Interview: Kevin Spacey Is A Part of Call of Duty's Evolution, Says Sledgehammer Games' Dev
At the Call of Duty World Championship, Mike Mejia explains the success of the tournament and how Call of Duty needed to evolve.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Top 50 Pokémon of All Time
Can you believe there are now six generations of Pokémon? Six!! That's a crazy amount of different creatures to collect. But which are the cream of the crop? Don't worry, Magikarp isn't actually one of them.

Read More Member Blogs
Re-Masters - Next-Gen Backwards Compatibility?
By shandog137
Posted on 03/30/15
I am a PS3 owner and someday hope to be a PS4 owner, yet I am not at all dissatisfied with my choice to delay purchase, solely based on the current PS4 library. When I transitioned from a Playstation 1 to a Playstation 2, I was pleasantly surprised that I could for the most part rid myself of my PS1...

Mario Super Sluggers Review

geoff_hunt By:
GENRE Sports 
DEVELOPER Namco Bandai Games 
E Contains Comic Mischief

What do these ratings mean?

Throwing Bullet Bills never looked so easy.

It’s always hard for me to come to grips with these Mario sports titles. They exist in a space between the concrete rules and forms of actual sports, and the abstract insanity of a world without actual laws beyond that of Nintendo’s. Mario Super Sluggers continues this proud tradition of confounding me by introducing a solid interpretation of baseball broken up by moments of absolute madness.

click to enlargeConsider for a moment, a baseball stadium with a train track running through the outfield, such that a fielder may be squashed by a passing train while attempting to catch a pop fly. This is not a guarantee; indeed, there may be no correlation to train schedules, no warning bells or flashing lights. Just suddenly, a train that would catch outfielders instead of cows. Is this not a small vision of madness?

Mario Super Sluggers adds to the mayhem by including special pitches, special hits, and items that can be liberally thrown onto the field to interrupt runners and fielders in a variety of ways. At any given moment, you may be attempting to hit a bullet out of the park, or you may be trying to catch a fireball.

Backing this is a curious cross-section of hardcore team management and casual play. Every character you add to your line-up has four major stats, as well as a chemistry stat with other players, that all affect their performance. Set a few people who have chemistry with one another, close together in the batting line-up, and everyone’s batting performance improves; likewise, put compatible fielders adjacent to one another, and they catch better.

click to enlargeThe center of the gameplay, however, can be summed up in the phrase “shake that thang”. Where Wii Sports allowed you to control a hit based upon how you swung the bat, Mario Super Sluggers backs it off to a simple timing game. Pull back your arm and your character will start chargin’ up power; swing at the peak of the charge and you deliver maximum power. Swing too early or too late, and your swing is weak. It’s nothing like actual baseball, and it feels like an artificial band-aid over the Wii-mote’s inherent detection flaws.

Pitching, likewise, is quite simple. Pitchers build up power for a throw in the same way batters build up power for a swing. Unlike the batter, however, the pitcher gets to set the tempo, and has more he can do than just swing when the ball comes sailing in. A combination of overhead throws and twists of the Wii-mote allows the pitcher to vary up his game with different throws like curveballs and sinkers. While it’s essentially impossible to pitch a perfect game, especially against the bastard A.I., there’s plenty the pitcher can do to keep the score down, and that’s quite welcome.

Fielding is another matter. All you do is shake the Wii-mote up and down, and yes, it looks just like you’re coaxin’ the cudgel. Get in the right spot, hope your opponent doesn’t throw a shell at you, and you’re done. When a ball is fair, you get to simulate pitching again to throw, though with a furious enough waggling of the Wii-mote, it frequently can’t differentiate between running and throwing and simply does whatever is contextually appropriate.

click to enlargeOne notable feature of the game is the ability to include Miis in your line-up. Miis have apparently random chemistry and absolutely average stats across the board, making them well suited to any given task, but not especially amazing at any of them. Unfortunately, you always need a Nintendo character for your team captain, so you cannot play as the Segata Sanshiro Saturns.

Mario Super Sluggers has 16x9 video support, so for once, a Nintendo game doesn’t look like total crap on fancy HDTVs. There are plenty of nice visual flairs, too. Many of the characters use tools appropriate to their natures for bats. The hammer brothers use hammers, the magikoopas bat with their wands, and Bowser just brings a giant spiked club to the plate. The sound and music is fairly typical to a Mario title - bright and bubbly, almost nauseatingly so, but still has a cloying aspect that draws one in.

The thing about Mario Super Sluggers, at the end of the day, is that it is actually pretty solid fun. It masks a lot of complexity in front of you without much of having a real impact, and the vague passes it makes at being a more complete baseball simulation are laughable at best. It is not baseball, so if you want baseball simulation, you will not find it here. But Mario Super Sluggers is a simplified game for folks who just want to swing the Wii-mote a few times and chuckle with their buds about hitting that lit bo-bomb out of the park.
B- Revolution report card
  • Clever, fun mayhem
  • Simple, pick-up-and-play controls
  • Clean art style
  • Not really close to a baseball simulation
  • Lacks depth and complexity
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.

More from the Game Revolution Network

comments powered by Disqus


More information about Mario Super Sluggers

More On GameRevolution