SAN FRANCISCO--Earlier this year, Nintendo announced that Super Mario Stadium: Family Baseball would arrive for the Wii in Japan this year, later clarified to be June. A US release for an adaptation of America's cherished pastime seemed like a no-brainer, and the publisher made it official today in a San Francisco press event. With the game sporting the new moniker Mario Super Sluggers, Nintendo promises to build on the baseball minigame in Wii Sports by offering the same level of accessibility but adding a more fully realized baseball experience.
Much in the way that Mario Strikers Charged offered an arcade take on soccer last year, Mario Super Sluggers takes liberties with the basic precepts of baseball. Pitching is handled with a standard throwing motion, but is complicated by a timing mechanic, and the ball can also be curved by twisting the Wii Remote.
While batting, players first charge their swing, and then can either aim for the fences or attempt a bunt. Special moves also factor into pitching and hitting, with pitchers able to turn on the heat by hitting A and B while throwing, and batters adding flame to the ball by hitting the same buttons and making contact.
Unlike baseball in Wii Sports, Mario Super Sluggers also lets players take to the field as in a traditional baseball game. Fielding is done primarily by waggling the remote; players must make a shaking motion to run toward the ball and then a similar motion to throw. On offense, players make a similar waggling motion to run the bases.
Mario and his usual suspects will all make appearances in the game. During the demo, Mario pitched, while Mushroom Kingdom denizens such as Princess Peach, Wario, Bowser, Shy Guy, Baby Mario, Koopa Troopa, Donkey Kong, and others made appearances. Each character appears to have a unique hitting device, with the Koopa wielding a club and Donkey Kong attempting to punch the ball with a big, red boxing glove.
For more from Nintendo, check out GameSpot's coverage of the full press conference.