*Thank you to the Mario Super Sluggers Wiki for the character information*
From our conversation on last week's Rush Hour, I mentioned how Mario Super Sluggers is one of my favorite video games I've ever played.
For those who haven't seen the Wii version, here's a taste:
This game is elite. I stand by it.
That said, before every game, you have to pick your captain and draft your team. I'm going to do just that.
For this exercise, I will be playing against the Yoshi Eggs.
Here's the players I CAN'T choose because they're on the other team: Yoshi, Birdo, Red Yoshi, Blue Yoshi, Yellow Yoshi, Light Blue Yoshi, Pink Yoshi, Wiggler, Shy Guy
*Note: Not being able to pick Birdo and Wiggler is TOUGH, but on we go.
STADIUM: Daisy Cruiser
It has to be unlocked riiiiight at the end of the Challenge Mode, but it's a great venue, especially at dark. Short porches to left and right, and a friendly octopus will tilt the boat one way or the other for an inning or two. So that's fun.
MY CAPTAIN: Mario
Is this a basic pick? Absolutely.
I don't care. Not only is he the titular character of the game, but he's the most versatile player you can pick. He has "chemistry" with a number of top players, which allows players to execute Buddy Jumps and Buddy Throws more often, leading to robbed home runs and faster throws to get base runners.
This is an easy choice for me.
You need to have the family connection on the squad. Luigi brings valuable speed and contact to the lineup that you can deploy either at the top or the bottom of the lineup. He also has chemistry with Mario, which allow them to work as a formidable duo in the field.
Wario adds a much-needed right-handed power bat to the middle of the lineup. You'll likely need to hide him in a corner infield position because there isn't much in terms of defense. That said, the bat and ability to come out of the bullpen more than makes up for it.
PICK: Blue Pianta
A Pianta is a must-have on a Mario team. Given that the Piantas have chemistry with Mario, a Pianta can round out a nice outfield trio. The Piantas also have the Laser Throw, which essentially means you have a CANNON when you need to throw home from the outfield. All that, and they provide one of the sweetest power swings in the game.
An unlockable character from DK Jungle, the entire crew of Kritters are dangerous to have in a lineup. I'm going to take the original Kritter, but any of the four bring the same benefit. Great contact hitters that can hit for power, and fantastic in the field. A very versatile player to have in the heart of your lineup.
PICK: Petey Piranha
Petey Piranha is an absolute bruiser. His slender frame doesn't scream power, but the stats don't lie. He's a great late inning reliever, as well, but will tire quickly, so use him wisely. Otherwise, hit bombs.
PICK: Funky Kong or Baby DK
So, this is where you have some choice. If you're looking for a murderer's row of a lineup, then Funky Kong is your guy. If you want to be a little more secure defensively, then Baby DK will bring a lot of value in your middle infield. Your call.
PICK: Diddy Kong
No matter what, I'm picking Diddy Kong. He's a STRONG defensive player, and brings a lot of speed at the bottom of your lineup. In my mind, he's a great #9 hitter, acting as a second leadoff hitter of sorts.
PICK: Donkey Kong or Bowser
Either player you pick is your offensive centerpiece and your ace. They can eat innings on the mound, and MAN can they hit. Both have left-handed bats, so they fit in nicely in the middle of my lineup below after two right handers.
HONORABLE MENTIONS AND VALUE PICKS: Toadsworth (ankle-breaking fastball); King K. Rool (scary hitter); any Pianta or Kritter; Dark Bones (very well-rounded); Boo (ace) and King Boo (same, just better?)
1. Mario - CF
2. Wario - 3B
3. Bowser/DK - P
4. Petey Piranha - C
5. Blue Pianta - RF
6. Kritter - 2B or 1B
7. Luigi - LF
8. Funky Kong (1B) or Baby DK (2B)
9. Diddy Kong (SS)
Good luck beating me.