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|Mario Baseball: Triple Play!|
|Developer(s)|| Bandai Namco Entertainment|
|Series||Mario Baseball series|
|Predecessor||Mario Super Sluggers (2008)|
|Age Rating(s)||E for Everyone (ESRB)|
Mario Baseball: Triple Play!, known outside of North America as Mario Superstars: Triple Play! (Japanese: マリオスーパースターズ：トリプルプレイ！), is the follow-up to the 2008 Wii title Mario Super Sluggers and the overall third instalment of the Mario Baseball series. Unlike Mario Super Sluggers, Mario Baseball: Triple Play! was released in PAL regions.
Mario Baseball: Triple Play! is the follow-up to 2008's Mario Super Sluggers and 2005's Mario Superstar Baseball, and as such many of the features present within those titles are carried over into this one. As with its predecessors, and most other sports-related Mario spin-offs, Triple Play! retains the general rules and gameplay of the baseball sport, while adding in a number of cartoon-y quirks to make it fit into the Mario franchise.
Baseball is a sport that is traditionally played with 18 players separated into two teams. One team, the "defending" team, pitches to a batter on the other team, and are generally present so that there are four players positioned on and around the three bases - with two playing the shortstop position in-between second base and both first and third bases - as well as three players positioned in the outfield. The "offensive" batter must hit the ball thrown at them and run to each of the three bases in order, then back to home plate, in order to score a point, but will be called "out" if they are touched by another player carrying the ball, if the ball is thrown to the base they must go to, or if the ball is caught before it touches the ground after they initially hit it. After three outs, the teams switch positions. Additionally, players can score points by hitting home runs by launching the baseball out of the park, with additional points being granted depending on the amount of players currently on-base; should all three bases be loaded and a home run hit, the player will score a "Grand Slam" of 4 points.
While cooperation is a part of the real sport, as it is a team game, the Mario Baseball titles elevate this by allowing those playing the field to perform cooperative moves in order to better their chances of getting an opponent out. Such tactics include a powerfully-quick throw that can be performed by having one player launch the ball to another, as well as a super jump that can help catch balls that may otherwise be launched out of the park. Additionally, by performing these actions, or just otherwise getting outs, players can earn Star Points, which can be used to perform Star Swings and Star Pitches.
In Mario Baseball: Triple Play!, as well as its predecessors, there are two major types of playable characters: captains and teammates. Captains are different from teammates in that they all have unique Star Swings and Star Pitches, while normal teammates have one of many different types of each assigned to them. All characters also have a special ability that can either be performed while fielding, or while they're running the bases and a Close Play occurs.
While the game's predecessors featured teams of nine characters, the teams of Triple Play! include an additional three characters that appear as part of the batting order but are absent from the field; the three players who don't play in the field are benched, but the player can switch them out into any other positions at any time through the menu.
There are a total of 13 captains, with each captain having their own team of 12 players in the game's story mode, thus amounting to a total number of 156 playable characters, the most in any Mario game. In addition to there being 156 "unique" characters that can be added to a team, some characters also have different variations that may have slightly different stats and aesthetic properties, though will always share the same ability as their "original".
In exhibition matches, players can mix-and-match characters to create a team entirely of their choosing, but teams are preset in Challenge Mode.
These characters are not available for use in Exhibition Mode by default, and can be unlocked by playing through Challenge Mode.
Each of the 13 captains have their own home fields, with all of them being available by default, contrasting how some of the captains are unlockable. In addition to these 13 stadiums, there are 7 additional unlockable stadiums which can be purchased in some of the different Challenge Mode stories, with all of these unlockable stadiums returning from the previous two Mario Baseball titles.
|Mushroom Stadium||Mario Fireballs|
|E. Gadd Laboratory||Luigi Knights|
|Peach's Castle||Peach Monarchs|
|Yoshi's Island||Yoshi Islanders|
|WarioWare, Inc.||Wario Greats|
|Volcano Dome||DK Wilds|
|Crooked Airship||Jr. Rookies|
|Neo Bowser Stadium||Bowser Blackstars|
|Comet Observatory||Rosalina Stargazers|
|Tostarenan Dunes||Daisy Tornadoes|
|Subcon Gorge||Birdo Dreamers|
|Bob-omb Factory||Waluigi Flankers|
|Lost Jungle||Diddy Red Caps|
|Mario Stadium||Mario Fireballs|
|Luigi's Mansion||Luigi Knights|
|Peach Ice Garden||Peach Monarchs|
|Yoshi Park||Yoshi Islanders|
|Wario Palace||Wario Greats|
|Bowser Castle||Bowser Blackstars|
|Daisy Cruiser||Daisy Tornadoes|
The game supports the usage of all amiibo released, though only a select few have specific use within the game. In Challenge Mode, the player can scan up to three amiibo per playthrough to earn 100 coins each time. In addition, scanning any of the Goomba, Koopa Troopa, or Boo amiibo will increase the captain's stats until the mode is exited.
On the main menu, the player is able to scan certain other amiibo to unlock unique character variants of the captains. Like the coloured Yoshis that serve as variants of the Green Yoshi captain, these variants are unable to use the Star Swings and Star Pitches that their originals could; unlike other character variants however, these amiibo-granted variants may have different fielding/running abilities, though will often retain the same stats. These special amiibo-unlocked variants are the following:
- Early North American promotional material marketed the game as Mario Superstars: Triple Play!, suggesting that this name was originally planned to be used worldwide.