Why do people buy? Nintendo Switch? I’ve been asked this question more than once, complaining about the weak iron, then about the price, then in general about something very subjective. Why? You could say they bought it because it’s convenient to carry a console, or because so many works have been released on this one platform that you won’t have enough for a year. And you can be simpler and say that it’s like a game Mario Strikers: Battle League Football forced a hundred million gamers to give up their choice precisely on the Nintendo portable. The game may not be great or great, but nothing makes it any more.
Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is a continuation of the old football-inspired multiplayer series. However, to date, only two parts have been released – Super Mario Strikers in 2005 and Mario Strikers Charged in 2007. Both were warmly received, but did not become cult. It wasn’t until 2022 that we saw the return of the most unrealistic of football simulators, where there’s almost nothing left of the game we all love but balls and goals. No referee, no beak. Just violence, rock music and real chaos.
I consider Mario Strikers Charged to be one of the best multiplayer releases on the Wii, so I’m excited to see the same Canadian studio, Next Level Games, give us such a great experience. Luigi’s house 3. In general, Nintendo rarely lets foreigners work on their IP, so their trust in the North American company’s talent matters a lot.
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So, the point of Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is rather clear – it’s football, but in Mario style. Realism went into the trash, and instead it was decided to emphasize aggression and comic style, and in general, at the beginning of zero. If you really want to, you can compare it to the film “Shaolin Football” by Hong Kong director Stephen Chow.
In the main roles, the characters of the Nintendo universe are famous all over the world, and Mario himself: Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, Toad, Wario, Waluigi, Yoshi, Bowser, Rosalina, Mario and … all of them. Yes, we happen to start with the main drawback of novelty – the amount of content. I can make the same claim (and express) across all related sports and is generally designed for a large number of users of the exclusive platform, including Mario Tennis Aces, Mario Golf: Super Rush and Super Mario Party. In the current generation, Nintendo has decided to bet on a service model where new content appears periodically over several months. In the case of Splatoon 2 everything worked out, but there was more than enough everything at the start!
If you think I’m desperately looking for negativity to avoid accusations of bias, I’m not – just comparing Mario Strikers: Battle League to its fifteen-year-old predecessor, Mario Strikers Charged, which had 20 characters and 17 arenas (not the current five) . Sorry, of course, for the pun, but it’s not a goal! Among the characters there is not even Princess Daisy – a real evil in the eyes of any fan.
Apart from the sparse content, I can only commend everything else. Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is the benchmark video game for the company. It lacks the realism of FIFA with its licensed leagues and stars, but there’s plenty of fun gameplay. Be prepared for some harsh nicknames: this is one of the most vivid, colorful and well-animated releases on the platform. Play on the OLED screen – a real pleasure. Each of the game’s five stadiums delights in the amount of detail, and the gameplay itself is incredibly smooth with no sign of brakes (1080p/60 fps!).
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Perhaps, there is no reason to be surprised: Luigi’s Mansion 3 from the same developer is still one of the most graphic games on the Switch. In motion, Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is unrivaled.
From a gameplay point of view, only the basic elements remain of football. As usual in games with Mario as the main role, each character has a special skill and can use items to punish opponents. Each team can have a captain, but their role has been markedly reduced: if in the previous sections special skills were only available to them, now the so-called Hyper Strikes – shots that are almost impossible to take and are worth two goals – are available to everyone who takes the bonus. special and managed to press the button.
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From the trailer, it may seem that the chaotic gameplay expects very fast reactions from players, but in reality, a rather simple game requires strategic thinking and a certain level of skill.
What’s more: the lack of variety due to the small number of characters is partially compensated by the equipment system. Each hero can be customized at your own discretion, buying him any helmet, shield and armor with the coins earned in the process. Each item can strengthen the characteristics of the character, but for each increase in this or that aspect there is a penalty, that is, if you want to make Wario stronger, then be prepared for the fact that he will be slower.
In some ways, the novelty became simpler in terms of mechanics, but this did not affect the main thing – curiosity. And, if you like playing such games with your friends, you need not doubt Mario Strikers: Battle League Football. But if you value video games solely for their single-player content… you might be disappointed here: there’s no hint of story campaigns that include, for example, Mario Golf: Super Rush and Mario Tennis Aces. All in a cup, like in Mario Kart 8. Not a crime at all, as far as I’m concerned, but an unpleasant fact for certain audiences who (and understandably) find the €60 price tag too high for a release with 10 characters and five fields. .
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Ranking a game like Mario Strikers: Battle League Football can be harder than it looks, because the final number isn’t just the sum of all the pros and cons. How good a new game is depends on subjective factors: how interested you are in a similar type of video game, whether you have someone to play with, and how much you regret spending money on a content-saving release. But for myself, I would like to say that “fight football” is what I was hoping for. It’s a worthy continuation of the glorious, if half-forgotten series, and another minor masterpiece in the treasure trove of multiplayer games accessible from Nintendo.