In 2005, Super Mario Strikers was the last Mario game to appear on and GameCube. It ensures that the buzz generated by my group of friends for this game has been quite limited. Two years later, we had Mario Strikers Charged on the Wii and 15 years later, we are offered Mario Strikers : Battle League pour Nintendo Switch!
Copy of game and images courtesy of Nintendo
Played on Nintendo Switch for review
For those who haven’t guessed it yet with the soccer field, the soccer apparel and the soccer ball, Mario Strikers : Battle League is a soccer game.
In this version of this sport, the teams are made up of 5 players including the goalkeeper, a Boom Boom that we do not control.
Among the controllable players on the field, we can choose from 10 favorite characters of the Mushroom Kingdom found in all the other games of our favorite plumber.
The statistics of our characters can be modified using accessories that can be purchased in the game shop with in-game money. No DLC at the moment! Phew!
A few modes are available, the campaign mode boils down to a series of tournaments without history while a league system has been implemented in online games.
The big one twist of the game is that it is possible to make hyper strikes when certain conditions are met. One gets the chance of being able to make two points in one shot thanks to super kick.
During games lasting 4 minutes each, we can use items, slide towards our opponents, make passes and shoot at goal. One of the objectives of the game is to achieve perfect timing in each of these maneuvers.
These fairly simple actions allow us to follow the furious action and busy screen as eight humans can compete at the same time!
I think that Mario Strikers : Battle League is a fun soccer game. The learning curve is quite steep considering “complicated even if it’s simple” mechanics. Serious gamepad players will quickly master the controls.
Then what seems like very chaotic terrain will eventually become easier and easier for our brains to read. Between the management of items and our characters chasing the ball, we end up getting used to the very fast energy of the game.
Once I reached this stage, I felt a real pleasure in exploring different strategies and character combinations in my stable.
On the other hand, the fact that it’s always the same game for 4 minutes, I must admit that I felt tired after about thirty minutes of gameplay. Instead of feeling like a complete game as such, it felt like I was still playing the same very long minigame.
Let me explain: with the terrain that never changes (except aesthetically) and a small choice of characters, the games often come back to the same thing.
The strength of 4-minute matches is that they don’t last long, their weakness is that they prevent the creation of lasting tensions while removing their importance.
Each character has a unique animation for their hyper strike which is really cool, but after seeing it several times, you can feel the effect of repetition.
All parts are a bit too similar in the absence of story, stakes and depth.
I really feel like Mario Strikers : Battle League is a game made to be played with others as it turns into a kind ofOvercooked jock.
The game seems pretty well balanced to me to avoid cheap shots, for example, to avoid tripping players who do not have the ball by giving an item to the victimized team. That being said, I feel like players with a lot of strength and shooting skills are favored.
With fewer characters than the last game released fifteen years ago, I think this game was “that” (you can’t see me, but I’m waving) of delivering an amazing gaming experience.
Artificial intelligence is a bit silly at times. Solo, I often wondered what my teammates were doing in a strange place on the pitch. As the goalkeeper is also controlled by 0s and 1s, it makes the result of the shots on goal very random.
The faults of this game are its qualities and its qualities are its defects. The choice was made to make this game simple and it has all the advantages, but also the disadvantages. The game’s skeleton is fun as it’s coated in beautiful skin, but it lacks organs and more importantly, tone.
You’re going to have fun with Mario Strikers: Battle League, but you’re better off playing 30 minutes of it at a time.