Since his arrival the Nintendo Switch it was the scene of rebirth and renewal of numerous historical franchises of Nintendo and not. Among them, it is now also added Mario Strikersthe football series set in the mushroom world of Super Mario. After years of absence from the field, the series returns with Mario Strikers: Battle League Footballa new exuberant title available now on the Nintendo Switch and this is it his review.
Having tried it in preview and explored the mechanics, let’s now take a closer look at Mario’s party-game dedicated to football.
In Mario Strikers: Battle League Football we don’t have a real storyline, just a great desire to immerse ourselves in the playing field and tear up our enemy. In this game, two teams of four players compete on a small soccer field respecting the classic rules of football … more or less! Kicks, shoves, slides and hyper-shots with incredible powerare on the agenda, including a electrified field perimeter. Perhaps we have exaggerated, the classic rules of football are not exactly at home but the world of Super Mario is special and we find it also in this title. But the goal remains the same, to score more goals than the opposing team before the time runs out!
On the pitch we will be able to pass the ball to the team and make powerful shots towards the opponent’s goal. As anticipated, there are no red or yellow cards in Mario’s world so there are no rules for stealing the ball from opponents. We can use all our power to retrieve the ball, stun the enemy team or even hurl ourselves at our allies to create a bounce effect to reach the furthest enemies.
And where brute force can’t, Here, from the audience, the iconic objects of the Super Mario series such as the banana peel, the Bob-omb or the mythical star to be exploited at the right moment to make Goal. To these is also added the mythical Strike ball to perform the Super Shot. A super shot is a unique move for each character ready to throw all his energy. Once you have taken the Strike ball, you just have to enter the opponent’s half and load the shot to the maximum, at which a moving bar will appear on the screen to be blocked at certain points to get the most out of your super shot. If you have calculated the times well, the opposing goalkeeper will have no chance!
At the beginning of each match we will have to choose the four heroes who will accompany us throughout the match. Currently i characters available are 10: Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Wario, Waluigi, Rosalina e Donkey Kong. Each of them has some specific characteristics divided between Strength, Speed, Shooting, Passing e Technique. These characteristics will affect the playability of each character and it will be necessary to act cunning to use them to the fullest.
Super Mario, for example, he is a fairly versatile champion, he does not excel in any characteristics but this makes him balanced enough to cover any role on the pitch. There Princess Peach it is instead characterized by a high speed but a low shooting power, this means that it will be ideal for quickly bringing the ball into the opponent’s field and maybe passing it to someone with more strength. That someone could be Bowser that despite sinning in speed and technique, has an unparalleled power!
Character characteristics can be improved and balanced thanks to equipment that can be purchased with coins acquired during the game. We have a total of 4 pieces of equipment (head, arms, body, legs) for each character that will improve a certain parameter by decreasing the effectiveness of a second parameter. Choose well what to wear to whom and you will have the perfect team!
As there is no real main campaignthe game focuses mainly on network mode which, remember, will only be available with a Nintendo Online subscription. In addition to being able to challenge friends (or random players) in single matches, you can access the Club Striker mode. Here we can found our football club with name, flag, t-shirts and everything else e face the current season together with other players. Seasons last a week and can be characterized by unique rules, different from the following season.
At the beginning of each new season, each club is placed in a group of 5 other clubs belonging to the same series. At the end of the season, the final standings determine which clubs will come promoted or demoted in a new series. Each win is worth 6 points, each draw 2 points and each defeat 1 point. At the end of the path, tokens are waiting for you to spend to customize your club, ranking points, gold coins and of course, glory!
From a stylistic point of view, Mario Strikers: Battle League Football boasts graphics in line with the standards of the series enriched by sequences, backgrounds and mini-cinematic characterized by a hybrid technique of computer graphics and drawing, really nice to watch. Despite the frenetic pace of the game, we have not never encountered glitches or bugs and every match was played out in the best way (despite the losses…). Also interesting is the soundtrack which, although it does not boast a great variety of music, those present best embody the rhythm of the game.
The only flaw of the game we found is the lack of modes. In addition to the quick games and the Club Striker we talked about, we only find a Cups mode (offline) which, as per the title, will make you face a series of matches to reach first place and win a certain cup.
Other than these and a full workout, we don’t have any kind of gameplay variations that, in the long run, can make it boring. We would have liked to have been able to witness a crazy, bizarre adventure from Mario intent on saving the mushroom kingdom with shots on target.
Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is a game that is as simple as it is fun. The fast and frenetic pace makes it the favorite game to let off steam after a long day in fast and fun matches. But don’t get us wrong, because the degree of challenge can get very high! In addition to difficult mode that will make you sweat, the online competition is on and we are sure many more news will arrive in the Super Mario soccer field!
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