After waiting for almost 15 years, Mario Strikers: Battle League Football has finally arrived. The game is an amplified version of the 5v5 for our Favorite plumber. Offering great fun in multiplayer, it is mainly let down by a Lack of solo content.
Mario Games on Nintendo Consoles
The console would not be called a Nintendo Console without Mario’s Sporting Holidays, and on the switch, we have seen plenty. Golf, tennis, and the Olympics might be the famous plumber’s usual choices, but more often, we find him on less familiar turf.
It has been about 15 years since the less familiar turf. It has been almost 15 years since Mario decided to head onto the football pitch again, Nintendo’s returned to the beautiful game once more with the Mario Strikers: Battle League Football.
Bringing back the original developers, Next Level Games, Battle League remains to be a familiar pleasure. The game comes with some great changes by the way. Some of those come down to numbers – there are fewer playable characters and you cannot score six goals all at once anymore, a minor travesty. Crucially though, what we have got feels more refined and more skillful, and it is a to of fun with friends.
Mario Strikers: Battle League
The game was released on June 10, 2022, on the Nintendo Switch console like most of the other games.
First up: Forget about formation tactics. This is 5v5, so you would instead be taking note of each character’s unique stats. For example, Browser stored with a powerful strike and hard-hitting tackles, Toad is speedy and is great for passing, and Luigi’s your classic ‘all-rounder’. It’s worth assessing your picks, and you can select everybody on your team except for the goalkeeper, Boom Boom. You can try and argue about the positions with a personified red shell.
The features three different modes, starting with a “Quick battle” option. With this, you can go online or fight with CPU, though if you fancy some local multiplayer, the game offers support for a maximum of eight people. So be prepared to split up your joy-cons. Once you are set, each of the characters would be able to shoot, pass, lob the ball, throw and tackle items at the opposing team.
This includes all the fancy moves plus the ones that FIFA players are hoping that they can get away with. If you are dribbling and there is no one to pass to, you now got a quick dodge, accessed by flicking the right joystick – which is quite the handy addition.
Battle League Awards
All the actions can be charged up to consecutive passes and though you cannot control the goalie, Boom Boom’s no slouch. Angling your shots is the real deal. Simply pressing without direction rarely gets past him. There is a reals sense of skill when playing and for every match won, Battle League awards coins, used to Unlock new gear like gloves and helmets. Each of the items can buff a particular stat by two points but for every advantage gained, it would deduct two points from another, so you cannot create a super player.
In the game, every character features a unique special shot and an ability that was previously limited to just your team captain. And occasionally, a colorful ‘strike orb’ drops onto the field, which once collected charges up your whole team. This powerup lasts for only about 20 seconds, but firing a charged shot in the opponent’s half would activate a hyper strike, opening up the chance of an unstoppable shot, and a goal so powerful it is worth about two points.
These moments really showcase the battle league’s impressive visuals. The hyper strikes benefit straight from the comic book-esque panels when the shot is taken by the character, take the shot, and while I did not necessarily need to see Wario slamming a ball with his rear, I certainly laughed at it. As for Waluigi, watching him place a rose in his mouth during his shot is the stuff of a lot of Nintendo fans’ dreams. Next Levels has contributed a lot to animating these moments.
This game is an easy to pick up casual game, despite its nuances and special rules – while more competitive players would be pleased to hear that play feels as balanced as a ball on a pro’s forehead. If you do not have a character that is strong enough, you cannot tackle opponents quite forcefully, but you might find that Lightfoots like toads keep catching you as you run, Forcing you to pass continuously.
Elsewhere, items can even things out if your opponent is not playing nice – they are usually awarded to the victims of a dirty tackle. Between homing red shells, bananas, and bob-ombs, Battle league borrows plenty from Mario Kart, yet items use never feels excessive or threaten to destabilize the beautiful game at Strikers’ core.
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