Mario Strikers: Battle League Review

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: Sport
 
Rating: PG
 
Release Date: 10th June, 2022
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/5


 

Positives


- Fun, easy to learn gameplay
- Easy couch multiplayer with family and friends
- Hilarious animations.

Negatives


- Small variety of gameplay modes
- Nothing revolutionary.


Posted June 21, 2022 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Mario Strikers is a series which began in 2005 on the Nintendo GameCube with ‘Super Mario Strikers’ and then launching on the Wii with ‘Mario Strikers Charged’ just two years later. Nintendo then chose to shelve the franchise until five years into the Nintendo Switch’s life-cycle. Enter Mario Strikers: Battle League – a refined ‘football’ experience with fast gameplay and even faster goals. Join Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser and more to find out if Mario Strikers: Battle League is the reboot the series needed or just more Super Mario shovelware in our full review.

Mario Strikers Battle League

Kicking things off, Mario Strikers: Battle League has a simplistic and easy to navigate menu where you’ll find Quick Battle, Cup Battles, Strikers Club, Gear Settings, Training, and the options menu. Quick Battle allows you to jump straight into a customised game with your own settings, match length, arena and characters. It’s where you’ll end up if you’re playing on the couch with friends or family, and it can also be enjoyed in local wireless or online play with up to eight players in any mode. Cup Battles are the Mario Kart-esque tournament cups where you face off against enemy CPU opponents to earn coins and ultimately win the cup and unlock new characters and arenas. There are about half a dozen Cups of increasing difficulty before it unlocks a harder mode to complete them all again.

Online is where you’ll face your fiercest opponents in the Nintendo community, and the Strikers Club is the mode where the best players will shine. The mode shifts from off-season to on-season every week, giving players the opportunity to join or create a club of up to twenty players and then participate in matches against other clubs to get season rewards including coins and other items. Be ready for a challenge though, as online play is where you’ll find the dedicated strikers that are ready to pounce.

Mario Strikers Battle League

Getting down to the core gameplay, Mario Strikers: Battle League is a fast-paced hyper-aggressive football game where traditional tactics and skills are defenestrated in place of big tackles and hyper strikes. Item boxes are tossed onto the field throughout each match giving players familiar power-ups such as bananas, green and red shells, and bob-ombs. Combining the gathering and use of items with correctly timed tackles and shots at goal is key to winning a bout against the varying difficulty AI teams, and of course against friends, family and online competitors.

The AI in Mario Strikers: Battle League can actually be quite challenging, and even on the easy difficulty it didn’t take much of a distraction to have the odd goal slip through. Tackling and well-timed passes are the key to success here, but the be-all end-all enhancement is the Hyper Strike. This animated chance of a double-scoring goal is made possible by the rare Strike Orb which will drop randomly onto the field throughout a game. Grabbing one gives you a  twenty second opportunity to score a Hyper Strike by fully charging a goal and then hitting the right spots on the hyper-bar. The game will then enter a (usually hilarious) cut scene where your chosen character will perform their hyper strike. Whether it’s Peach convincing the enemy team to fall in love with her, throwing the ball in the goals in adoration or Waluigi showing off his thorny ball control, the animations are always fun to watch and fortunately don’t detract too much from the flow of the game.

Mario Strikers Battle League

Gear plays a large role in the competitive side of Mario Strikers: Battle League. Each character has their strengths and weaknesses, and these can be enhanced via the purchase of gear. There are four slots for gear: head, arms, body and legs, and each item costs 100 coins. You can enhance your strength, speed, shooting, passing, or technique but this will also diminish one of the other stats. Currently, there are guides for setting up the best team for a variety of gameplay styles, such as using Rosalina as a primary goal scorer, or Bowser as a giant destructive brute. There’s a style for everyone, and being able to customise your gear and change the way you look makes the game just a bit more exciting and in-depth.

Mario Strikers: Battle League does nothing to challenge the Nintendo Switch’s graphics. It runs well in both handheld (720p) and docked (1080p) modes, but the graphics are as one would expect for a Switch title, targeting 60 frames in gameplay and capped at 30 in cut-scenes. The crowds are fully animated and 3D but are updated at half the rate of the on-field action, but all up the game does run very smoothly and we didn’t experience any visual bugs in our time reviewing it. Full 5.1 surround sound is supported in docked mode, and all your favourite Mario characters will let you know about it. The music played during the game reminded us of generic fighting game music with a Nintendo twist, and luckily you can turn it down or off completely if it’s not your cup of tea. 

It’s always great to see an old franchise revisited and we were actually surprised that it had been so long since the last iteration of Mario Strikers. Next Level Games have given Mario Strikers: Battle League the full Nintendo Switch treatment, providing a fun action-packed football game for up to eight players in a variety of different settings. That said, it stops short of providing any long-term reason to keep revisiting the game. While the online support offers the on-season off-season rotations, this mode seemed marketed only at the most dedicated players.

Rocket Chainsaw reviewed Mario Strikers: Battle League on Nintendo Switch with review provided by the publisher. For more information, head to the official website.


David Latham

 
David has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from a Go8 university but only uses his unique set of skills writing for passion. By day he's a stay-at-home father of two, by night he responds to the Bat-Signal. Where does he find the time?