Football according to Nintendo: Mario Strikers returns after 15 years. Review

When the night at a friend’s house has trouble taking off, Nintendo will take care of providing the right touch of fun. Between sports and various holidays, the Kyoto company has always been able to find alternative ways to spend our evenings happily, reinventing real situations in their cartoon and imaginative contexts. Thus, for example, was born the curious sports series Mario Strikers, which after fifteen years of absence makes its glorious return to Switch with a very entertaining title.
If you had to describe Mario Strikers: Battle League Football in a nutshell, the best option would be to present it as a football video game set in the magical world of Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom, accessible to everyone. Going deeper into a review, however, from the third iteration of Nintendo’s sports brand emerges a much deeper and more refined game, which makes it a potential addiction, in a positive sense of course, for those who like to have fun. -after a day’s work.

After all, who wouldn’t want to go down to the Donkey Kong Jungle Stadium, or the ghostly mansion, for a healthy, stimulating futsal game? The latest production of Next Level Games, already the author of the two previous games in the series for Game Cube and Wii, proposes the classic Strikers formula, with quick and easy starts where everything is allowed and the only goal is to be able to score. more goals from rivals. Between power-ups, restless fouls and hyper-hits (special features worth 2 points, only possible after collecting a sphere during the game), the game seems to be very easy to manage and suitable for everyone, but also hides inside a very complex soul. made of time and technique, which become important when you leave the bubble to go and challenge the rest of the world in search of a greater degree of challenge.
Mario Strikers: Battle League Football today has ten playable characters, all from the Super Mario series, each with different skill levels. Luigi, for example, the brother of the Italian plumber mustache, has more technique than other players, which allows him to dribble the man more easily and maintain possession of the ball. Bowser, also given the impressive size, has the highest level of strength among all along with Wario, a parameter that makes them essential components of a team given the ability to recover lost balls or steal them from opponents. With lots of equipment to buy, in the form of helmets, shin guards and new shoes, then the parameters are changed and reorganized so that each player can create their perfect team.

It should also be noted that, although we are talking about a reinterpretation of futsal, Mario Strikers maintains some very arched features and, why not, fun. As in Mario Kart, characters can collect small but very useful power-ups to explode in the game, which include bob-ombs, mushrooms for an instant sprint, and shells to hit opponents, to be exploited along with the techniques of conflict. When any character, such as the aforementioned Bowser, tries to steal the ball from a player of the opposing team, he has two options: throw himself with all his might against the victim, or knock him for a few moments with a simple but slap well balanced, enough to make you lose control of the ball. No referee, no rules, if not the few limitations imposed by the parties. Mario Strikers matches go smoothly, thanks to their short duration (from a minimum of three minutes to a maximum of ten) and an indisputable basic fun, which exponentially amplifies playing in company.
Needless to say, the best Mario Strikers: Battle League Football experience comes when friends practically go out on the field. Up to 8 players can take part in a match, locally or online, and this is where the real gem of the game comes in. Although the first event of the season has not yet begun, users can create or join online clubs, shaping their forwards with customizable looks and equipment, to try to become the number one team in the world. world. It cannot be ruled out that once Season 1 starts, after a training phase granted to all users in the first days of the game, Mario Strikers will become a real network phenomenon, also moved by the ‘push of streamers and content. creators who will not miss the opportunity to have fun and entertain.

Unfortunately, the latest Nintendo Switch exclusive, technically very valid even in portable mode, clashes with the narrow content currently available, and the modes it launches can be counted on the fingers of one hand. There are currently only Quick Match and Cups, non-customizable short tournaments that allow you to win coins to buy equipment and are certainly not enough for those who want to limit their single player experience. On the contrary, it is with multiplayer that Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is at its best, and we can not wait for the first events of the season to see what awaits Nintendo. The potential is all there.

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