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Football in the Mushroom Kingdom is no joke

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Mario-style football returns to Nintendo Switch 15 years after the last episode, here are our first impressions.

Undoubted classic of the Gamecube, Mario Strikers knew how to revolutionize a sport as popular as football by transforming it into a violent and delirious contact sport. With frenzied gameplay carried by a cast of colorful characters and insane special moves, this series is undoubtedly the sports spin-off mario the most intense.

After 15 years of absence since its last episode released on Wii in 2007Mushroom Kingdom football returns to Nintendo Switch with Mario Strikers: Battle League Football which will be released on June 10. We had the chance to try the game in preview so that we could give you our first impressions before our test. Refined handling and advanced techniques are at the rendezvous of this long-awaited sequel, but does the recipe still work as well as it did in the early 2000s? One thing is certain: impetuous evenings with friends await you around this new title.

Mario + sports = love

© Nintendo

The inhabitants of the mushroom kingdom manage to sublimate all possible sports with each new spin-off. Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Mario Slam Basketballso many derivative titles that have entertained us and transformed rather classic sports into real original games full of fun. Mario Strikers is no exception to this rule and offers its own version of football simply titled the “Strike”.

The Strike is a bit like the Mario Kart of football. Fighting on the ground, all shots are allowed and objects are required to beat your opponents. The result is a real shambles that is sure to make you explode with laughter or rage depending on the direction the game is taking for you and your team.

This new opus then takes up everything that made the charm of the originals, while bringing its share of novelties which will spice up your games with friends (and which could well put an end to the friendships in question in the way of mario party). No mercy in this brutal game where you will literally have to fight to score and win.

A game as obvious as it is technical

The charm of Mario Strikers: Battle League Football live in its effective handling. The game is quite easy to understand, and putting the controller in the hands of beginners will be enough to start games without having to explain everything in detail. However, the game also offers a rather impressive room for progression which will allow you to play frantic matches with all the higher stakes.

Indeed, a whole series of tutorials allows you to improve your handling until you reach the techniques known as “pro”. The gameplay of this new Mario Strikers lies mainly in the rhythm that must be respected when performing the different key combinations. Your shots will become more powerful if you release the button in time on a charged shot, or you can store energy by making perfect passes that require anticipating the reception of the ball. In the time granted to us, it was impossible for us to validate the pro tutorials as they are technical.

Launching your special moves will also require its share of strategy, because putting yourself in position to prepare a devastating strike will put you at the mercy of the entire opposing team who will then be able to retaliate without holding back. In this new version, special strikes are activated by picking up a power orb from the field. These orbs drop randomly and can be picked up by both teams.

The first to collect it finds itself boosted for 20 short seconds during which you have to put yourself in place to shoot. Once on the opposing half of the stadium, you can then load your keystroke the same as in Wii and Gamecube episodes. A bar then appears and your sense of rhythm will be put to the test to determine the power of your special move. If you stop the bar in the bullseye, your ball will then go towards the opposing goal with superhuman strength and distinct powers for each of the characters in the game.

Full of novelties

Who says new version, says new features. And on that side, Mario Strikers brings its share of elements that give a real boost to the traditional recipe of the series. In terms of gameplay, we find in particular the possibility of buying equipment for his characters and personalizing them. Far from being a simple cosmetic function, this possibility makes it possible to change character characteristics.

Thus, you will no longer play them solely for their fixed characteristics, but you will be able to adapt them to your needs and play the characters that you like the most. If you don’t like Bowser or Donkey Kong but need a heavy and powerful player, you can equip Toad with the necessary paraphernalia to make him devastating and see him replace the role of the big guys in the game. it will cost you coins that you will accumulate during your various matches.

In the era of online gaming, this episode of Mario Strikers obviously offers even more developed modes. The mode Club Strikers will be an opportunity to create your own team among friends and participate in ranked matches. Playing seasons will alternate each week, with a week of ranked games following a week of friendlies and so on. Up to twenty players can join the club which is fully customizable, from jersey to pitch.

Screenshot of the club creation menu
The Club Creation Menu © Nintendo

We haven’t had the opportunity to try the game online to judge its performance, but know that it will soon be possible for everyone to tackle it. Indeed, like the Splatoon Testfire or the recent test of Nintendo Switch Sports, Mario Strikers will have the right to its online test demo entitled “First Kick. To join this test, you will need to be a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber, and connect to certain predefined slots as usual with Nintendo on this kind of test phase.

The demo will be downloadable from May 27, but you will be able to try Mario Strikers: Battle League Football from your console on the following dates only:

  • Saturday 4 June 05:00-06:00 CEST
  • Saturday 4 June 13:00-14:00 CEST
  • Saturday June 4 21:00-22:00 CEST
  • Sunday June 5 5:00-6:00 CEST
  • Sunday 5 June 13:00-14:00 CEST
  • Sunday June 5 21:00-22:00 CEST

If you ever don’t have the opportunity to test the game in advance, don’t worry. Mario and his friends will land on June 10 only a few days after this period of free tests. You will also be able to find our test very soon in order to decide whether or not this new Mario Strikers is made for you.

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