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Mario Strikers Battle League | Goal burst ★★★ ½

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Forget everything you knew about soccer, we have the right to knock out, knock down and smash the goals with inhuman shots in Mario Strikers: Battle League. The exercise is amazing, but it requires rare skill for a Nintendo game and is repetitive in single player mode.

Available from Friday, the latest Nintendo Switch game developed in partnership with Canadian studio Next Level is the franchise’s third variant. Mario Strikersoriginally released for the Wii in 2007. This game was already a sequel to Mario Smash Football created for the GameCube in 2005.

We are therefore right in the Nintendo universe, starting with the choice of ten canonical characters, Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Peach, Toad, Donkey Kong and other Rosalina who compete in teams of five against five in five stadiums delirious going from the medieval castle to the mushroom mount while passing to the Camp of the jungle. It can be played in solo mode, against the computer, or with up to seven other players in local or online mode. This last option was obviously not available during our test, as the game was not yet public.


SCREENSHOT

no rules

To get started, you have the choice between the quick match and a series of tournaments with various modalities, the number of which increases the further you progress in the game. Each character has its strengths and weaknesses, Donkey Kong being rather slow but powerful while Peach zips across the field. Players can be equipped with additional gear over victories that will give you other abilities…or a new look.

As in a more serious game of soccer, you have to pass the ball from one player to another, snatch it from the opponent and count. The similarity with classic FIFA games ends there.

There are technically no rules, and the land is surrounded by an electric fence. Because we are at Nintendo, you have objects that fall from the sky, bananas, turtle shells, bombs, which you can throw at your opponents. Squares allow you to acquire powers to electrify, confuse or overthrow your opponents.

At any time, and this is a rare choice in a Nintendo game, you can savagely tackle the opponent and send him to dreamland. It’s all about timing to get there. On the other hand, you can get tackled and have to avoid the worst with a precise combination of keys.


IMAGE PROVIDED BY NINTENDO

From time to time, an electrified sphere that you can catch shows you another aspect of the game: you then have access for a few seconds to the Hyper Strike. This shot is triggered by firmly pressing your button, while a circle of energy fills up around your player. A manga-like animation then takes place and the player performs spectacular gestures before attempting to score. The more precise your gesture, the more your shot is lightning and has a chance of entering the goal.

Difficult mastery

Accuracy here is a key concept of Mario Strikers: Battle League. You have to go through a good hour of training including eight lessons to master dozens of gestures. Acceleration, targeted or charged shots, lobbed passes, tackles, dribbles and dodges, direct passes or shots (“one-timers” in hockey), to which must be added for each one training for “perfect gestures”: rarely a- Have we seen such complexity in such a game, far from the intuitive controls of Mario Kart or Mario Tennis Aces, two games yet also filled with Nintendo effects.


SCREENSHOT

The advantage is that we have an impressive range of movements. The major drawback for a game designed for family or friends is that you will have difficulty finding an opponent who masters its subtleties as well as you.

Since we couldn’t play online and no worthy rivals were available, we only played against the computer. In this setting, the animations and special effects are fun and amazing, but get rather repetitive after a while. Strongly the arrival of friends online for a little variety.

In the end, we have here a game with explosive animations, action-packed and refreshing, pure Nintendo which does not renew the genre but will not disappoint fans of this universe. Football fans, on the other hand, are not at the right address.

Mario Strikers Battle League

  • Developer: Next Level Games
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • From 1 to 8 players, for ages 10 and up
  • Released: June 10, 2022
  • Price: $79.99
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5



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