Banana peels, bombs and crazy goals: In “Mario Strikers: Battle League Football” football is played, but it is typical for Nintendo with many action-packed elements. The game is always an enrichment for party evenings. Anyone who likes to gamble for themselves will not stay on the ball for long.
With “Mario Strikers: Battle League Football” Nintendo dives into the world of football simulations while retaining the charm of the Super Mario universe. This makes for a lot of fun, action and crazy goals on the Nintendo Switch. However, the developers don’t quite live up to what the game’s title suggests. In order to be able to play the “Battle League”, i.e. a league mode with your own club, you have to complete a paid membership for Nintendo Switch Online.
So if you want to enjoy the full extent of the latest Nintendo work, you have to shell out 70 euros: 50 euros for the game and 20 euros for an annual subscription to the online features. Offline, the scope of the game is very sobering. There is a single game mode, a cup and training mode. In addition, you can dress up the popular Nintendo characters like Mario, Yoshi or Donkey Kong and personalize them a bit.
But in the end it’s on the pitch that matters. At least the combination of super shots, tackles and the usual Nintendo objects works. The turtle shell, which eliminates the opponents, a banana peel ensures slides, the mushroom gives a speed boost or the star, which makes you invincible for a short time. If you collect the many different objects on the field and use them skillfully, you can cause a lot of chaos on the field and gain an advantage to get into better final situations.
Gameplay has become a bit more challenging compared to the last Mario Strikers release 15 years ago. The perfect timing is rewarded: for many actions there is the possibility of an improved execution. There is a loading bar for shots and tackles, if the right moment is caught, there is a much more effective conclusion or a much more powerful bump in the direction of the opponent. If you want to play a faster direct pass, you have to catch the right moment here, too, and the futuristic leather will circulate faster through the arenas. The evasive tricks, with which you can evade enemy attacks, are also spiced up.
In addition, there is the possibility of playing passes into space. Greater distances can be bridged with the cursor. However, the new feature is not easy to master and not very effective given the small playing area. The shot feint, which goes directly into an evasive sprint, is much better suited to leaving the opponent standing. In this way, the attacking game becomes significantly more varied.
The hyper shots remain a core element of the game. If a team finds a golden energy ball, a special shot can be performed. Depending on the character, it is animated and staged very differently. However, here again you have to hit a certain area on the loading bar, otherwise the goalkeeper can also parry these ingeniously crazy shots. The goal grenades are always creative: while Mario starts the overhead kick and throws a flaming ball at the goal, Yoshi eats the pill, lays an egg, which then flies towards the goal. Typically colorful, typically Nintendo. In addition to the great effects, the shots are an opportunity to make the usually very high-scoring games more balanced, because a hypershot hit counts twice.
What then works quite well on the pitch is probably more of an enrichment for the party evening. Up to eight players can compete against each other on a switch. The great fun factor of Nintendo games like “Mario Party” or “Smash Bros.” only comes across when you’re sitting in a relaxed atmosphere on the living room couch. So if you generally like to invite people to Switch evenings and play party games, you can expand your collection with “Mario Strikers: Battle League Football” without hesitation. There is little on offer for single players, and in the long run the fun decreases rapidly. Here, Nintendo missed the great opportunity to bring more variety into the game.
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