Mario Strikers Charged Football - Nintendo Wii – Review
Mario is back with a brand new football game only available for the Nintendo Wii. A game which is entertaining in multiplayer in either offline or online. It’s Nintendo’s version of FIFA Street but just over chaotic, the gameplay is great and the game gets addictive but the chaos on the pitch reminds you that this is not an ordinary football game like Pro Evolution or FIFA.
Mario sports games are always crazy and the developers have certainly succeeded in that area, though it is less the game of soccer and more some kind of psychotic level of gaming with flaming balls all over the pitch. If you can get a grip on the action, you’ll find the game addictive once played in multiplayer mode online.
Players begin by selecting the team captain and most charged and powerful kicker of the ball, Luigi, Bowser, Peach, Daisy, Wario, and, of course, Mario himself. There are 12 captains in all, each with unique stats in movement, shooting, passing, and defence. Once the captains are selected you then select team mates from the lesser of the Mario characters like Shy Guy, Birdo, Monty Mole.
Each of the captains have even got their own unique Megastrike Shots, the big power shots that goaltenders tend to have a difficult time with, which you can pull off by holding down the B button. Captains have the most powerful shots and scoring with all other characters can be difficult but if the game has been mastered you can use the lob function quite effectively.
But the captains' shots are a whole different ballgame. When you hold down the ‘B’ button long enough with a captain, a golf-swing meter pops up that begins by counting up toward the number six. This actually determines how many balls you're going to fire at the goaltender in rapid succession. The meter then swings backward, and depending on how well you time the button press on that return swing, it'll be more or less difficult to stop the forthcoming shots. Once all meters are set, your captain leaps into the air and starts firing off shots.
You’re practically guaranteed at least one goal with the Megastrike facility, even though you end up scoring more, but when you’re playing against another player you’re forced into stopping these shots. You simply point the Wii remote at the screen and once the ball appears you must press A to stop these shots. It’s fun for the goalkeeper in multiplayer mode but can get hectic at times; you can find yourself winning 10-0 at times with these strikes.
Knowing how to do a Megastrike shot can be difficult as it requires space on the pitch and the correct timing as to how many balls you fire. Be careful as a huge red shell may knock you over from behind forcing you to lose the ball.
For much more fun this game should be played in multiplayer mode either online or offline. Up to four players can play both online and offline. The online play is obviously the more difficult task and this is what makes the game worth owning. You can play in ranked matches against random opponents. You can engage in four-player play online, but it's with a limit of two players per console. The online works nicely but expect lag in some matches.
The one area where Mario Strikers Charged lacks in is presentation, the megastrike shots, while neat-looking, also feel kind of generic, specifically the captains' shots. Each captain has a unique personal hit of the ball, but all the shots just kind of look like fighting-game posing. You get the same shot of one of the captains skydiving into the arena before every match, and that whole sequence feels kind of silly and out of place to begin with. The menus and soundtrack are dull, they don’t fit into the theme of the game as being fun, the colours seem highly inappropriate.
This is the first Wii game to do online play and do it well is a huge bonus. Those looking for a deep and consistently entertaining single-player experience won't necessarily find it here, but anyone out for some good, solid multiplayer fun, either offline or online, would do well to check out Mario Strikers Charged.
Overall Rating: 8/10