Knockout blows, companions used as blunt objects and spectacular hyperthires, all accompanied by a cheering to say the least picturesque: it was a short but intense hour with Mario Strikers: Battle League Football, of course.
Developer / Publisher: Next Game Level / Nintendo Price: € 59.99 Location: Texts Multiplayer: Competitive and local online PEGI: 7 Available On: Switch Launch date: June 10
Sixty minutes are few, yet it was enough to tell me that learning the basics of strike is also useful for those who are familiar with the game of football. Don’t believe me? Read on.
THE RETURN OF MARIO STRIKERS
Next Game Level And Nintendo they are almost ready to officially resurrect Mario Strikersthe sports franchise born in 2005 on GameCube. Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is the third installment of the series in which Mario and some icons of the Mushroom Kingdom challenge each other to strike, a sort of 5-on-5 football without rules and game interruptions. In truth, the teams are made up of four characters plus a goalkeeper moved by the AI, but let’s continue. The recent test I attended didn’t show me much, just the tutorial – complete with advanced challenges where you have to use the knowledge previously acquired individually to complete various objectives within a short amount of time – and the icing on the cake of a match PvP.
THE HANDS-ON WAS NOT VERY EXTENDED, BUT IT ALLOWED US TO PROBE THE GAME MECHANICS
Altolà, where are you going! Although the hands-on is limited to the tutorial (and a game, I want), the opportunity to learn more is still worth seizing on the fly. Personally I understood the importance of training, and it is no small thing. The playful gameplay can deceive those who approach Mario Strikers for the first time, at the first shot on target we are deluded that knowing the keys is enough to be valid but it is not at all like that. Scratching the surface of the gameplay it soon turns out that under the first patina of noisy immediacy hides a game made up of precision and timing, mental speed and action.
Let’s use hyperthyroid as an example. Each character has his own dramatic hyperthrous, but to be able to try it, a team member needs to collect the sphere of energy as soon as it appears on the field. The effect of the sphere does not last long, you have to free yourself quickly with a shot and, when you feel hyperthrous, time slows down a bit; at this point under the character who is kicking a bar appears inside which there is an indicator that moves more or less quickly and suddenly everything ends up in the player’s hands. The skill of the player lies in stopping the indicator within two more or less wide blue segments (depends on statistics) while the opposing team tries them all – really ALL – to counter it. If the game is successful, the hyper-shot hits automatically (each hyper-goal gives two points, not one), but if you make a mistake then the goalkeeper guided by the CPU will save the shot. An aside: in PvP after the parry of a hyperthroat a QTE is triggered in which the opponent must repeatedly press a button to avoid the hypergol.
EAU DE ARCADE
The gameplay really felt like it easy to learn, hard to master, I do not find a more fitting definition. I mentioned the hyperthrous, leaving out the low passes and crosses, the previous game, the tackles, the feints or even the “partner throw”, but it is intentional: I leave you the pleasure of exploring the various mechanics and joining the pieces of the game. puzzle in the field. The feeling is that the game reveals itself from the first kick-off accessible to anyone because this is the strike, a sport as chaotic as it is intuitive. The pace is frenetic, the action daring, the gameplay is the quintessence of the arcade and, precisely by virtue of this refractory soul to realism, any approach is fine because playing is fun regardless of the outcome of the match.
This does not exclude from the games those who intend to fully master the secrets of the strike, indeed there is plenty of material with which to refine one’s technique and team play, not to mention the possibility of removing random blocks from the game which, if it gives me so much, sounds like a wink to the pros that aim at the competitive free of RNG. You read that right: random blocks. From time to time the audience throws blocks into which there is a random item, then take into account shells, mushrooms, banana peels, bombs and the inevitable stars. For the rest I think everything is already known, I refer to the ten characters at our disposal (Mario, Peach, Luigi, Toad, Yoshi, Bowser, Rosalinda, Donkey Kong, Wario and Waluigi), to the statistics of Strength, Speed, Shot, Pass and Technique that determine quality and weaknesses and, last but not least, the personalization of athletes through the equipment that can be purchased with the classic coins (Head, Shoulders, Arms and Legs, each item worn gives the right to a bonus but also to a malus ). On the present modes, on the other hand, I can say little because I have seen little, just a quick verbal smattering of Quick Match, Cups and Club Striker, the multiplayer mode where you can create a club with twenty friends and give it your all against clubs from all over the world.
The impression is that the return of Mario Strikers is anything but a marketing work
It was an extremely interesting and fun hour, yes. I wasn’t very impressed with the amount of content available, I confess, however, the solution is called post launch support and such a concentrated test makes it difficult to get a precise idea about it. Ultimately the starting point is more than convincing, the atmosphere of spectacular caciara that you breathe in every game hides within itself a more skill-based gameplay than you might think. The impression is that the return of Mario Strikers is anything but a mere marketing operation, the attention to detail such as the funny reactions of the athletes is a perfect example of how much passion there is behind the return on a strike field of the most loved plumber ever. Will it be enough? We will find out soon.