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Mario Strikers: Battle League Review


Posted on November 27, 2022 by Tyler Nienburg

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8/10

Summary

Mario Strikers: Battle League could very well be one of the better sports games of 2022.

Developer – Next Level Games

Publisher – Nintendo

Platforms – Nintendo Switch Exclusive

Mario Strikers has finally made it to the Nintendo Switch after waiting fifteen years since the series last launched on the Wii with Mario Strikers Charged. On June 10, 2022 Nintendo released Mario Strikers: Battle League. Since then there has been two free updates adding new stadiums, four new characters, rankings and more. We felt it was time to review this game now since it feels more of a complete game give it a fair rating.

Let’s start with the gameplay of Battle League. The game feels like it always did, sticking to its roots being able to pass and dash opponents into the electric wall which plays a great role in creating space on the field for your team. There are four players on each team with the first player selected being your team captain and faceoff player. Both goalies on each side are CPU controlled which is almost expected because it would be tough to control your team if you had to not only defend, but try to stop every shot.

Just like any Mario sports game there will be items that can help dictate where a match will go depending on how you use them. For example if you are losing by a score 4-1 you will be supplied more red shells through item blocks that spawn on your side of the stadium or you can get the star item which makes you invincible for a few seconds giving you the chance to rush into the opposing teams goal. If you’re winning you will be supplied bananas and maybe a mushroom for speed boosts.

This game is definitely a twist on regular soccer and that’s expected with any Mario sports title, but that is what makes it unique and fun.

You can’t have a Mario sports game without a special move right? The hyper strike is an iconic move for Mario Strikers games as its an ability you can pick up on the map which allows anyone on your team to do a special move which can help you get an easy goal or two depending on how well you charge it up.

As seen above the hyper strike ability place on the field for either team to take. You have a limited time to use it so make sure to create space and hold the button you use to shoot with and best of luck.

A brand new feature that came to Mario Strikers: Battle League is adding gear to your players. You can choose to upgrade your body, arms, head and legs. All of these can improve your speed, shooting, passing and technique skills. After equipping gear on some of my players I noticed a noticeable difference when going online playing against others making it easier to score goals from a further distance from the map or dashing opponents easier.

In order to unlock gear you have to spend x amount of coins that you earn from playing matches. You earn more when you win a match of course. After playing online against others who have fully equipped their players while I only had two out of four players geared up I noticed a huge difference which found my self losing a ton. So gear does play a big factor in battle league and this was a great feature to put into the game.

Let’s talk about the games art style quickly. They get an A+ from me when it comes to Mario Strikers: Battle League’s art style. They not only nailed the look of the series, but it looks even more fresh than it did fifteen years ago. It’s something we never really see with games these days and I think it sets itself apart from others on the Nintendo Switch.

You’ll be able to appreciate the games art style through the menus when you first get on and of course in an actual game when a hyper strike is activated.

A neat feature that is also new to the series is having a Strikers Club where you can team up against other clubs online. You can gain division ranks and unlock achievements for coins that can unlock certain items to customize your stadium.

Strikers Club has been a pleasant surprise to this game. When joining any club you can only choose one character to add to the roster so if everyone entered the team with twenty Luigi’s, you can only choose from that. The gear settings come with the character as well so it could give your team a nice boost.

What’s great about the clubs is that you can represent your team solo in matches that are within your same division. So each player that’s on the team can play whenever they want and still help the squad climb up the leaderboard.

A new part of the Strikers Club that was added with the second DLC update was customization of your stadium. Having somewhat of a map editor is something that caught me by surprise for a Nintendo title like this, but it’s cool and the options they give you almost feel endless.

You can customize the theme, fence post, goal-line decoration, goals, field and supporters around the arena. Not only that you can customize your match celebrations by choosing styles of fireworks and confetti after you win. All the customization pieces come at a cost though so be prepared to grind.

The roster size has grown stronger since the games initial release. The latest four characters are Daisy, Shy Guy, Pauline and Diddy Kong. The game already had a decent roster size with all Mario characters we’ve come to know and love, but the game could always use more. The more characters to choose from the different combinations we will see.

Strikers Ranking was long awaited for this game since its launch as a big deal from Mario Strikers: Charged was trying to be among the Top 20 on the games leaderboard. It took a few months for it to come to this game and it is probably the main reason I will keep playing this game now as there’s something to play for.

CONCLUSION

In the end Mario Strikers: Battle League lacks a variety of game modes to play online as you can mainly only do quick play matches where you’ll either find very casual players or extreme competitors. In my opinion I feel there should be a dedicated competitive playlist and whereas quick play should be more welcoming to newcomers of the game.

There is a solid dedicated player base for this game there’s no doubt, but for someone who is new to the series it can be challenging at first potentially making some to not wanna play again online.

It can be argued that this game is worth less than $60.00 USD, but for those who always loved this series that doesn’t matter too much.

With all of that being said, Mario Strikers: Battle League could very well be one of the best sports games of 2022.

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Tyler ‘Tyboy’ Nienburg released Rectify Gaming back on December 17th, 2013.Feel free to contact the head of Rectify at Tyler@Rectifygaming.com