Reviews// Mario Strikers: Charged Football

Mario sporting massive Union Jack-boots

Posted 17 May 2007 17:09 by
I've been playing Wii’s first proper online multiplayer game, Mario Strikers: Charged Football, this week and I have finally torn myself away from it to let you know the only thing that matters - if we think it’s any good our not. Does online play on Wii work? Does it have a future?

Firstly, before we start, let’s be clear. Mario Strikers: Charged Football, is not really anything close to what you think you know about real world football. I should at this stage admit that I hadn’t played its GameCube predecessor, Mario Smash Football so I effectively came to this game not knowing what to expect.

I was also reliably informed by one of my opponents in the Nintendo flat in central London this week that this latest game is a pretty decent update of that GameCube game. I made a mental note to myself to never miss any first-party Nintendo titles ever again: particularly anything featuring Mario.

No, Mario Strikers: Charged Football, is an unashamedly unrealistic and hugely fun arcade experience. Which is not to say it’s easy and/or ‘throwaway fun’, by any means, just to say that if you are looking forward to playing this game because you’re a big fan of footy games such as Pro Evolution or FIFA, then you are going to have a bit of a shock in store, as the game eschews any pretence to be anything like that rather dull game you are forced to watch now and then in your local Sky Sports pub (that’s right, I don’t like football). This is hugely daft, incredibly fast-paced cartoon five-a-side football at its very best. If you can imagine Sensible Soccer meets Speedball meets Mario Kart, then you are almost there.

After playing my first couple of games and, frankly, not being able to keep up with the rapid pace of the numerous things happening on the screen – with the frantic passing, bizarre power-ups and some incredibly cool looking power-shots - I quickly retreated to the relative sanity of the game’s ten-step tutorial. Like many gamers, I usually tend to ignore tutorials, be they interactive or (worse) in the form of a thick booklet. However, the in-game tutorial in Mario Strikers: Charged Football, is that rare thing: a useful, workable and fun outing. Not only does it succeed in gently introducing you to what you soon realise is a game of far more depth and complexity than at first appears, it is also a lot of fun in itself.

The in-game music (more on this later) is just stand-out superb, so even before I sat down to learn how to play the game, the catchy funk guitar beat along with the sight of Mario sporting massive Union Jack-boots (not jackboots!) already had me in the mood. Grinning from ear to ear at such a ridiculous sight and tapping my toes to the beat, I gradually learnt the basics of the game – passing the ball, ‘charging’ (powering-up) the ball and saving the ball.
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Comments

Joji 17 May 2007 23:48
1/16
Good to hear its a good game, online play sounds fun but I'm still not down with those friend codes. Meeting and making new friends is the icing on the online gaming cake.
Sid 19 May 2007 01:29
2/16
errrr....ever heard of forums to meet people then just swap codes. Plus you can play against random people anyway. Stop bashing the FC's and get over it.
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A. Prufrock 19 May 2007 13:14
3/16

Excellent review. Well-written, detailed, and some nice little asides too.
Jim 19 May 2007 14:34
4/16
Yes. Well done Adam Hartley.
Coveycom 19 May 2007 18:10
5/16
An excellent honest review, can't wait for launch day, friends codes not a problem thanks to Mapwii.com.
Joji 21 May 2007 12:51
6/16
Just agree to disagree, Sid. I'm not raining on the friend code parade for the sake of it. It's just my view, that if Nintendo were not so scared of the tackling online net play, they'd have looked at a more open system. The online likes of MSN could have them scared them to this

Sure, you can go to a forum, but don't forget a lot of Wii gamers are not hardcore like you or myself. They might not frequent forums. Wii should be letting you meet new people online, the same way 360 and PS3 do. Look at it from the bigger perspective with better eyes.

Still happy to see Wii online at last though.
Webby 21 May 2007 14:15
7/16
I don't have any friends with a Wii ...
EnDoRpHeNe 21 May 2007 14:50
8/16
There are plenty of websites out there that allow you to search for Wii gamers in your area. Or you can have a random game against strangers on the internet so its all cool!

Idiot 22 May 2007 13:34
9/16
Online game without being able to taunt and joke around? Sounds pretty pointless.
NinjaRooster 25 May 2007 03:05
10/16
Glad to hear the online is fun and lag-free. Good thing there is the option to play without friend codes...

Definitely buying when it comes out here in NA

July 30...too far away!
RiseFromYourGrave 25 May 2007 11:01
11/16
yeah great review, i missed the GC original too. i say missed, dismissed is probably the word. im thinking of getting this however, it seems theyve 'nintendo'd' football to approximately the same quality that they nintendo'd racing with mariokart. and its the first wii online game. thanks
OptimusP 3 Jun 2007 19:57
12/16
Goddamnit, i just had my first leaver!
Some guy who only has 2 losses and 13 wins, so i thought, ooh he must be good. Game started ok for me with two early goals, then he scored two goals then me one again then he again, so good even matched. Untill i figured out his gameplan and took a 4 goal advantage with a lot off fast counters, then the counters goes beeping and the game suddenly by accident goes offline...right.

Watch out for oofs with a very very small number of losses, good chance they disconnect, gooddamn lamers.
RiseFromYourGrave 3 Jun 2007 21:50
13/16
they should implement a disconnect forfeit thingymabob feature. or the scoreline before the disconnect is the one that counts, or something. because theres no point even keeping tag of wins and losses if the results are so easily circumvented
Jay 4 Jun 2007 10:30
14/16
If you disconnect, the system takes the current score and treats the game as finished, so the guy will have recorded the loss and you the win.
RiseFromYourGrave 4 Jun 2007 20:48
15/16
thats great stuff, scrap the other bloke's suggestion of avoiding people with inhuman win/loss records
danny 11 Jun 2007 17:32
16/16
hey

if YOU want to play online mario strikers charged my friend code is 107476
I play in the U.K
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