Mario Strikers: Battle League Football (Switch)

The Mario Strikers series returns after a 15 year break with Mario Strikers: Battle League Football.  Nintendo has been releasing new entries in many of the Mario sports series with Mario Golf and Mario Tennis having new entries on the Switch. Now the much loved football series makes its long awaited return on the Switch. The game released June 10th 2022.

The gameplay plays out as a standard 5 vs 5 game of football, with you taking control of 4 of your favourite characters from the Mario series. The game has a number of surprisingly deep mechanics, timing is everything in this game. When passing or shooting, having perfect timing powers these moves up to help you rack up the all important goals. The signature chaos that differentiates the Mario sport games from their more realistic counterparts is out in full force in Mario Strikers. The game features many items to help turn the tide in your favour, such as shells to knock opponents out of the way or a mushroom to give yourself a boost in speed.

There is also the Hyper Strike, which is only available after collecting an orb that drops onto the pitch. These special shots are each characters signature move that is much harder to stop than a normal shot and counts for two goals if it hits the back of the net. These moves have a long charge time and can be interrupted before they go off so using an item to clear space to use it is the way to go. This all leads to the game having great gameplay that feels rewarding while still being accessible to pick up and play. Each character also has stats which determine things like how fast a character is or how difficult they are to tackle, so you won’t see Toad wiping Bowser out with a sliding tackle. These stats can also be customized using different gear sets that boost one stat while reducing another. This means that you can focus on a single stat to excel in or try to get a balanced spread across your stats.

The game is split into three modes: Quick Battle, Cup Battles and Strikers Club. Quick Battle is your typical mode where you get straight into a match. It also includes an online section so if you bought the game to play with friends, a lot of your time will likely be spent here. Cup Battles tasks you with progressing through a tournament bracket to win one of the games cups with each tournament focusing on a specific stat.

The third and final mode is Strikers Club which lets you choose your striker from the games roster and join an online team to compete throughout the games season. This mode is a lot of fun, especially if you have a club filled with friends. However, this mode being online only leaves the games single player content being pretty thin with the game only having cup battles and quick battle as offline content. After you complete all of the cups, you’re not left with much to do if you don’t plan on going online which requires a Switch Online subscription to access. Overall, the games content feels heavily focused on the online aspect of the game, leaving the single player experience with a short life as there is little variety after the cups have been completed.

Most Mario games on the Switch have fantastic visuals and Strikers is no exception. The vibrant visuals you’ve come to expect from the series are here, with each of the iconic characters looking as full of personality as ever while having new outfits to reflect the football setting. The game features five different arenas that all look great and interestingly, are split in half so each team can choose their own arena. The gear pieces each have interesting designs that stand out from the basic designs of the characters.

In motion the game looks fantastic with smooth animation that makes the game feel fast paced and keeps the flair the strikers series is known for. The hyper strike animations are fantastic and each fit the characters well. The Strikers games soundtracks have always been a big change from other Mario games with it leaning more towards metal with heavy guitars. This style fits the games aesthetics well and the game also includes some remixes of tracks from other Mario games that work well in the games style. Overall, the games presentation is great with fantastic visuals coupled with a great soundtrack.

Mario Strikers: Battle League Football has the makings of a fantastic game with excellent gameplay and good presentation. Unfortunately, as of the time of writing, the game just doesn’t have the content to support the games great foundation, particularly on the single player side of things. Time will tell if Nintendo supports the game with meaningful content updates in the future, it would be a shame not to as the game is a joy to play, particularly with friends.



An extremely fun Mario Sports game held back by its lack of content.

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