Nintendo has not been shy with their Mario based sports titles. They have taken these titles to the next level with both tennis and golf, and in fact have quite a following in that area. Super Mario Strikers for the Gamecube brought soccer to the mix and did quite well despite the fact that it was at the same time that I don’t think many people were even playing their Gamecubes anymore. Even then the game still managed to gain an audience and some attention and I have to say I enjoyed it. With that being said, we weren’t sure when to expect the next iteration, with most of us expecting Mario Tennis or Golf to be the likely choice for the Wii. However now we are checking out the first Mario sports title for the Wii in Mario Strikers Charged. Can this game use the motion technology with the game of soccer? Read our full review to find out!
To be honest the most likely choice for Nintendo with their first Mario Sports title would be to take either their successful tennis or golf franchises and go with the motion technology. To me that seems the most sensible, but then again Nintendo hasn’t always been one to go with what made sense. So being that they went with Mario Strikers Charged, I have to say the question that I am sure was on many people’s minds - how does the Wii’s controls complement the game?
Trying to explain the controls in words is a bit difficult, so I think I am going to just give my thoughts. Really the controls are the bread and butter of most Wii titles, and for this game it is no different. The controls aren’t as motion intensive as what you would find in game like Wii Sports, but there are several uses for it, and those are things that you learn really while playing the game. In general though the controls are rather intuitive, more so than I thought, and after a few games you will have them down rather nicely.
The amount of modes in the game isn’t terrible, although depth won’t be its strongest suit. The game has a tutorial mode, which I would recommend to everyone to check out before jumping into the game. It also has Challenges, Road to the Striker Cup (offline main component), versus mode, and then Wi-Fi connection for play online. Let’s start by discussing the Road to the Striker Cup, which is really a standard Nintendo season mode which has you going for different cups. On the default difficulty setting the game is not that difficult and you will find ways to really beat almost every opponent within two tries. The mode is still enjoyable and offers up an easy way to check out all the different stadiums that you get to play in.
One of the more notable features that people have been talking about is the online play, which is just starting to make its appearance on the Wii, and all we have to say is its about time. For the most part you will just take on random opponents, as the Wii Friend Codes are a bit hard, and make it a bit inconvenient to play against friends. The online play from my experience was good; not any major lag issues, the net code seemed solid, and overall the online play was enjoyable.
Really the bread and butter of Mario Strikers Charged are not the modes, but instead mainly the crazy gameplay mechanics from the moment the game starts. From your first game to the last you will notice that the entire experience is just as crazy, and if you find yourself really getting into a heated battle with someone playing next to you, that is where the fun really lies. Overall Mario Strikers Charged is not the deepest experience out there, but it does enough right to make for one heck of a game.
I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that Mario Strikers Charged actually did some really nice things graphically, especially with the creative environments in which you play which are actually pretty impressive. I just like how Nintendo always manages to be creative with their games, and in this game they didn’t leave anything out. You can also see a solid amount of detail placed on the main characters of the game. Characters like Mario, Luigi, Princess all have great deals of detail and style. Overall the visuals aren’t perfect, but they get the job done in stunning fashion nonetheless.
Mario Strikers Charged is a game built around fun, and certainly delivers what it sets out to do. Sure the game actually doesn’t play a lot like the real game of soccer, but it at least has the basics that are then combined heavily with plenty of other arcade features that suit the game really well. For those who have enjoyed Nintendo based sports titles in the past, will continue to have fun with Mario Strikers Charged for its ease to pick up and play and also for its shear challenge against great competitors.
I can’t give the game a higher score for two reasons, I think online play still needs more work, and I think there still could be more content in this game. With that being said, Mario Strikers Charged is a great game to play, especially against a friend offline. If you are a fan of Nintendo Sports titles of past years, then get to the present time and pick up a copy of this game, it’s worth it.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.