Next Level Games
Mario Strikers Charged - Wii Review
Mario returns in the Wii's first online adventure, but will his football be as good as his platforming?
|This game is modelled on the Gamecube's Mario Smash Football, a game that was met with indifferent reviews and not very high sales figures, which is surprising as it was an extremely fun game - a mixture between a beat 'em up and a traditional football game, with of course added Mario.
Next Level Games haven't changed too many things with this update, a few new characters have been added, new stadiums have expanded on all of the originals and of course Wii specific controls supplement the update.
As with most Mario sport titles, the sport normally takes a back seat in favour of over the top moves and massive power ups, and this game changes little in this respect. Indeed the special moves are not only attributed to the team's captains, with the sidekick characters now also able to score special goals.
Each match consists of a three minutes of non stop frantic action - it often feels more like a beat 'em up rather than a football game and with large scores amassed with the signature moves of the captains it can all get a little confusing on screen. Mario Strikers is great fun with that all important Nintendo magic, but if you're looking for a vast update on the original game you will be left disappointed - the games are more or less identical, just with the Wii controls bolted on to fit the console.
Did I mention the game cheats? Let me explain, in day's of old, games didn’t have hi-tech A.I. and therefore the enemies often felt 'cheap'. For example in some racing games no matter how good you were the opposition always were just mere seconds from over- taking you. In this game the A.I. controlled players often feel faster, recover quicker and generally receive better power ups than a human controlled team. It really grates when a game beats you by being unfair - OK if you deserved to lose by being rubbish or a goal was scored in the last seconds ending your dreams of winning the cup, but to lose by poor A.I. is disappointing and shows that maybe this game was rushed out early with little playtesting - after all there are only three cups to play through.
To unlock things you have to play through this mode and some of the unlocks add a lot to the quick play and multiplayer modes, but I could see a lot of people getting VERY frustrated and not bothering, which would be a shame as the rewards you receive make the game so much more fun. To beef up the main game you also have challenges to play through, mainly consisting of coming back from a goal down or scoring loads of goals with a small time limit left. They add a little depth and are a lot of fun, but once again the difficulty levels really are ramped up towards the end and can take the fun out of the title.
This is a game I so desperately wanted to like, but with dodgy AI and a rushed feel to everything, it's not something to recommend over the excellent original.