Preview Mario Strikers Battle League Football: Probably the best Multiplayer game of the year on the Nintendo Switch
After being long requested by Nintendo fans, the Mario Strikers series has finally made a comeback in Battle League Football, almost a decade after it was last installed on the Wii. While the title is expected to be one of the big Switch cartridges for this summer, we were able to play it for over an hour to make a lot of matches, and we give you our impressions.
- Deeper gameplay
- Pre-match preparation, more important than ever
- A little lighter on launch?
If you haven’t tried a game from the Mario Strikers sub-series, sure, it’s that simple. Imagine first a classic football game with two teams of five players, including the goalkeeper. From there, you have to forget about any yellow, red or offside cards, sincehere, all shots are allowed, the referee and the VAR for absent subscribers. On the field, only one thing matters: score more goals than the opponent, and this, no matter what methods are used to recover the ball, even if there are violent tackles or thanks to things à the Mario Kart.
Obviously, just like any Mario game, each character has a special move with impressive animation that allows you to score two goals here when the ball enters the cages. Finally, that must be recognized‘most of the fun of the experience comes from the always funny celebrations and reactions of the players when there is a purpose . If we have a common ground in all Mario Football games, this episode of Switch brings a lot of new features to give the game unprecedented depth.
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Overall, Mario Strikers: Battle League Football remains similar to its predecessors, but it brings enough subtleties to breathe new life into the formula. For example, all moves now have an improved version when executed with perfect timing, both dribble and passing, for example. As for shots, it can be more technical because you can now focus more accurately by charging your shot, allowing you to score goals at ground level and in the top corner. Hyper Strikes also saw that their operation was revamped because they now had to recover something before it could be activated, while the opposing goalkeeper could send them back by hammering the A button. .The reactions and the Hyper Strikes are always funny and impressive.
Beyond these subtleties, the title includes new moves to bring more depth to the gameplay. Without the lob shot, we see the lob pass, the free pass, as well as the loaded tackle that allows one player to push another player so that he can recover the ball from an opponent. If these moves are sometimes technically placed in the middle of the game, they can be very useful in some situations for those who are fully versed in the mechanics of the game. For this purpose the developers have introduced a strength that limits the number of dribbles and sprints that players can perform in the chain. If you use it too much, your characters will eventually get tired, so it’s best to use it slowly. In addition, the race has also been redesigned because it takes the form of dashes rather than a sprint, giving it a different use.
With all these small additions, Mario Strikers: Battle League Football has brought a more technical dimension to the game in previous episodes, pleasing those who don’t want to drop the title right away.. However, you can be sure, we are still dealing with a Mario game whose purpose is always easily accessible to allow anyone to have fun right away, just by getting a controller. However, the action is sometimes complicated to understand at first, due to the happy chaos playing on the screen. We’re used to it after all, and if this concern isn’t dramatic, we need to recognize that it’s a recurring mistake in Mario football games.
Pre-match preparation, more important than ever
Fortunately, it’s not just on the pitch that things get more complicated, because pre-match now plays a much more decisive role. First of all, the team’s composition has changed somewhat since the Gamecube and Wii episodes, giving it a nice strategic aspect. Previously, we chose a captain first, then other fellow creatures like Koopas, Maskass or Boos. From now on, every member of your team is an important person in the Mario universe and no longer a simple minion. And since each character has their own strength, speed, or shot stats, the choice is important. As such, it can be interesting to put a heavy weight on the back to defend, two fast players on the sides to quickly reach the opponents ’cages and finish with a good point shooter.
Usually, Stats play a bigger role than ever before at this stage of the Switch, as shown by the addition of tools.. Now each character can wear different pieces of armor that directly influence these statistics. Well, even if you can’t speed up Bowser at that, these elements make it possible to slow down your players ’mistakes or vice versa, to highlight their strong points. And to unlock it, you have to first buy it individually for gold coins that can be collected in many ways.
A little lighter on launch?
If right now the title is as solid thanks to its game mechanics, we cannot say that it seems complete in terms of its content, at least, from what we see. During our session, it seemed to us that only ten characters could be played at launch, which meant we always risked crossing the same faces in these small teams of four players. Similar observation on the equipment side because five unique sets were shown to us, making only twenty pieces of armor in total. Finally, we can also make this observation in episodes of five in number. Of course, this is just a preview and it’s possible that the game may have a hidden content that we don’t know about, so take these comments with a grain of salt.
At first glance, this all seems a bit of a light for a title that seems to want to survive over time due to the technicality of its mechanics. However, if we look at other Mario games on the Switch, we have reason to be confident. If we take Mario Tennis Aces for example, we later saw the number of characters double thanks to the free DLC that was released regularly in the year after its launch. Same thing for Mario Golf: Super Rush which has been the subject of a lot of additional content to add new players and courses. So, for this Mario Strikers: Battle League Football, we can expect a similar treatment, with regular free DLC, to continue the hype in the months following the release of the title. However, we remind you that for now, Nintendo has not said if more content is planned in the future and so this is just a speculation.
After playing for an hour, it seems clear that Mario Strikers: Battle League Football has what it takes to be one of the most fun multiplayer games on the Switch. If we see the happy chaos of previous episodes, the gameplay has become complicated to allow its online mode to remain relevant over time. However, this new stage will not forget to remain accessible, so that everyone can enjoy not to take the lead. It remains to be seen if the content will be less easy to launch and if more free content is planned in the months after launch. In any case, we’ll meet next June 10 to get your hands on the final version of the title, which promises to be exciting.
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