Mario Strikers Charged

Matt Triponey - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Nintendo Wii
Produced by: Nintendo
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: 1-2 hrs.
Age level: All Ages
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 & up)

     Reviewed By: Matt Triponey
     STAFF REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆
Genre: Sports
Christian Rating: 4 of 5 (good)
Gameplay: 3 of 5 (average)
Violence: 4 of 5 (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5 (none)


Mario Strikers Charged

Mario’s basically done it all by now. In addition to saving the Mushroom Kingdom with an almost disturbing frequency, he’s also an accomplished golfer, tennis player, kart racer, and even basketball player. Mario Strikers Charged for the Wii is his second time on the soccer field…but this is probably the most crazy and twisted game of soccer you’ll ever play.

GAMEPLAY:
I really wish I could give this section a 3.5 instead of a 3, because that would probably be more accurate. Don’t get me wrong- the gameplay here is good and entertaining. It only loses points for a few flaws that I will mention later.
The controls are simple- A passes, B shoots, the control stick moves your character, etc. For more advanced players, combining A or B with C or Z can allow you to perform some more complicated shots and passes. It’s ultimately pretty easy to get the hang of. The motion sensitivity is not overused, which is probably for the better in this game. It only really serves three purposes- guarding the goal against Mega Strikes, cycling between items, and “stealing” the ball (and, by stealing, I mean clobbering your opponent into the energy fence surrounding the field and running off with the ball while he’s out like a light).

Mario Stikers Charged

Mega Strikes, by the way, are a new feature. Basically, if you manage to shake all of the defenders, you can hold the B button. A gauge will appear, and if you time the button presses right, you can release up to six balls of speed varying from “you’d better stop this” to “buddy, you might as well not even try.” When an opponent activates a Mega Strike, the camera zooms in behind the goalie. You then manipulate his hands with the Wii-mote to try to stop all the incoming shots.
As this is Mario, items also come into play. Believe me- this is the most violent soccer game you’ll ever play. You don’t steal the ball, as mentioned…you just knock the other player into oblivion and run off with it. Items include bombs, giant turtle-shells, and a huge Chain Chomp that devours everything in sight. If it sounds hectic, it is. But that’s what make it so fun.

The real reason the game suffers- and this is why the rating dropped to 3- is that it has a problem I refer to as “win programming.” Basically, it takes no skill to defeat the single-player mode. The computer decides before the match who’s going to win. If you’re going to win, the computers will be so pathetic it isn’t even funny. If they’re going to win, you’ll never score, but your own goalie will practically step out of the way whenever an opponent shoots. The single-player is pathetic, and it isn’t worth trying even to unlock the characters, let alone for fun.
The game mostly makes up for this with its chaotic, fun multiplayer. The reason it doesn’t quite make up for it is that a mild degree of win programming is present in it too, but not so much that the game’s outcome changes. This game also has online functionality. Forget Pokémon: Battle Revolution- Mario Strikers Charged is the Wii’s first REAL online game. The online is fun, and it’s kept me occupied for a long time. My only complaint, and it’s more like a nitpick, is that the system doesn’t select your opponent very efficiently. In the same day, I mopped the floor with one of the world’s worst players and got my smoking remains handed to me by the number-two player in the United States. Mostly, the matchups are slightly more fair…but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Mario Strikers Charged.  Illustration copyrighted.

CONTENT
This game is slightly more adult than most Mario games…but I suppose that isn’t saying much. It’s still pretty clean, and you shouldn’t encounter many problems. It’s worth mentioning that Waluigi still does his crotch-chop victory pose, and Peach and Daisy still show a good amount of stomach. It also may offend people that Wario passes gas as his special attack. Fortunately, it’s still a mostly family-oriented game, and the sheer pace of it makes most of these problems unnoticeable.

CONCLUSION
Okay. So Mario Strikers Charged won’t be making any “Best Of” or “Top 100” lists. It’s not revolutionary, and it shouldn’t be treated as such. But, when you’re not in single-player, the game is FUN. It’s the perfect game for when you’ve got three friends and nothing to do. It’s also the sort of game where the most talented person doesn’t always win, so it’s interesting in that regard. Ultimately, it’s nowhere near perfect. But if you’re looking for a fun, online game to hold you over until Super Smash Bros. Brawl, this is the one for you.

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Year of Release — 2007




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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