Review by Nemesissy
"How many sports can Mario play?"
Mario has made many sports games. Tennis, golf and baseball are a few. But he has never starred in a game featuring the most popular sport in the world. Until now.
The object of Super Mario Strikers is to get the ball in the back of the net more times than your opponent. But of course there are Mario-style twists. Unlike other football ( soccer if you're American ) games the pitch is surrounded by an electrical fence, meaning that the ball is in constant play. You only stop when a goal is scored. And there is no referee. Rules are out the window. No confusing offsides or free kicks or yellow and red cards. Just crazy Mario-style football.
Each team has five players. A captain who is a main Nintendo character ( Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, etc ), 3 sidekicks ( either Toads, Birdos, Hammer Bros or Koopas ) and a goalkeeper. The goalkeeper is always a Kremlin. A buuton is pass, B button is shoot. When you hold down the B button the shot will become more powerful. However, when the captain has the ball, holding the B button will eventually bring up the Super Strike bar. A line will swing along a gauge. Press the B button to stop the gauge and it will go in the other direction. Press B again to stop it again. This will unleash a Super Strike. Super Strikes are worth 2 points. Handy if you are behind. But there is a chance the goalie will save it. But if you stop the marker on the 2 green spots on the Super Strike bar then the player will unleash an unstoppable shot. The ball will go in and blast the keeper into the net as well if he gets in the way. Each captain has a Super Strike animation. However they only have one so it becomes repetitive if you have seen it before. If you don't have the ball then the B button becomes a slide tackle. The Y button becomes a Big Hit. When you hit someone with a Big Hit they will be smacked and sent flying. If you smack them into the electrical fence then they will be shocked. Always funny to hear Peach scream in agony. Of course that isn't Mario enough. Mario-Kart style items appear. Blue shells freeze players when they hit them, green shells knock down players when they hit them, red shells hunt down players, bananas trip up players, bombs fly through the air and explode with a huge blast when they land, mushrooms give players a burst of speed, stars make them invulnerable and Chain Chomps run around the pitch knocking down all the opponents. To get items you must make powerful shots on goal. But if you use a Big Hit on an opponent who doesn't have the ball then they get a free item. You can hold 2 items at once. Press Z to switch items. Irems are one of the reasons that the game is so frantic and crazy. The other is Bowser. If you chose to have Bowser attack on in the options then Bowser will drop down onto the pitch and breath fire, attack players or tilt the pitch. The game is split into cups. Win the cups and you will get to play in The Bowser Cup. Win it and you will unlock the Super Cups. A win is 3 points and a loss is 0 points. If a game is tied at the end of the match the game will continue until someone scores. The team that scores first wins. You get 1 point for losing in this Sudden Death mode.
The sound is great. The spectators react well to the players. If there are items flying all over the place and players smacking into each other then they will shout and cheer. But if the ball is just being passed around then they will be quite and seem bored. There is no commentary. However when a goal is scored someone will shout 'GOAL!' through a loudspeaker. This can get annoying if you can't ignore it.
The graphics are nice and colourful. Just like Mario games should be.
The game is pretty much a pick-up and play. The lowest difficulty is Novice and it is really easy. They get much harder the higher the difficulty. There are 4 difficulty levels. In the Cups you can choose any difficulty but in the Super Cups you cannot choose Novice mode. The lowest you can choose is Professional.
This is where the game is let down. The game has trophies that you win by scoring a certain amount of goals, playing a certain amount of games, etc. Getting these trophies on Gold unlocks cheats such as weak goalies, infinite power-ups or Giant power-ups. There is also an unlockable character. But once you unlock everything and get all the trophies then there is nothing else to do except play games.
+Game can really challenge you if you use a high enough difficulty
+Crazy gameplay is unforgettable
-Not a long lifespan
-Super Strikes become repetitive
This is a great arcade kickabout that can deliver lots of fun. Extremely frantic, like Super Smash Bros Melee with football instead of fighting. Not exactly long lasting though. Anyone who likes Mario, football or arcade football will love it. A well deserved 8/10.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/25/06
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