Mario Strikers: Charged Football review

Mario. Football. Online play. What could go wrong? Um, Daniel Griffin reckons that quite a lot could go wrong, actually...

When the Wii was released, like most console releases, there was a definite lack of games. As many developers and publishers were reduced to making a quick buck through porting games that debuted on previous systems to the Wii, there was hope on the horizon. Nintendo, as always, had promised gamers that all the favourites are coming, as well as some new titles. Mario Strikers Charged Football is one of these.

The original game, Mario Strikers, was released during the demise of the Gamecube. A revamp and a restyle later and you have Mario Strikers Charged Football. One aspect of this game made it so exciting when it was announced – ONLINE GAMEPLAY! It’s the first game on the Wii (in Europe) to have it. This not only gives it something that no other Wii game has yet, but also sets the benchmark for all future Wii games. It seems that any game that does not have online gameplay these days is a step backwards.

The game itself is very disappointing, however. It bears very little in comparison to the actual game of football. It is a very Americanised version of the game: you are allowed to body check any player at any time and the goal keeper is allowed to handle the ball outside the area. There is no real skill involved in the game either; you just have to be lucky enough to be able to get enough space to perform a “megashot” which means you can score six goals at once. This pretty much guarantees you a win.

The single player section is extremely repetitive and the unlockable characters are predictable if you’ve ever played Nintendo games like these. In fact, every aspect of the game feels like it needs something more. The only thing that saves this game is the online play and even this is slightly repetitive. The game has the knack of giving no real satisfaction when you win, but dishing out frustration and despair when you lose. It is such a chore to play that boredom sets in very quickly. There is no substance, and, as far as longevity is concerned, there is none.

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The graphics are good for the Wii and the sound is the familiar voices of Mario and the gang with an upbeat soundtrack. But these pale into insignificance in a game that is boring and frustrating enough to make it almost unplayable.

If you want a football game, play something else. If you want a fun, exciting arcade game, play something else. If you want a headache and to smash your console up for making you play a terrible game, I still recommend you play something else because this is worse! The only good thing to come out of this game is the prospect of online play on better games on the Wii in the future.