More than fifteen years on from its previous installment, the Mario Strikers series returns to the spotlight with Mario Strikers: Battle League. Sadly, though it does offer up some major improvements over its predecessors, it's a game that's severely held back by a major lack of content. Even so, anyone looking for something fun to play with their friends or family should still find a lot to love here.
Multiplayer is where Mario Strikers: Battle League really shines, with both the local and online multiplayer modes incredibly enjoyable. The single-player experience can be fun in short bursts, too, though players shouldn't expect to get more than a few hours out of it in total. Despite favoring fun over realism, there's a surprising amount of depth to the gameplay, all of which will be explored in this guide.
As soon as players boot up the game, they'll be met by a character called Futbot, who will suggest checking out the training menu. Here, players will be able to learn all about the game's core mechanics, including passing, shooting, and tackling. For those hoping to be the very best, there are also lessons for more advanced stuff like expert skills and perfect moves.
At the very least, new players should consider checking out a few of the basic lessons, especially those who have never played a Mario Strikers game before. A lot of this stuff will come with practice, however, so confident players may want to jump straight into the practice match and then use the remaining lessons and the information below to fill in any gaps in their knowledge.
How to's and FAQs
Here are a variety of guides to get players started in Mario Strikers: Battle League, from tips and tricks to the file size of the game.
Characters and Unlockables
There are only ten playable characters in Mario Strikers: Battle League at launch, though more are expected in the coming months. A recent datamine suggests that there could even be as many as ten DLC characters planned for the game, which would help tackle the current lack of variety.
While on the subject of variety, the game also flatters to deceive when it comes to rewards and unlockables. At present, there's very little incentive for players to play through all the game's single-player content, with only a handful of rewards and unlockables available for those who complete all six of the Cup Battles.
Items and Gear
Despite the huge variety of items and power-ups found throughout the Mario franchise, Mario Strikers: Battle League only offers six. To make matters worse, one of them is so rare that players will regularly go five or more matches without ever seeing one. Whether or not more items will be added in future updates remains to be seen, but, at present, this is yet another area in which the game comes up short.
There are also only six sets of gear available, though these do a surprisingly good job of diversifying gameplay. Being able to tweak and tailor the stats of characters allows players to build truly unique teams and makes up for the lack of playable characters.