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.
Getting Started in Mario Strikers: Battle League
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.
Tips & Tricks
Frequently Asked Questions
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Characters & Unlockables
Sadly, despite scores of memorable Mario characters having been introduced over the decades, there are only ten playable characters in Mario Strikers: Battle League at launch, though more are expected in the coming months. A recent datamine suggest that there could even be as many as ten DLC characters planned for the game, which would certainly help to 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 of 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.
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Items & 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 only six sets of gear available too, though these actually do a surprisingly good job of diversifying gameplay. Being able to tweak and tailor the stats of characters allows players to build some truly unique teams and goes some way toward making up for the lack of playable characters. It's just a shame that the game's best gear set doesn't become available until after players have already completed all of the single-player content.
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News & Opinions
Given its many shortcomings, that reviews for Mario Strikers: Battle League have thus far been mixed will likely come as no surprise to those who've played it. The good news is that recent Mario Sports games have been pretty good at providing players with semi-regular new content through free post-release updates and so there is still hope for the game yet.
In this section of the guide, players will find news about any DLC and updates that are announced, as well as lists and features sharing opinions about the game. User-generated content will also appear here, including any funny clips, bugs, or glitches that are shared online by the game's players.
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Mario Strikers: Battle League is available now for the Nintendo Switch.