Nintendo has been making Mario sports games for decades, with some proving to be quite popular. Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64 earned widespread critical acclaim at the time of its release, as did Mario Golf. Reactions to Mario sports games have been more lukewarm in recent years for a variety of reasons, with the recently released Mario Strikers: Battle League being another example of a Mario sports game that fails to live up to the high bar set by its predecessors.
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Mario Strikers: Battle League is Nintendo’s third attempt at a Mario soccer game, following the GameCube’s Super Mario Strikers and the Wii’s Mario Strikers Charged. Mario Strikers: Battle League brings the series to the Nintendo Switch, and while the core gameplay can be plenty fun, there’s not nearly enough content to keep fans engaged with the game for the long-term.
Mario Strikers: Battle League features 10 characters from the Super Mario franchise and has them compete on the soccer pitch. Like other Mario sports games, the Mushroom Kingdom’s version of soccer isn’t quite as straightforward as the real-world sport. The Mario Strikers characters can utilize items to take out opponents a la Mario Kart, and they can also unleash powerful Hyper Strike shots that come with an over-the-top animation and are a near-guaranteed goal worth two points.
Any given match in Mario Strikers: Battle League features two teams of four, though the small number of playable characters means that there will usually be some of the same characters on both teams. Mario Strikers: Battle League’s small roster is a big disappointment, though it should be noted that there are actually more playable characters in this game than in previous entries. It’s still not enough, but this is one area where Mario Strikers: Battle League is an improvement over its predecessors.
Small roster side, Mario Strikers: Battle League’s core gameplay is fun. The controls are easy to understand and if…