Mario Strikers Charged
|Mario Strikers Charged|
Packaging artwork used in America and Korea
|Developer(s)||Next Level Games|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer, online|
Mario Strikers Charged, known in Europe and Australia as Mario Strikers Charged Football and Mario Power Soccer in South Korea, is a sports video game developed by Canadian developer Next Level Games and published by Nintendo for the Wii. This game was announced at the 2006 Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany as the sequel to Super Mario Strikers for the GameCube. It was released on May 25, 2007 in Europe, June 7, 2007 in Australia, July 30, 2007 in North America and September 20, 2007 in Japan.
The game supported the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, through which players can participate in online matches and tournaments. Upon its European release, it became the first Wii online game to be available outside Japan. It was also the second Mario game released on the Wii after Super Paper Mario and the first Mario game to be given a rating higher than E by the ESRB.
The gameplay of Mario Strikers Charged is similar to that of the original game, with characters fighting for possession of a metallic ball played on several pitches. As well as differing aesthetically, most pitches feature physical elements that affect play; players must use precision and accurate timing to overcome them. The most powerful shot possible is the "Mega Strike", which only the captain can perform and accounts for a varying number of points ranging from three to six. In addition, sidekicks are able to perform a special shot—known as a "Skillshot"—that occurs if sufficiently charged and results in the character releasing a shot that is either able to paralyze or bypass the goalkeeper. Defensively, characters not in possession can hit others with or without the ball, although doing so to others without it will give the opposing team an item.
The power-up system returns from other Mario sports titles. The player can use these items—red shells, bananas, etc.—to impede the opponent and gain an advantage. Some power-ups aid the player by immobilising and hindering the opponent, while others grant temporary invulnerability and allow the user to score a goal more easily. A "Super Ability" item has been implemented into the game, which only the captain can use and grants unique abilities; notably, some like Mario and Luigi will grow to immense size, while others such as Donkey Kong will impede other characters in a large radius.
Strikers features multiple gameplay modes, such as the "Domination Mode," in which the player faces an opponent of the player's choosing. They can also adjust match settings to limit or expand the match time or number of goals which are necessary for victory. The player can also play through "Striker Challenges", where they select a session with certain obstructions, such as missing characters or a susceptible goalkeeper. If they are successful in passing, they are given further adjustments called "cheats", that can render shooting easier and turn off physical elements of the fields in the game. Training sessions appear in the form of "Strikers 101," where the player can practice individual aspects such as shooting and tackling. "Road to the Striker Cup" allows the player to compete in matches against the computer to gain rewards. The player can also partake in online matches with others around the world.
There are a total of twelve captains and eight sidekicks to choose from to form a five-player team, which consists of a captain, three sidekicks, and a goalie. All characters, except for the goalies, are separated into five categories: Balanced (balanced in all areas), Playmaker (speedy with good passing ability), Power (good shooting and defensive ability), Offensive (good shooting and passing ability), and Defensive (speedy with good defensive ability). A team may consist of any combination of different sidekicks (e.g. two Koopa Troopas and a Shy Guy). Kritters appear as goalies and can be controlled to stop the opponent's Mega Strike.
Road to the Strikers Cup
Road to the Strikers Cup is a standard-set tournament. It is a mode for 1-4 players. The players are challenged by CPU teams along the three cups. The gameplay gets difficult as the players progress through the cups. Extreme Mode is added in this game, and makes the game very difficult from the start. Also, players will get eliminated and have to restart the cup each time they lose a match, rather than being given the option to play again.
This mode allows players to split into two teams. Up to four players can play, and the players can play 1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, 1 vs. 2, and 1 vs. 3 matches. The players can also cooperate against a CPU player.
This mode is for one player only. Every character has one challenge, amounting to 12 challenges in total. A lot of challenges require the player to win such as the goalie not being able to catch the ball because of being weak to charged shots, or the opposing team leading by 5 points by the start of the match. The challenges are separated by difficulty and get more difficult as the player progresses.
Nintendo WFC Mode
Players can access the Internet to play with friends online in their region. Matches are available for any combination of four players on two teams as long as at least one player controls each team. Points earned in ranked matches are determined on their position for "Striker of the Day". Players earn 10 points for winning a match, one point for each goal they score (up to a maximum of 10), and staying online and losing gives them one point. However, if the player disconnects, they will lose points.
In this mode, any captain is selectable, no matter if they are unlocked or not.
The game received "generally favorable reviews" according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. Official Nintendo Magazine praised the pick-up and play feel of the game, giving the game a 91%. Hyper's Rico Shavez commended the game for its "great net code and immediately fun". However, he criticised it for its "lack of options, being shallow and its lightweight single player".
As of March 31, 2008, 1.77 million copies of the game have been sold worldwide, with 240,000 being sold in Japan. It received a "Gold" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
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