Mario Strikers Charged (Football)
Mario Strikers Charged (Football) is the kind of sports game that isn't really a sports game. It is supposed to be some sort of soccer game but by throwing in some weird characters, crazy powerups and cows flying over the field, it takes away the boring factor that every soccer match has (I live in Europe and even I think soccer is boring).
Let's talk gameplay first. The main review on GR mentions an ackward gameplay. I can honestly say that if you played games before using a wii-remote and nunchuck, this is one of the easiest games to play. Some games on the wii rely too much on the revolutionary concept of swinging the remote around, like that terrible game called WarioWare Smooth Moves (that actually isn't even a game), but Strikers balances the traditional button control and the wiimote's motion functions perfectly.
Another great aspect of the gameplay is that there are several ways to pass or shoot the ball or ways to confuse the opponent. This way it gets very easy for the players to come up with strategies or techniques to score easy goals or to frustrate other players. You gradually get a lot better at the game and it gives a lot of satisfaction to actually feel this progress of improving. What does suck, though, about the many tricky moves in the game, is that they are extremely lame when you use them in online matches. These cheap moves can be countered, but some players might get frustrated.
Mario Strikers Charged shows us that games don't require the power of the PS3 and X-Box 360 to have great graphics. The art design of the game is great and so are the colourful characters. The animation is also very smooth and makes you forget that the wii can't show as many polygons at once as its more powerful competitors can.
Also the music is great. Die hard Mario fans might miss the themes composed by Koji Kondo, but the new soundtrack is great anyway. Every character has their own theme and the menus have some great music as well (as described in GR's review).
This game isn't perfect though. The biggest flaw is that it requires you to take full control of all your characters at the same time (excluding the goalie). Sure, they run around and stuff, but none of the A.I. controlled characters on your tam will ever take te responsibility of stealing the ball when he's not selected. This makes the game hard in the final cup as all the opponent's characters have great A.I. making it a 4 vs. 1 match.
Now to sum up the pros and cons and mention some stuff I haven't already:
+ Great gameplay, music and graphics
+ Many original maps
+ Online play is a fun extra
- Some more online gamemodes would be a good addition
- Terrible teammate A.I.
- Many cheap moves and tricks may frustrate some players
+Which is a + when you're the one frustrating others