Mario Strikers: Charged Football Review for Wii

On: Wii
Charged Football offers a rather different game of football
Charged Football offers a rather different game of football

Charged Football offers a rather different game of football

If you weren't already aware, Nintendo want the Wii to be something everyone can enjoy. This has resulted in games that are generally simpler, lighter and easier to pick up than the majority of games on rival platforms. Mario Strikers: Charged Football is Nintendo and Next Level Games' effort to bring football to the masses that aren't so keen on Pro Evo and FIFA. Although what they've delivered is more than slightly similar to the GameCube original, it more or less achieves its goals.

Charged Football is about as far removed from real football as you're likely to get in a game that includes 'football' in its title. Sure, you play on something that resembles a pitch, a goal is at both ends, there's a ball and the objective is to score goals, but that's where the similarities end. In the Wii's debut footy title, the focus is on power shots, special moves, pick-ups and the MegaStrike. With simple versus play, challenges and a tournament mode, plus online play, there's a lot to play through, but is Charged Football an enjoyable football experience?

Played as a game of 5v5, your first task is to pick your team. One of the key characters from the Mario universe must be chosen as a captain, each with their own special abilities and skills, and a further 3 players must be chosen to play in the wings and in defence. Again, each squad player has different skills, so you can choose for all-round play, good attacking strength or solid defensive skills. What you can't do is choose your goalie, but you do get to handle this yourself... to a degree.

On the 'field' things move fast. Charging the ball is the core way to score in the game, with each successive pass changing the colour of the ball until it's glowing white. Unleash a shot at this stage and you stand a good chance of scoring, and have an even better chance if you fully charge the final kick and unleash a special kick - often making the shot unstoppable. These shots do feel a little cheap, but the same tactics apply for both teams, so it evens itself out.

The second way to score is to use your captain. A fully charged shot here will unleash a MegaStrike, where your player will leap into the air and fire off a series of shots dependant on the number you managed to hit on the on-screen meter. It's here (if you're defending) that you take on the role of the keeper. The game switches to a pseudo first-person perspective and you use the Wii-mote to move the keeper's hands over the balls that appear on the screen.

It's emphasis on special moves and pick-ups can be fun and annoying

It's emphasis on special moves and pick-ups can be fun and annoying

Against the AI this technique usually results in a flurry of goals, but against an experienced human player it's often a waste of time. It's a shame then than such a big focus of the game is on this one move, as in the more competitive games (especially online) it's simply not used. Had the striker had some say in the direction of the shots, things might have been different, but it just seems a tad too simple to be effective.

It's not that there's no skill involved in the game - a simple venture into the game's easy to set-up online mode proves that - but at times it feels like you have very little say in the outcome of a game. As a simple test we played a series of two-player versus games over the course of a few hours and the result of each was totally unpredictable, with actual skill seeming to play a very small part in the outcome. Add in the dangers of the themed pitches and you have a game that often annoys as much as it entertains.

Everyone has accepted that the Wii is little more than an enhanced GameCube in terms of power, so judged with that in mind Charged Football is a pleasant looking game, but the bigger problem is how the game could have worked almost feature complete on the GameCube. Sans the MegaStrike saving mini-game, the GameCube pad would probably have proved a better fit for the game - something the previous game in the series backs up.

If you approach the game with the mentality that Charged Football is going to be football in the Mario universe you'll find a game that is hard to get on with. If you accept that the emphasis is on flashy moves and fun over skill and precision, you'll find a game that has a place in your collection, even if it's only brought out every now and again.

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8 Comments

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J.D's Avatar
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J.D

Yer its a hard as game i try to beat the last cup but its way to hard. i dont know how some people beat it. lol
Posted 07:03 on 15 September 2008
flabby's Avatar
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flabby

i think after the first cup it gets too hard i mean isnt their a easy mode on something
Posted 21:31 on 23 August 2008
Machetazo's Avatar

Machetazo@ bencrosaby

Quote:
Originally Posted by bencrosaby
You forgot to mention that it gets really hard later on in the game! It took me hours to complete it! I mean as annoying as it gets in themed pitches and random goals, it provides quite a challenge that I've longed for on my Wii.
I was astonished by the Crystal Beam pitch, lol - the one where, before every centre point kick-off, between 2-5 players are removed at random from play! xD I like that this game can dig its heels in as well, as that can make games against AI opponents more engaging.
Posted 12:06 on 29 February 2008
diddy kong's Avatar
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diddy kong

its to hard on the 2nd champion you lose 2 players to but still a good game
Posted 20:44 on 28 February 2008
CPD's Avatar
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CPD

I'VE GOT THE GAME AND i MUST SAY IT IS VERY HARD ESPECIALLY ON THE LAST CUP I FIND THAT PEOPLE CHEAT ON THE ONLINE PLAY AND FIND IT VERY ANNOYING I ALSO FIND THAT WHEN YOUR BLOKING GOALS AS THE GOAL KEEPER IT IS BIT LAGGY THE OVER ALL APPEARANCE IS BRILLIANT BETTER THAN THE GAMECUBES VERSION
Posted 16:57 on 19 August 2007
Brian's Avatar
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Brian

This was a poorly-written review. Does this site not have an editor?

"As a simple test we played a series of two-player versus games over the course of a few hours and the result of each was totally unpredictable, with actual skill seeming to play a very small part in the outcome."

What does that mean? Was one player way better than the other? You never say. Is it possible that, in a few hours, neither of you were especially good at the game? How many games did you end up playing in two hours? I'm not sure your "research" here really explains anything. If it does, you need to present it more effectively.

Guess I'll have to go somewhere else to figure out if this game is any good.
Posted 19:30 on 01 August 2007
MURPHY's Avatar

MURPHY

IT LOOK,S REALLY HARD AND ANNOYING
Posted 21:48 on 06 July 2007
bencrosaby's Avatar

bencrosaby

You forgot to mention that it gets really hard later on in the game! It took me hours to complete it! I mean as annoying as it gets in themed pitches and random goals, it provides quite a challenge that I've longed for on my Wii.
Posted 16:06 on 04 July 2007

Game Stats

Mario Strikers: Charged Football
7
Out of 10
Mario Strikers: Charged Football
  • Fun visuals
  • Simple controls
  • Results often seem random
  • Wii functionality is minimal
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 25/05/2007
Platform: Wii
Developer: Next Level Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Sports
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 1,617 76
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