Mario Strikers: Battle League
Mario Strikers: Battle League (known in European languages as Mario Strikers: Battle League Football) is a game for the Nintendo Switch. It is the third game in the Mario Strikers series and the first one since Mario Strikers Charged over 15 years prior, featuring new gear, items, and moves. Up to eight players can play the game in multiplayer. The game also features an online Strikers Club mode where players can host clubs with up to 20 players and compete against other clubs to earn points and increase their rankings. The game released worldwide on June 10, 2022 and is set to receive three free post-launch updates before the end of 2022 that include new playable characters, stadiums, and gear sets.
The game's opening begins with the Mushroom Hill and Lava Castle stages combining to one field in space. The camera moves across the soccer field to then show two portals appearing, one for Bowser's team (consisting of Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and Rosalina) and one for Mario's (consisting of Luigi, Toad, and Peach), both transitioning to a cel-shaded style. Once both teams landed, Mario and Bowser stare at each other, the latter manages to get the soccer ball first, and the game begins.
Mario passes the ball to Luigi, where the latter soon dodges a tackle from Yoshi. Rosalina walks in sight, stares at Luigi, and then tackles him with a dash, which throws the ball away from Luigi. The ball bounces as Bowser and Peach try to get it, with the Peach throwing a Bob-omb right to Bowser before he could get ball and has him flying off the stadium. Peach dribbles the ball out of the explosion and gets to the Lava Castle part of the field, passing the ball to Toad, which he then shoots it. Bowser's Boom Boom goalie blocks the ball, and the camera moves to Bowser getting upset and breathing fire from his mouth upwards.
The fire makes a transition to Luigi passing the ball to Toad, but Bowser does a Team Tackle with Donkey Kong, launching and punching Mario and Toad out and throwing the ball to Yoshi, who does a few twirl moves before passing it to Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong performs his Hyper Strike, knocking out Mario and Peach, but the team's Boom Boom goalie manages to block the soccer ball from scoring. The ball then reaches Bowser, who breathes fire toward the ball and then tries to throw it, but Luigi slides and tackles him, losing the ball in the process. The ball goes back to the ground as the fire burns out and Luigi passes it to Mario. He then executes his Hyper Strike, and while preparing to kick it, gets flames in his eyes. Mario then kicks the ball as Bowser's goalie prepares to block it, and the ball circles across the air towards the goal, leading to the title screen.
The gameplay is similar to that of previous Mario Strikers games, where two teams of five (four players and a goalie) compete for points by getting the ball into the opposing team's net. Following the rules of street soccer, there are no penalties like fouls, meaning that players are able to tackle their opponents around the field. Like previous games, items and special moves are used to the turn the tide of gameplay. When playing offensively, players focus on getting the ball to the goal by passing or lobbing it to their teammates, and performing combos with their teammates to make powerful shots. When playing defensively, players will use various techniques to get the ball back, including items as well as tackling them. Some moves, such as free passes, charged shots, and tackling, have meters that indicate when they are most powerful, making timing necessary to have the best in-game performance. There is also the ability to dodge, which will allow players to quickly evade an approaching attacker. Perfectly timing a dodge from a tackle will reward the player with a slight speed boost.
A new technique introduced in this game is called the Team Tackle. If a player tackles their own teammate, they send the teammate quickly across the stage. This can be used both defensively, by using Team Tackle at an opponent and stealing the ball from them, or offensively, by getting the teammate close to the goal.
Similar to the Super Strike from Super Mario Strikers and Mega Strike from Mario Strikers Charged, the new Hyper Strike acts as the game's special move, and is activated in a similar manner as the latter. Unlike those moves, however, Hyper Strikes must first be obtained by collecting a Strike Orb that occasionally appears on the field. Additionally, rather than just having aesthetic differences, each character's Hyper Strike has different gameplay-related properties, making them similar to that of the Special Shots from Mario Sports Mix. If perfectly timed, Hyper Strikes are able to bypass goalies, making a goal guaranteed.
Another new concept introduced in this game is customization. In addition to aesthetic customization options, like team color, gear can be purchased from the in-game shop with Coins, which allow the player to adjust various attributes such as their movement speed, curve shots, resistance to getting the ball stolen from them, and more. When selecting characters, the player can choose whether to equip their character with gear or not.
has the same function as .
Items return from previous games, though this time, they are obtained from ? Blocks thrown from the audience stands like in other Mario spinoff games. There are both ? Blocks that can be collected by anyone, and ? Blocks that can only be collected by a certain team. Each team can hold up to two items.
Like with the previous games, Mario Strikers: Battle League has a large emphasis of multiplayer content, though there is some single-player content present.
Returning from the first game, up to four players can be compete on a tournament bracket as a team in six cups, the first five cups of which are named after different gear sets available, and the last one (the Championship Cup) can only be unlocked once the other five are beaten. The tournament is double elimination, meaning that if a team loses their initial match, they are sent to the loser's bracket where they have one last chance to survive and make it to the finals, but losing again will cause them to be eliminated. The player then will be offered a choice for a rematch, but would have to spend coins on doing so, and the amount of coins to spend will increase for every rematch. Once all six cups are beaten, the Galactic Mode is unlocked, which is the same as the normal cups but harder and grant higher rewards. Each normal cup rewards the player with 400 coins for beating it the first time and 50 coins for every subsequent time, while beating each of the Galactic Cups rewards 1000 coins for the first time.
The player creates two teams with up to eight players along with picking an outfit and field of their choice to play in either offline, local play, or online matches. When playing offline, the player can configure the match length, CPU difficulty, enabling or disabling items and Hyper Strikes, and the time of day the match takes place. When playing online, players can either do matches with another person or compete by themselves.
The newest mode included in the series, which has players creating or joining a club with up to 20 members to improve their division ranking across seasons by winning matches and gaining points for their club. Clubs can be named and customized with many options including team outfits, gear, and field designs to take online against other clubs. Seasons happen every other week that may sometimes feature custom rule sets, and clubs can gain special currency for more field designs. If certain conditions are done, then individual club members will be awarded with achievements which gives them more coins.
There are currently 14 playable characters available in the game. Of those characters, Rosalina and Pauline are playable for the first time in the Mario Strikers series, while Toad and Shy Guy are now selectable as team captains. Unlike in previous games, rather than having one captain and three generic sidekicks as teammates, teams in this game (apart from the goalie) are comprised entirely of main playable characters, though the player does have the option to include multiple Toads, Yoshis or Shy Guys on a team, in a similar vein to sidekicks. Because of this, any character on a team can perform their Hyper Strike during a match, as opposed to previous games, where only the captain could perform special moves. Themes for each character when they shoot a goal make a return from Mario Strikers Charged, but unlike that game, they are all rock-and-roll-themed. Boom Booms are seen as goalies, taking over the role from Kritters in previous games. Additional characters will be included through updates, the first of which was released on July 21, 2022 and the second on September 21, 2022.
Every character has five different attributes:
The stats in the following table are the characters' default stats, without any gear applied.
Quick Match and Cup Battles
In Quick Match, there are ten team names players can choose from, five on each side, depending on the side the player chooses. Each team has its own uniform design and color, as well as logo. When playing as Yoshi, Toad, or Shy Guy, the team colors will also change their overall color as well (though some colors are shared between each other). Additionally, when players dash, they leave behind trails matching their team color, except those in the purple/lavender and gray teams, who leave behind indigo and purple trails respectively.
In Cup Battles, the player is only able to choose from the left field teams, while the right field teams are used by the CPU opponents, along with original teams solely for the mode.
In Strikers Club, the club owner is able to customize their Striker's appearance based on their uniform design, their color (some of which are not usable in offline modes), and logo (some of which are used by CPU opponents in Cup Battles but cannot be used by the player offline). They are able to name their team whatever they want it to be. When playing online, the player can choose to either use a default team or use their club team design instead.
There are 12 different uniform colors the club owner can make their team, including lime green and white, which are exclusive to Strikers Club. Players select two different uniform colors, the first being for the left field team and the second being for the right field team.
The club owner is also able to select a logo for their team as well.
Unlike previous Mario Strikers games, the soccer fields now consist of two individual halves, each with a different theme, which can be combined into one stadium from either different or the same halves. This also changes what music is playing during the matches, with the same field halves playing one of two distinct songs (some of which are rearrangements of previous Mario songs), or entirely original music if the two halves are different. Like in Super Mario Strikers, aside from the electric fences that can shock players present around the perimeter of the field, the different fields designs are only aesthetic, rather than each one having any distinct hazards.
In Strikers Club, the player has the ability to visually upgrade the stage's appearance, adding more scenery around it, using tokens earned from season matches. There are four levels of upgrades the player can give the stage, with the first three costing 100,000 tokens and the fourth costing 2,500,000. In addition to the stage itself, there are also options customize the stage's turf, goal line, electric fence, and goal designs. However, none of these affect the stadiums' appearance in offline play.
A new feature to the Mario Strikers series is gear, allowing players to buy different outfits to change the characters' stats. Each piece of gear, when applied, will increase a particular stat by a certain amount while also decreasing another stat by a certain amount. There are seven sets of gear, with each increasing a particular stat. The Bushido set can only be unlocked after completing the normal Championship Cup. Each gear set contains four pieces, including a head, arms, body, and legs piece, which cost 100 coins per piece per character and 300 per Bushido, Knight, and Barrel piece.
On April 13, 2022, the Nintendo UK Twitter account announced that any pre-orders of the game made through the My Nintendo Store will receive a bonus Fan Scarf. If a pre-order is made through Walmart, an exclusive decal sheet featuring the game's artwork is included.
On May 25, 2022, Nintendo of Japan revealed that Switch icons for the game that can be purchased with My Nintendo Platinum Points will be released on the Nintendo Switch Online app on June 10, the same day as the game's release.
A free, limited time demo titled Mario Strikers: Battle League First Kick (known in European languages as Mario Strikers: Battle League Football First Kick), or simply Mario Strikers First Kick, was released prior to the game's full launch. The demo allowed online play via the Versus Everyone and Join Friends modes at set periods from June 3 through June 5, 2022 (Pacific Time), with single-player gameplay available at any time only through the Training mode. A Nintendo Switch Online membership was required to play online matches.
The following was the schedule for the demo's active online sessions:
As with the previous two games in the Mario Strikers series, Mario Strikers: Battle League was developed by Next Level Games, though this is the company's first game since its full acquisition by Nintendo. The game was directed by Devon Blanchet, who previously served as a design director for Luigi's Mansion 3, while the music was composed by Chad York and Darren Radtke, who composed for every Mario game by Next Level Games since Mario Strikers Charged.
Ver. 1.1.0 (released July 21, 2022)
Ver. 1.1.1 (released August 15, 2022)
Ver. 1.2.0 (released September 21, 2022)
Mario Strikers: Battle League generally received mixed to positive reception from critics, for similar reasons as the first two games. The gameplay, presentation, and visuals were very well received; much praise was directed towards the level of depth added to the core mechanics while still being accessible to casual players, but the lack of characters and stadiums at launch received criticism.
In the UK, Battle League took the #1 spot in weekly physical software sales in its first week on the market, and in under 3 weeks, became the best selling physical game in June in Europe, beating Mario Golf: Super Rush's lifetime sales in the continent. As of June 30, 2022, it has sold 1.91 million copies worldwide, surpassing Super Mario Strikers' lifetime sales and having the best launch out of any Mario sports game to date.
Pre-release and unused content
References to other media
Names in other languages