Mario Strikers: Battle League Football will revive a long-dormant Mario sports series on the Nintendo Switch this year. Given that it’s been so long since Nintendo brought the Strikers series out of the freezer, we thought we’d offer a quick boot camp to bring you up to speed. Here’s what to look out for as the game moves closer to release.
Release date and platforms
You’ll be able to play Mario Strikers: Battle League Football when it launches on June 10, 2022. Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch and is rated PG in Australia for mild animated violence.
Am I crazy or does this game have two different names?
You’re not crazy. In the grand tradition of Nintendo randomly renaming its games in Australia, the game will arrive here as Mario Strikers: Battle League Football. The US omits Football from the title to become Mario Strikers: Battle League. Why append the word Football to the title? It is a mystery. To make matters worse, there’s little consistency among local retailers, with some listing the game under its European name and others under the American title.
When this sort of thing happens it’s usually because of a title clash or a concern that customers may not make a certain connection. In this case, it may be that Nintendo wants to reassure players in the UK and Europe that this is indeed European football (aka soccer) and not American football (aka rugby for cowards*).
Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is a 5v5 approximation of European football that trades the careful, meticulous defence of the real game for out-and-out offensive play. Each Mario character serves as team captain, each with special moves and supers that help them gain an upper hand. Does that sound like a Mario Kart-level of power-ups randomly affecting the outcome of the game? Because that’s exactly what it is. However, unlike Mario Kart, Strikers has always given the player time to meaningfully compete between randomised calamities.
If you’ve never played Mario Strikers before, prepare to enter what is perhaps the most cut-throat game of football next to the real thing. To this day, Mario Strikers Charged is considered one of the hardest Mario sports titles ever made. Though we expect Nintendo may address the difficulty this time around, we’ll be totally honest and say we kind of hope it doesn’t. We secretly grew to like it when Waluigi smacked us around the pitch.
Speaking of smacking us around the pitch, you can upgrade your players now. Super Mario characters now have stat-driven gear that will buff their base stats. This covers helmets, pads, and boots. While we don’t yet know gear will be rewarded, we assume drops will accompany match wins. It also remains to be seen which, if any, gear can be taken into online lobbies.
The overview trailer also enlightened us to a host of interesting features, including the football field being encased in an electric fence. Good lord, how terrifying.
There are also new strategies such as Team Tackle, where you smack your teammate towards your opponent to grab the ball, and Hyper Strikes, which are unique charge attacks that each character can do to shoot goals. They are very kooky and crazy.
Local play will support up to 8 players, and online play will support two local players. There’s also the Strikers Club, an online-only mode where your own club can compete against others from around the world. Clubs can recruit up to 20 different players, and if you don’t want to create your own, you can also join other random clubs online too.
Also, Wario literally just picks up the ball and runs around with it, so you know you’re not playing your classic game of FIFA 09.
Nintendo has just released a trio of brand new trailers for Mario Strikers Battle League and you can check those out below!
We first got the announcement trailer for Mario Strikers: Battle League, which debuted during a Nintendo Direct broadcast in February.
We now also have an overview trailer, posted on May 13th, that goes over a whole lot of gameplay and game mechanics.
*I look forward to your comments.
Updated 24/5/22: New trailers added.