Mario wears a lot of hats (sometimes literally). Although his main occupation is the hero of the Mushroom Kingdom, that doesn’t stop this Italian plumber from having numerous hobbies, such as karting and participating in just about every sport under the sun. It’s not uncommon for Mario to drop out for a round of golf, swing his racket at a tennis match, or even compete in the Olympics. One sport that he has only dabbled in despite being the most popular in the world is soccer, also known as soccer. We only got a chance to lace our cleats with the cast of the Mushroom Kingdom in two previous games: Super Mario Strikers on the GameCube and Mario Strikers Charged on the Wii.
These football games, despite being a largely contactless sport, were some of the most brutal and serious depictions we’ve seen of Mario and his company. Due to the more family-friendly image that Nintendo Mario likes to present, many gave up hope that this series would ever return. That made the announcement of the sequel, now 15 years later, of Mario Strikers: Battle League all the more exciting. This is a very different style of sports game from other Mario titles, and an even bigger departure from other football games, so newcomers have a lot to learn and look forward to. Before you put on your shin pads, here’s everything we know about Mario Strikers: Battle League.
In addition to the many new announcements and release dates shown during the February 2022 Nintendo Direct, Mario Strikers: Battle League was revealed both as a fixed release date of June 10, 2022. This means fans will only have to wait a few short months before getting the title, which is a welcome surprise that many games share in this Direct.
It should come as no surprise that this Mario sports game, published by Nintendo and developed by Nintendo-owned Next Level Games, will be coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch. If you don’t have your hands on this console, you’re out of luck playing Mario Strikers: Battle League.
The announcement trailer kicks off with some pre-rendered cutscenes of the iconic cast of the Mario universe taking to the field with gear making it look like they’re preparing for a fight rather than a football game. Mario, Peach, Luigi and Toad take on Bowser, Donkey Kong, Yoshi and Rosalina among cheering crowds of Toads, Yoshis, Koopas and Shy Guys. The two teams battle for control of the ball, with Bowser at one point being blown up by a giant Bob-omb, before seeing a few special moves from the cast, ending with Mario launching a spiral shot that catches fire in the direction of the net.
After that point, the visuals become real gameplay that we’ll dissect in the next section. Other than that, there isn’t much to say about the story. Mario Strikers: Battle League is a sports game and is more about the mechanics and events that you make during the matches than about a real story.
Here we can dig deeper into a lot of juicy details for Mario Strikers: Battle League. This game instantly becomes a 5v5 soccer game “that’s a lot of insult” as the trailer puts it. The game is shown from an isometric perspective to show about half the field at once and is about scoring more goals than the other team. Aside from normal shots and passes, tackles (which are much more like drop kicks) are the main tool for stealing the ball from your opponents. We see Mario do this to Luigi, who hits the edge of the field and appears to be startled by a power grid running across the field.
Items, similar to Mario Kart, will also be in the game. We see a giant banana peel to trip opponents, and a green peel to get them out of the way. Each character has their own unique special shot, such as Yoshi placing the ball in an egg that bounces around three times, emitting shock waves, before blasting the ball to the net.
The trailer gives 2 primary tips on how to strategize. The first is what you equip on your character. Aside from looking great on the pitch, every other part, head, arms, body and legs, will raise and lower different stats for your player. Each character has a strength, speed, shooting, passing and technique stat that can go from 0 to 25. The example shown showed Mario with six main options, including the ability to wear none. The muscle helmet shown gives +2 power, but – 2 technique, so balancing your character’s gear is an important part to consider before ever hitting the field.
Prices are also attached to these equipments. The helmets all cost 100 coins, but how you earn coins, or anything else about this system, is still in the dark.
The other tip was about the special shots called Hyper Strikes. Kind of like the orb from Smash Bros. that you give your Ultimate Smash, a glowing ball will appear on the field for you to pick up. Once you have it, your whole team will start glowing. If you manage to charge it up by playing a little timing mini-game, you’ll unleash a stylish Hyper Strike that not only seems very hard to block, but also counts as two goals instead of one when it lands.
As for the selection, we saw a 10-character list, although more may not be shown. The ones we can confirm are:
- Donkey Kong
No other modes were shown, but one would hope there are some additional modes, or even some sort of seasonal or campaign style, for a bit more single player friendly content.
Eight players can play Mario Strikers: Battle League all at once, allowing for 4-on-4 matches on a single Nintendo Switch console. Of course, you can also play online matches, which also have something called the Online Club mode. These clubs can have up to 20 people competing against other clubs in what appears to be a tournament style leaderboard or leaderboard. Clubs can be named, have uniforms and have policies such as ‘play to improve’ and ‘just have fun’.
The Mario sports titles enjoyed the most DLC they’ve ever had when they came to Nintendo Switch, and we expect the same for Mario Strikers: Battle League. To be clear, Nintendo has not made any announcements or plans publicly to add DLC, although more often than not they release DLC as a surprise. We can easily see the somewhat small roster of 10 people expanding with more characters, more gear items, and even new field designs to be added later. Chances are we won’t know for sure until long after the game comes out.
Mario Strikers: Battle League is available to pre-order now. You can reserve your copyor most retailers of your choice, such as: and , for the standard $60. It doesn’t look like there will be any special or limited editions for this game, and at this point no retailer is giving pre-order bonuses, so you’re free to grab the game wherever you want without worrying about getting your hands dirty. something lacks substance.