Super Mario Strikers Wii Impressions

Super Mario Strikers, from the first few hours of online and offline play, is the typical Nintendo-type game. You could give the controller(s) to a 10 year old and tell them what pass, shoot, and steal is and they would have fun. On the other side of the token, us gamers, there is a lot of depth and strategy to the game. There have been some serious upgrades in the character department and the new levels have a lot more personality and difference to them than just appearance. There is one level in particular that has no walls on the outside of the field and the wind randomly blows characters, and cows and trucks, across the field. The graphics are slightly improved over the Gamecube version but the game runs at a constant pace even with multiple objects and characters blowing up all around. The new characters all have their own personality and unique move set that can really alter the play experience if used in the proper fashion.

Two player co-op gaming is a ton of fun as well, much like the old game, because you can have one player defend the other while they charge up a shot or you can intricately pass the ball around the field to build up the "pressure" of the ball. The game actually rewards you for successfully passing the ball around the field by charging the ball the more passes you complete. When the ball is fully charged (and glowing white) your shots will be far more accurate and powerful.

The online gaming, though no where near Xbox Live quality, is a great step in the right direction. There are online leaderboards comparing you to random strangers and your friends in various different ways. The major selling point to Strikers' online experience is the fact that you are actually competing in an online league. You get points dependent on your win/loss/scoring record and it rates you against others within that week (the length of every league). The game requires you to input a unique Friend Code different from your Wii Code which is really unnecessary no matter how you look at it. There is also no voice chat or communication of any kind. I would have preffered to at least choose from a list of 40 or so sayings rather than not have the option at all. All around it really is a fun experience and one that any Nintendo only gamer should gobble up, especially with the use of Miis as your online avatar.