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The Reason to Get a Wii: Mario Strikers Charged
It seems like only yesterday when those few lucky thousand were unwrapping what would soon be the new standard in video games. All the excitement and glee surrounding the Nintendo Wii was phenomenal; wireless, infrared-sensored controls? Amazing! I know I had to show everyone who came over how much cooler it was to play tennis on a screen rather than in real life. However, a few weeks later, the thrill sort of died down, and I abandoned my Wii-mote and reverted back to my Xbox 360. Thus begun a period of neglect I referred to as "Wii-guilt".
But all that changed as soon as Mario Strikers Charged came out on the market on July 30th.
Now I'm no video game expert; I've been a gamer for most of my life, but you'll probably find a better review of Strikers on IGN.com or GamePro.com. All I know is that Nintendo targeted a demographic and shot a bullseye; Strikers has become the new multi-player soccer game (and single-player, for that matter) of choice, complete with associated drinking games.
Once you get settled, you first get to choose which mode of gameplay you want. Online mode allows you to play with other strikers around the world, which rocks. You can choose single-player mode, or "Road to the Striker Cup", which is what you play to unlock new characters and fields. Training mode allows you to perfect some of the controls of the game, which is more useful than you'd expect. Otherwise, you're probably going to be spending the most time on Domination mode, which is the versus (two-player) mode. From there, you get to choose your team captains. Select from your Nintendo favorites; everyone from Mario to Yoshi to Waluigi. Then choose your 3 sidekicks, your field of choice, and you're ready to go.
Once you kick off, you dont blink for 3 minutes (or for however long you choose to play.) Each player you choose has their specific skills, each passing, juking, and slide-tackling their way to domination. At certain points throughout the game, your team is equipped with familiar Nintendo-style weapons (such as the ever-present red shells, invincible stars, and bombs) to clear a pathway to the goal. Get the ball to your team captain and enter the megastrike mode, allowing you to attack the opposing team with up to 6 balls ranging in speed depending on how well you execute the move. You can also learn to perfect certain strategies, such as slow-motion bicycle kicks and headers. Complete with gloating and trash talking cut scenes (Waluigi to the opposition: "You want the ball? Here's the ball!" [slams it on opponets head]), Strikers is sure to bring out your competitive side.
This game is a guaranteed good time if you happen to have a Wii. If you've been contemplating dropping the $250 for the system, I could say without hesitating that Mario Strikers Charged should be the first game you buy.
Video and images courtesy of IGN.com