Friday is here, the weather is hot, and the air conditioning already kicked in. This kind of weather always makes me think of amusement parks. I haven’t been to one in years…maybe this weekend! For now, it’s off to bed. I’ll catch you guys in a few hours…have a great morning.
While I have had my fun with the single player game (and still am), it took a little while to round up some people for a few multiplayer sessions. It was slim pickings when it came to online play, but one day I did manage to get in some games. I was definitely excited to try out the online play, but local multiplayer had me just as interested. The multiplayer aspect of Super Mario Strikers was my favorite part of the entire game. The warehouse crew often sat down after podcasts to hop in on some games. We didn’t take on each other, we played against the computer. The feeling of teamwork against the challenging AI made for some really fun matches. It was these sessions that had me so psyched for the Wii sequel. When I finally did get to sit down with friends and try Charged out, I was really happy to find that that same feeling of fun was present, and there were some elements of the game that made things even better.
When talking about local multiplayer, playing a 4 player game is the best way to go about things. If you manage to pull that many people together, the game becomes a lot more focused. This way each person only has to worry about one character on the field, minus a few switch options during goalie interaction. The less people you have playing, the more complicated things get. For instance, when you play single player, you are ready to take control of the entire team. When you play local multiplayer with one other person, you can get lost on the field. Sometimes you and your team mate are busy switching characters, and you end up taking the character your team mate previously had control of. You may think you are switching back to the first character, but you end up switching to someone completely different. This is exactly how things worked in Super Mario Strikers, but Charged is a much more hectic game. It’s easier to get lost in all the action. It’s not a downfall of the game, it just makes you wish you had more people to play along side.
One of the elements that makes local multiplayer a lot more fun is blocking shots. With the original game, all you got to do was sit back and watch the goalie do his job. Now, when a Striker shot is taken, you have the opportunity to block it. Depending on character placement on the field, one of your team mates will be in charge of doing the goalie’s job. Having the ability to actually block incoming shots adds a lot to the game. Taking that element and putting it into multiplayer makes the game a lot more intense. Just as it would be in real life, some of us are better at stopping goals then others. These goal portions really have you rooting for your team mates. Add in the fact that now you have a direct impact on the score of the game (besides just the offensive side), and the game becomes a lot more engaging.
Even if you don’t have enough people to get a local game going, you can still enjoy a multiplayer experience. Mario Strikers Charged comes equipped with online multiplayer. While it isn’t the first title for the Wii to go online, MSC offers the first true real-time online experience. Games are restricted to your region, but that still leaves a lot of people to play against. The good news is that you don’t have to have a friend code in order to play someone. You can hop into an online game with anyone else online by jumping into the ranked sessions. On the other hand, if you do have friends you would like to jump into a game with, you can exchange friend codes and play a friend game. It’s great to finally see some progress in the online arena for Nintendo, but how well does it work out?
Those looking for a bunch of online options may be a little upset. All in all, MSC offers straight up online matches just like the ones you take on in single player. There’s really nothing else to choose from, but you’re not getting any complaints from me. On top of that, MSC keeps track of how many wins and losses you have, and keeps an online leaderboard for you to see where you rank, as well as the rest of the region. From what we have heard, there are plans for official online tournaments in the future. Hopefully Nintendo will follow up on these ideas.
Anyone that hopped online to play MSC the first day it came out may have had a case of deja-vu. When Mario Kart DS first hit the streets, Nintendo’s WFC had a bit of trouble keeping up with the response. It took a few days for Nintendo to get everything under control. The same thing happened with MSC, but as of right now things are working pretty seamlessly. When I had the time to check out some online play, Nintendo was right in the middle of their traffic woes. I still managed to sneak in a few games, and I was very pleased with the results. While I encountered lag from the server issues, the game played out almost identically to a single player session. I was in a best of three match with my opponent, each match lasting 3 minutes. It was extremely entertaining to play against another real person rather than the AI. I always love seeing how other people approach the same game, it really opens up your eyes to a new gameplay experience. I was lucky enough to come out the victor of my matches, but both games were extremely close. Once Nintendo gets their online issues totally squared away, I can see myself spending a lot of time online.
Now that I’ve (finally) had the entire MSC experience, I come away very pleased. I wasn’t sure it would happen, but I believe Mario Strikers Charged comes out above the original game. The added Wii controls are minor, but they are well implemented. The new fields, characters, and abilities truly flesh out the experience. Looking back at Super Mario Strikers, I see a bare-bones game. That was fine back when SMS was all we knew, but having played MSC, I can’t see myself going back and enjoying the original in the same way. Of course, online play is a completely new element that never really happened on the Cube. Super Mario Strikers was a game I got to play due to this website. I would have never picked it up otherwise. That lead to me being excited for the sequel to hit the Wii. Now I find myself a huge fan of the series, and can’t wait to see where it goes from here.