Mario Strikers Charged

Wednesday 20 September 2006
In a turtle shell - and on the evidence of an extended multiplayer training session - the moustachioed Nintendo mascot's footie Wii run out follows pretty closely in the boots of GameCube's Mario Smash Football, but takes advantage of the kinetically-enhanced remote by throwing some shaky bits into the kit bag.

After selecting a team captain from one of Mushroom Kingdom's famous faces (Mario, Bowser, Peach etc) and picking your squad (made up of Boos, Toadies, Koopas and the like) and style of play, it's on to the crazy stadium of your choice for kick-off.

On the pitch action is as unlike real football as you'd expect having received the Nintendo treatment. Power-ups are a vital part of play, captains have hefty mega-strike shots in their arsenal and the pitches themselves present their own hazards, such as electric fences around the perimeter and sheer drops that you or your pitch rivals can be bumped over.

Above: Not content with simply walking down the tunnel, Mario's arrival on the pitch is a tad over-the-top

Matt Cundy
I don't have the energy to really hate anything properly. Most things I think are OK or inoffensively average. I do love quite a lot of stuff as well, though.