Sunday, June 3

Game: Mario Strikers Charged Football (Wii) Click for more info

Evolution to the Gamecube original, Mario Strikers was never about genuine football simulation. The closest thing I can compare it to is Speedball 2 from way back when. It's got the same violence, the same high scoring, and the same brutal simplicity.

Graphics and sound are alright, but nothing to scream about. The controls work really well; Mario Strikers is possibly the best controlled Wii game I own so far. It's a pleasure to pass, foul and shoot (even when you miss). I think the makers of this game weren't lured into using the motion controls frivolously; the only real time you do is to hit/foul and save Megastrikes.

I've had a quick go at the online stuff, and although I've not played a match it seems to be well organised and designed. There is a good single player mode too, with both story and challenge modes. There's enough depth to keep even the most hard core gamer going and yet on the whole it's more than accessible to those with less time on their hands.

If you're looking for real football, then give this one a miss. If you're instead looking for a fun game that you don't have to spend hours learning how to play, then Mario Strikers is worth a good hard look.