Mario Strikers charge at May

Wii footy game goes online, too.

The Wii version of Mario Strikers is due out on 25th May, Nintendo said today, and will offer online multiplayer via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.

As with Mario Smash Football and SEGA Soccer Slam, from which it seems to draw "some" inspiration, Mario Strikers: Charged Football is a fast-paced game of five-a-side that sees players performing acrobatic special shots once they've built themselves up to it.

That'll be true here, but there are some twists. "Super Abilities" are a bit more elaborate, with Mario blowing himself up to huge proportions to trample the opposition, and Princess Peach taking photos that freeze the other team to the spot. "Mega Strikes", meanwhile, split the ball into five separate spheres that have to be defended to avoid a goal.

Your chosen team captain will be the main "named" character, like Mario or Luigi, as usual, but you'll also be able to pick three side-kicks from eight offered based on their specific characteristics, potentially adding a bit of tactical depth to a game that usually revolves around the main players.

Control is much as you'd expect for the most part, with movement on the Nunchuk's analogue stick, but this being the Wii there are a few nods to the motion sensor, with Wiimote flicks used to body-check opponents, while Mega Strikes from opposing players can be batted away from the goal by using the Wiimote to block them with a set of on-screen goalkeeping gloves.

You'll also be able to take advantage of various power-ups, with fouled players given special treats to help avenge themselves, including red spiky shells, or a chain chomp that chases the opposition around the pitch.

As for the multiplayer - which is in addition, we should say, to a multi-tiered three-cup single-player game and an exhibition-style "Domination" mode - you will be able to team up with a friend in a group of four to play two-on-two games on one console, as well as going online to take part in ranked and unranked matches against people across the world, with global leaderboards keeping track of your progress.

The fact that you can play two-on-two offline led us to wonder whether you could do the same on that old Internet. Sadly Nintendo hasn't got back to us about it yet, but we'll be sure to let you know when someone does.

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