I was really, really looking forward to Strikers for a couple of reasons: 1)It is the first "real" online Wii game, and 2) It looked like it would be another fun Mario sports title.
First off, this is no soccer game, really. It is more a combination soccer-ice hockey-battle that makes it more appealing that a straight up soccer game. I started off going through the tutorials, and that helped out tremendously. I played through the single player for a while (I played through the first "cup") and found the game to be pretty easy. But after passing into the second "cup" (tournament), it seemed like the computer AI got too difficult too quickly for me, and I started to lose interest.
I turned to the online mode, and that brought up a whole other set of issues. When you request a "ranked match", it seems that Strikers tries to pair you up with someone with a comparable Win-Loss record in the current "season". It also shows you the connection status (up to 4 stars) to indicate how good the network connection should be for you in your match. It also allows you to reject opponents with sub-par connections, which is cool. Too bad there is no way to communicate with your opponent whom you may never see again.
First off, there were far too many times when I entered a match with someone that had a "perfect" 4-star connection, only to find the game very laggy. The connection "dropped" multiples times during the middle of a game, which also really stinks. This took away some of the fun from online.
What took away the rest of the online fun was that there are way too many people who are apparently much better players than I am out there. I think I played in 4 matches before I even won a single game. I'm sure this is my issue for not "practicing" enough, but all the same, it stunk to keep losing. This game has been out around the world for months, so maybe I was being owned by kids in Europe who were off for the summer. That is what I keep telling myself.
It's this sort of game that has always separated Nintendo from the rest. The game is a blast and the online play is close to flawless with pretty much no lag time at all. I wasn't a big fan of the first Strikers for Gamecube but this version has made vast improvements that makes this game a must-own. The only complaint I would make is the lack of headset for online play and the game's value is lower if you play alone and don't have wi-fi.
-->With more arenas to choose from, more characters, better control, online play, and the ability to choose your own sidekicks and block power shots... I highly recommend this game (especially if you have friends that love mayhem and chaos from a console game).