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  • Writer's pictureAllan Jenks

Game Review #497: Ganbare! Super Strikers (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Mat Benson

Developer: Rese Games

Publisher: Ratalaika Games

Category: Sports, Strategy, Turn-Based Tactical

Release Date: 2.28.2020

Price: $9.99

Watch the Trailer

Buy Ganbare! Super Strikers from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Time for Some Football!!!!

Ganbare! Super Strikers is just one of those games that took me by surprise. On the surface it looks like an anime-inspired kids’ soccer game, but if you dig even a little deeper, you will see that it is not like any other sports game around. This is a good thing for me, because I am not the biggest sports game fan. Ganbare! Super Strikers is a turn-based tactics game, which gives it a unique spin on a well overplayed genre of games. It has multiple modes to play: Story Mode, Arcade Mode (which includes quick matches), a Custom Tournament Mode, and Custom League Mode. Its kid-friendly aesthetic gives it the illusion that this game is going to be a fun, friendly, and easy-to-play game; however, it is anything but.

Strategy is the Key

This game has a lot going for it. Story Mode is solo play against the computer opponents, and the arcade modes can be played with up to 8 friends to host your own custom teams against one another in a custom created league, tournament, or match. Not only that, there is a great amount of customization of the characters on your team. You can not only name every player on your team, you can also fashion them with different hair styles and faces. Then, when you start the story mode, you can further advance your players by leveling them up, and giving them different gear to boost stats and equip them with special abilities. The amount of strategy needed in loading your players with good abilities and stats can make or break your next match up.

Ganbare! Super Strikers requires a lot of strategy in order to play its story mode, because the game defaults you into Normal Mode, which normally isn’t an issue, but, the only other setting is Easy Mode. Normal Mode is definitely hard, and I mean legendary-on-Halo hard. There is no way around that, considering I experienced many losses in the beginning of the story mode. The AI opponents just had all the answers. They were much higher level than my characters, and had a perfect strategy to combat everything I would attempt to get the ball down the field. It felt like the game was designed for you to constantly lose in order to further level your characters, which would be fine if it was more like a league mode in a normal sports game, where you could lose a match and move on. However, in Ganbare! you have to win your match to unlock the next match in the story mode.

I ended up changing the difficulty to Easy Mode so I could see if it was better, and it definitely helped. The matches weren’t too easy, and the game felt a little more balanced. The opponents were still way higher leveled than mine, but they used their abilities less, they actually got tired (which is an effect in this game), and they made some silly moves during the match, unlike their “Normal Mode” counterparts.

Once the game became more fair, I had a ton of fun with it. The amount of tactical thinking in order to get the ball to the goal and score is equivalent to a game of chess. The way everything works in this game is with randomly-generated numbers based on your characters’ stats for passing, shooting, dribbling, etc. You attempt an action, and the other player has a chance to block if they are in the line of the ball, lowering your numbers, and potentially stealing the ball from you. I was very much surprised with the amount of brain power I used to play this game.

Wrap Up Time

Altogether, this game was very enjoyable. I think the normal mode definitely suffers from broken AI, but if you are up for the challenge (and possibly playing the same matches 10 plus times), then go for it! The game, as a whole, looks like it would be a great hit to play with friends. Imagine having up to 7 other people going head-to-head in a tournament or league to see who can have the best strategy to win the whole thing! I love the extra abilities, the leveling of your players, as well as the immense customization throughout, as you don’t see stuff like that in a typical sports game. Maybe other games should take some notes on how to make a fun, strategic, and competitive sports game.


Buy Ganbare! Super Strikers from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*A game code was provided for review purposes

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