Review by: Duane Simer
Published: January 3, 2006
Super Mario Strikers, while not exactly in the lineup of EA’s franchise games, puts a nice custom twist on yet another sports game for the Nintendo Gamecube system. It is by no means Nintendo’s first iteration of a sports-game-gone-Mario, and like those other titles, they put a splash of fun on it to distract from the seriousness of the real game. Mario is often associated in thought with games for the younger crowd, but this title manages to do all it has to add to the fun and appeal, while managing to maintain a thorough control scheme that will appeal to the most hardcore of soccer fans.
Naturally bright and colorful as Mario titles have been up to now, Super Mario Strikers does not stray from the formula as it brings your favorite characters of the Mario world to a new stage, and what has resulted is a bright, fun, and cheery game of soccer. All the same rules still apply to the game of soccer, but in this case, it has been swept with a bit of Mario Kart spirit, and the themed elements of the game carry the game of soccer to a new level.
This game turned out to be quite enjoyable, especially since it was in no way geared specifically to either the adult or child. I usually go into Mario games expecting some tongue-in-cheek, but this game is surprisingly complex and accessible at the same time. Characters can jog or sprint with the ball, perform ground or air passes, even dodge artfully around an attacking opponent, but this is just the beginning. Where the soccer ends and the Mario begins, there are red shell attacks, banana peels on the field, and even guest appearances by Bowser, who tears about, smacking players left and right. Long story short, this game can go from serious to wacky in a heartbeat.
As is common with Nintendo games these days, the developers have taken a good thing and made it better; in this case, it’s in the way of additional tools to use to play the game. In this game, players are able to introduce new factors to their offense and defense that help them play the game in more strategic – and sometimes funny – ways. The flow of the game revolves around a few extra rules in addition to those that players would find in a more realistic iteration of the game, such as the shells and the like I mentioned earlier.