Nintendo should make a Mario soccer game

Nintendo’s plumber mascot has become popular for multiplayer-oriented outings mario party and Mario Kart as he is known for his platform adventures. An interesting side of Super Mario Franchise is the range of games based on real sports. Some Mario Sports games are only marginally connected by featuring characters from the mushroom kingdom, as was the case with the 1987s NES Open Tournament Golf. However, Mario Strikers: Battle League is a great example of how this brand can improve traditional sports.

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Mario and his friends have played all sorts of sports over the decades, with the most recurring series being tennis and golf. A hand full Mario Baseball games released in the mid-2000s and those by Square Enix Mario Hoop’s 3v3 took the Mushroom Kingdom residents to the basketball court next door final fantasy Characters (Mario and Luigi also appear in the GameCube port of NBA Street V3). Activities like volleyball and equestrian sports also feature in “Sports Mix” games, not to mention the long history of Mario & Schall Olympic titles. However, Next Level Games is based on soccer Mario Striker adds a twist to this subgenre that could be used to create Mario’s version of an American football league.


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Technically, the Mario Striker Series is considered a “soccer” game abroad; his last entry with the name Mario Strikers: Battle League Soccer in Europe. However, American football is a very different beast than what people in the States refer to as “football,” and as of this writing, there isn’t one Mario Football game – but not for lack of attempts. In 2007, Retro Studios president Michael Kelbaugh told the game developer that Retro canceled four concurrent projects as soon as they worked on them Metroid Prime started. One of those projects was NFL Retro Football for GameCube, which according to former Retro Studios programmer Jason Hughes, should be one Mario-themed title featuring a younger demographic in a 2004 Nsidr interview. Nintendo wanted the team to target an adult audience instead.


This is not the only unique item Mario Sports game canceled before it sees the light of day. While working on the release Supercharged Mario Strikers In 2007, Next Level Games hoped it could follow up with a similarly hyper-violent volleyball game called Super Mario Spiker with elements of professional wrestling. spikers was never greenlit by Nintendo for its more violent propensity, but with Mario Strikers: Battle League To bring his fans favorite series back to life, a perfect opportunity to combine those canceled pitches for a suitably intense soccer simulator could present itself.

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The legacy of Mario sports games is diverse, with Camelot’s RPG style Mario Golf games on handheld consoles are a prime example of non-Nintendo catalog projects. However, Mario Striker is arguably one of the most unique series in the franchise, giving its cast members edgier, more intense designs and a propensity to kick each other in electric fences – a far cry from the typically family-friendly brand image.

American football is a contact sport that could really sell a similar level of violence if Next Level Games took over the project. Like the soccer based one striker series, gameplay could boil down to switching between different units from moment to moment, while team captains like Mario or supporting Toads bring the football closer to their opponents’ end zone. A Mario Football Game could balance the tackling of the hyper-tuned contact sport with sillier character abilities. For example, Yoshi could flap, or Luigi could use his Poltergust to catch a kickoff before flying back too many yards. fight leagueThe Hyper Strike mechanic of could also turn into players aiming for field goals.


Nintendo could certainly clean up the sport to release a safe, colorful American football game Mario tennis aces and Mario Golf: Super Rush on switch. However, the continued success of EA Madden NFL franchise shows there is an audience for mature sports games like Nintendo had hoped NFL Retro Football on GameCube (although that title never had a chance to prove itself). It would be a great time to try Mario Strikers: Battle League has reignited interest – although Nintendo should avoid its current pattern of post-launch updates for sports games.

Mario Strikers: Battle League is available now for Nintendo Switch.

MORE: Mario Sports Games being held back by post-launch updates

Sources: game developers, Nsidr

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