Super Mario Strikers (GC) – Review

Let’s kick things up a notch, literally! Mario and his friends take it to the next level with in my opinion, one of the greatest Mario sports games ever made, Super Mario Strikers. Super Mario Strikers is a five-a-side soccer video game made by a 3rd party company known as Next Level Games, that consist of Mario themes and characters from the series. The game launched in North America and Europe during holiday 2005, and Japan and Australia in 2006. It has been nearly 9 years since its release, but does it still hold up?

Story

……………What? Oh right, the plot. Well basically, there isn’t many story elements to begin with. You have your favourite Mario casts such as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, and your teammates consisting of only 4 characters to choose from, like the hammer bros or Birdo, competing in a soccer tournament for the gold. Each tournament varies in difficulty, with of course the first cup being the easiest with minimal requirements. After beating each tournament you’re rewarded with the corresponding cup named after it, such as the flower cup for instance. When you complete them all, you can then access the Super Cup Battles which is the games equivalence to hard mode. Sadly however, this game lacks a variety of game modes, leaving single player modes with the likes of Cup Battles and Super Cup Battles, unless you’re okay with doing VS CPU matches during your spare time after beating the single player.

Gameplay

Super Mario Strikers is no ordinary soccer emulation, rather it’s more… striking. You have your basic moves such as deeking out players, intercepting, high and low passes, and shooting, but this is no Fifa, this is Mario we’re talking about here. In Super Mario Strikers, there are no fouls, which means you have your tackling, and vast amounts of power-ups to use at your disposal. The game offers a bit of variety in terms of trying to get a goal, such as your basic shot, charge shot, and skill shot which gives a very cool slow-motion effect that I absolutely can’t get enough of, in fact it’s my favourite maneuver in game. As stated earlier, you have only 4 teammates to choose from, which is surprisingly limited considering the amount of side characters and enemies we’ve come across in this ever so lasting series, and unfortunately you can only choose a set of one character, rather than being able to choose individual teammates for more variety on your team. It’s not a huge deal since they all play the same anyway, with their minor differences.

These captains are packing more heat however, with a maneuver known as the Super Strike, which only the main captains can harness unfortunately besides an unlockable character I won’t spoil. To pull it off is a matter of timing; and once you get it right, you’re granted with 2 points. It’s also satisfying to see the goalie fling into the net by the ball’s high velocity. The multiplayer feature adds more fun to the table, 4 players especially, because it’s you and your local teammate having to work together against the other, which can really spice things up and require much more strategizing from the players. Co-op is also present in the Cup Battles mode, but in my opinion it makes playing even harder when you realise you’re not in control anymore after passing it to the 2nd player, who may or may not have the amount of experience in the game. Sadly however, there’s no way of intercepting kick-outs or passes, unless kicks are grounded and your sliding reaction time is top notch.

Presentation

Presentation wise, it’s a great looking game. One of the best looking Gamecube games on the system. Character models and some textures look near par to PS3 and 360 fidelity, and visual effects really pop like the power of the super strike surrounding you as you charge up, or the electrocuting effects driven after knocking your opponent towards the electric barrier. It’s nothing too special mind you, but it’s safe to say that it has aged very well.

Sound

This is where Super Mario Strikers lacks, the sound department. Mid-gameplay, there is no music playing in the background. Unless you enjoy the chants and cheers from the host and the audience, including the grunts from the characters, then don’t expect something grand here. Heck, the main menu theme isn’t very intriguing, with it’s more casual “just choose a mode already…” attitude. The sound effects are quite nice though, they really show what the Gamecube is capable of.

Vertict

Super Mario Strikers still holds up to this day. It’s fast passed, easy to get into, and loads of fun. It lacks content, and for many, playing grudge matches only stays its welcome for so long. Sound as a whole is lacking, with only sound effects to convince you that there is sound in the game in the first place. Mind you, this game is not for everyone, but man oh man, if you can settle with the flaws and enjoy the good that the game has to offer, you’re in for an fun, addicting ride.

Final Rating: 7.2

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About The Author

Leonardo Waite Writing is something I was into since 3rd Grade, and eventually I started going from fan fictions to recently doing articles and reviews. It's something I really enjoy and feel passionate about, and I plan to have it as a career in the near future. I love being supportive, joyful, and social so you will have no issue coming to me whenever you want to chat or ask questions. With that said, thank you for reading and enjoy all we have to offer here, at Always Nintendo!