Super Mario Strikers [ 2nd Opinion ] (GameCube) Preview

By Adam Riley 24.06.2005

Back early on in the lifetime of the GameCube, Sega released a timed-exclusive football game, and we are not talking about Virtua Stiker here. Next Gen Games created a spectacular mayhem-filled title in the form of Sega Soccer Slam and whilst its replay value was not extreme, its gameplay certainly way. Now the team is back and working for Nintendo on Super Mario Strikers. But is that old feeling rekindled?

My initial feeling towards this title was one of apprehension and complete utter disinterest. In all honesty, whilst I loved Sega Soccer Slam on first merits, the game proved to be an ultimately shallow experience that grew tiresome very quickly indeed. However, ever the easy-going guy, I was willing to put any negative bias to one side and see just what had been turned out under the watchful eye of Nintendo.

First impressions were not exactly impressive at all, unfortunately. After having to wait for quite a while to get on the damn game, since its original GameCube system was constantly over-heating due to fan troubles, I had built my expectations up considerably. Coming to it, now hooked up to a lovely big screen monitor that had previously housed a demonstration of Nintendogs, from an intense session of Mario Kart DS multiplayer proved to be rather anticlimactic.

Screenshot for Super Mario Strikers [ 2nd Opinion ] on GameCube

It looks gorgeous, no doubt about it – flashy colours splayed all over the place, glitter, glamour, beaming lights, fancy effects, the whole shebang. Next Gen has gone full out to enhance the title to make it stand out from the crowd. Sure, this looks nothing like the extravagant Pro Evolution Soccer 4 or even EA’s FIFA series, but considering the cartoon nature of the game, it would look rather out of place, so the direction decision was definitely the correct one. And on the larger screen, wow, everything zipping around at such high speeds had me almost drooling with anticipation.

Screenshot for Super Mario Strikers [ 2nd Opinion ] on GameCube

That is exactly why when I jumped on to a one-player Grudge Match, choosing to play the only option of Mario’s team against Donkey Kong’s, I came away afterwards feeling somewhat dejected. Run around, get tackled, tackle back, shoot, hope for the best, repeat. Sure, I won, but there was no passion or emotion behind it. Everything just seemed extremely bland – like I had just played Sega Soccer Slam 1.5. However, all that changed after I watched the professionals playing on the game – especially as one of them was a dedicated tester who had been playing it non-stop, learning the ins-and-outs and all the intricacies that make it special.

Suddenly, when James and I stepped up to the mantle, the game took on a whole new light. Dashing around, flicking between players rapidly, doing fancy little chips, twists and turns – Super Mario Strikers really did magically become the crazy fun-fest that most Nintendo multiplayer games are and should always be. The most impressive bit comes when in front of goal, though, as rather than just tapping B to try and knock it past the goal-keeper, if you keep it held down a special bar pops up and if you stop it at just the right place your player unleashes a lethal blast at the poor man between the sticks. And boy does that ball fly…You can only sit back and pray that your goalie blocks it or else you are likely to be in dire straits, especially if the lead character is the one scoring.

Screenshot for Super Mario Strikers [ 2nd Opinion ] on GameCube

The teams, you see, are made up of one lead character (such as Mario or DK in this demo), with the remaining team members being made up of little Koopas, Toads, and so on. Then, if you end up scoring a goal with the main character then you can end up with two points instead of just the one! And each character will shoot in a different fashion, with DK using his fists to blast the ball home (handball, anyone?), which adds a nice touch. But you must also watch out for Mario Kart-style weapons being fired by your opponents tapping 'Y'. Nothing worse than a Red Shell zooming your way as you are about to score! Eventually I finished with a victory that was far more satisfying. Looks like being a great multiplayer experience and the idea of four players scrapping really does get me excited. What was not shown, though, were what other modes are available to ensure that the longevity holds out. It would be a great shame if there was not a load more crammed in for the ride, but for the moment we will just have to hang fire until later in the year to find out.

Screenshot for Super Mario Strikers [ 2nd Opinion ] on GameCube

Final Thoughts

So Nintendo has put its faith in yet another Mario sports title and, as with it has done so much in the past. But this, again just like the others, is looking like being a very worthy addition to the Plumber Sports series. If the content level is high then this could be sitting pretty in people’s GameCubes for a long time to come…

Also known as

Super Mario Strikers


Next Gen







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (11 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Really enjoyed this once I gave it a few goes. Bodes well for the final release in my eyes, that's for sure!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

People will complain at yet another Mario sports game... but no-one complains when its a realistic Football game, there are too many of those, but as soon as they try to make it actually interesting by adding Mario and extra playability, suddenly everyone hates it. I don't understand. It looks great, like all Mario games do, I love the graphical style, and it should play well - and its not in-house anyway, so Nintendo aren't "wasting" any time on it like some people complain about.

True - new FIFA games each year, plus the UEFA editions and now FIFA Street games are great examples of overkill that gets accepted. Bring out another Mario sports game and suddenly it's over-exposure. Anyway, it proved to be a highly entertaining game in two player, so four player is likely to be even more hectic fun!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

PATENT LEAK, REV' CONTROL from huge site.

click here

[ Edited by Mr. Temperton On 2005/6/25 1:48 ]

Those who complain about it are those who are looking for realism in games. I've said this in the first preview comments, but when Nintendo makes a 'sport' game with Mario & co, the purpose of the game changes from the real version of it.

The likes of FIFA are reality based games - their purpose is to be realistic. In case of Nintendo, their aim is to implement fun through creative modification to the original form of the sport. You will go wrong if you do a one-to-one comparison.

EDIT: Ruari, that rev controller rumour thing originates in a patent filed in 2003, for Kirby game apparently.

[ Edited by Flaight On 2005/6/24 22:15 ]

i am looking foward to it i cant wait to see more

Exactly, Flaight - too many 'true' football fans will look at this and most likely just scoff at the idea. But that's missing the point completely!

And Webby, me too!! :-D

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

NO fifa street is an example of trying to dumb-down football and it not working at all. I've said it before they do not work. Call me a true football fan if you will and the point I make is that the cube hasn't got ONE decent football title, fifa just doesn't cut it.

Nintendo can't compete with pro evo and konami won't port it so we get Mario Striker, woo-bloody-hoo, roll on the poor reviews, just like Sega soccer slam, Fifa (god awful) street and red card soccer before it...

It's been getting great reviews everywhere (not just ninty sites, mind you). The people at gamerfeed seemed to like it well enough ^_^
I won't pick it up...but that's because my brother is a soccer player who ikes sports games ^_^
I know I'm cheap :-D

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Cant wait for this game actually :-D

Just as we were talking about missing the point, chrisno21 dives in to miss the point... what an illustration eh.

i want it i want it i want it

My Name Is Kizarny
hizave yizou sizeen thize hizuman bizlockhead
Arturo (guest) 31.12.2016#13

El Juego esta chido


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