Mario Strikers flashback in Super Mario Party!
One of the mini-games in Super Mario Party is a soccer mini-game called Just for Kicks. It is a 2 vs 2 mini-game where each team is given 6 additional characters to make up an 8-a-side soccer match.
There are 60 seconds to score the most goals with no goalkeepers! A quick play of it brought back fond memories from the Mario Strikers series - this is essentially a simplified version. The controls are easy, you can move around with the control stick, shoot, pass and tackle. It's simple and fun, and like most Mario Party mini-game there is no need to learn any complicated control schemes.
Super Mario Strikers was originally released in 2005 for the Nintendo GameCube. And a sequel Mario Strikers Charged was released for the Wii in 2007. Since then, the series has gone dormant and it's been radio silence.
The Mario Strikers games were arcade style soccer games developed by Next Level Games, a Canadian video game developer. You can hit, steal and tackle all you want and there are no fouls or cards ever given out, it's a true free-for-all. The madness is part of the appeal, it's almost like a Mario Kart style soccer game as you can even be throwing projectiles onto the field too.
Perhaps because of the Canadian roots, it feels much more like a hockey game instead as there are boards around the field much like an ice hockey rink, along with a very fast pace. The only thing that was missing were sticks and a puck instead of a ball.
This little mini-game is a microcosm that shows arcade sports can make great titles that are fun for gamers, and in fact for just about anyone. The Nintendo Switch would be a perfect system to see a comeback of the Mario Strikers series! Could we see a Mario Strikers reboot down the road? And while we're at it, Mario baseball and hockey games would be great too!