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Mario Golf: Super Rush Offers the Perfect Template for Mario Strikers

Nintendo fans have been able to hit the fairway for the first time in years with Mario Golf: Super Rush, and so far the experience has been a big return to form for the Mario sports series. The Switch overall has seen the gradual return of strong Mario sports games, and it's become an encouraging sign for fans that remember the stellar titles of the GameCube and Wii era. There are some gamers that are already looking forward to what sports are going to come to the Switch next, and there are some candidates that shine brighter than others.

Mario's mascot status has had him play almost every major sport known to man, from baseball to Olympic sprinting, but one of the stand-out sports ventures from the Italian plumber has come from the world of soccer. The Mario Strikers series hasn't had many entries, but the popularity of the soccer games has lasted to this day. There are many Nintendo fans that have been asking specifically for a new Mario Strikers game, and Mario Golf: Super Rush may have provided the perfect template for the series' return.

RELATED: Mario Golf Super Rush: 10 Characters We Want Added To The Game As DLC

The Return Of Mario Sports

One of the biggest ways that Mario Golf: Super Rush offers up a great opportunity for a new Mario Strikers is how it brings back some legitimacy to the Mario sports series. Before the Switch pulled Nintendo back from the Wii-U's lack of success, Mario sports games were also in a rather unfavorable place with fans. There weren't many during the Wii U era, and the one major game that did come out, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, received very mixed reviews. Ever since the Switch has come out though, Nintendo has been mounting a Mario sports comeback.

The first major sports game on the Switch, Mario Tennis Aces, received much better reviews than Ultra Smash, and now Mario Golf: Super Rush is maintaining the Mario sports games' high level of quality. If Mario Strikers is going to come back, it would be best to do it now while Nintendo has a firm focus on its sports titles. Super Rush has set a good precedent, and a new Mario Strikers would just need to follow up on it.

Mario sports games will usually fall into one of two categories: faithful recreations of the sport they are representing or zany interpretations of the sport that provide a new twist on a classic game. Mario Golf: Super Rush succeeds in delivering a mix of both approaches, by giving players the option of a traditional golf experience with some Mario antics spread throughout. Between the simulation-style modes and the frantic energy of Speed Golf, Mario Golf: Super Rush manages to be a successful single-player sports game and a capable party game for the whole family.

This blend of simulation and sensational action in Mario Golf would be a perfect fit for a new Mario Strikers. The series is already known for its arcade-like elements, with flashy power moves and soccer balls that are hit so hard they catch fire, and a new game could take a lot of pages from Mario Golf: Super Rush.

A mode inspired by Speed Golf, in particular, would be excellent for a new MarioStrikers game, as it could see players attempt to make as many goals as possible while using crazy special moves to tackle players or send the ball flying at ludicrous speeds. It would have the potential to give players more of what they've come to expect from the MarioStrikers series, while also evolving it towards what Nintendo has been doing with its sports games lately.

RELATED: 7 Mistakes Everyone Makes While Playing Mario Golf: Super Rush

The Potential Of Adventure Mode in Mario Strikers

In addition to the template Mario Golf: Super Rush has offered with modes like Speed Golf, the game's Golf Adventure mode provides some excellent opportunities for a new Mario Strikers. It harkens back to similar adventure modes from previous Mario Golf titles, while giving players some interesting new RPG mechanics and gameplay moments that are unique to it. It might not have the longest story in the world, but it still does some interesting things with the Mario sports formula, while also giving players another reason to use their Miis in a game.

A new Mario Strikers could build on this kind of adventure mode in a plethora of different ways. The RPG elements have already set a good foundation, and they could easily be translated to the soccer world with upgrades to things like speed and kicking strength. As far as a story is concerned, a new Mario Strikers could have players go through an extensive soccer tournament similar to past games, but with some new features reminiscent of what Mario Golf: Super Rush has. The template is all there already, so a new Mario Strikers game would just need to replicate it while learning from Mario Golf: Super Rush's mistakes.

It might be some time before Nintendo fans get another Mario sports game, but Mario Strikers still seems like the fan-favorite for whenever Nintendo dives into the sports world again. The series has certainly become a cult classic, especially for those that played the first game on GameCube, so hopefully, Nintendo will give fans something they've been patiently waiting for. If the time ever does come, Mario Golf: Super Rush has already given a new Mario Strikers a great template to work off of.

Mario Golf: Super Rush is available now on the Nintendo Switch.

MORE: 8 Easter Eggs Only True Fans Caught In Mario Golf: Super Rush


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Nintendo now owns Next Level Games, the studio behind ‘Super Mario Strikers’

Nintendo announced today its acquisition of Next Level Games, a Vancouver-based game development company behind hits like Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Super Mario Strikers. The buyout will position Next Level Games as a very close partner in the future of Nintendo’s game development.

Next Level Games has been working with Nintendo since 2003, but the studio’s first big hit came in 2005 with the first entry in the Super Mario Strikers series. Next Level has developed a few games for other platforms — like 2011’s Captain America: Super Soldier — but the greater part of its work in the last decade has already been with Nintendo.

2020 ended up being a landmark year for Nintendo, pandemic be damned. Sales of the Switch outpaced any of the company’s console sales in the last ten years, and that popularity has shown no signs of waning. Now it’s time for Nintendo to count its coins and make big moves for the future.

An impressive lineup — Despite being relatively small as far as game development companies go, Next Level Games has an all-star game-creation record. Besides Luigi’s Mansion 3, the studio also developed two well-liked games for Nintendo’s 3DS: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Metroid Prime: Federation Force.

Next Level announced in 2014 that it would work exclusively with Nintendo moving forward, so today’s announcement won’t change much — except perhaps by providing the studio with the resources and push it needs to create even more games moving forward. Given Next Level’s reputation for strong entries in the Nintendo universe, that’s great news for Switch fans.

Starting 2021 strong — Nintendo realizes the power quality games have to protect their respected IP. After watching Microsoft and Sony snap up studios left and right over the last few years — to great success — Nintendo was eager not to repeat the debacles of the early 2000s, when Microsoft acquired and mismanaged Nintendo's long term partner Rare. Valuable IP is how Mario’s makers have stayed relevant all these years, even as ray tracing and teraflops have become their rival’s biggest talking points.

So a low-key (but still powerful!) acquisition lines up perfectly with Nintendo’s general plans. This is no gigantic Microsoft/Bethesda deal — it’s just right for Nintendo.

And with rumors of a 4K-capable Switch Pro swirling with increased frequency, Nintendo will need all the backup it can find in creating and maintaining a roster of high-def gaming experiences. Now that the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 are out in the world, Nintendo’s current-gen competition has increased exponentially.

Nintendo’s acquisition will be made official on March 1. Time to dust off your Super Mario Strikers skills.

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It's Time for Mario Strikers 3

With Mario Golf: Super Rushreleasing to mixed reviews from critics, the Nintendo mascot's sports games need something to freshen things up. Luckily, Nintendo doesn't need to look too far for inspiration, because it has the perfect series already that is greatly overdue a follow up: Mario Strikers.

Super Mario Strikers was released for the GameCube in 2005, pitting the all-star cast of the Mario series into matches of five-a-side soccer. Its follow up, Mario Strikers Charged, came to the Wii in 2007 and expanded on it's predecessor's winning formula to create a truly memorable entry in Mario Sports franchise. Not only would the explosive action of a new Mario Strikers breath life into Nintendo's catalogue and sports games genre as a whole, but the foundations for such a sequel could already be in place.

RELATED: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Looks Like a Promising Sequel to a Flawed Game

Both Super Mario Strikers and Mario Strikers Charged were developed by Vancouver-based Next Level Games. Since then, Next Level has developed a number of successful titles for Nintendo, including 2009's Punch-Out!! for Wii and a pair of acclaimed Luigi's Mansion games, and earlier this year, Nintendo acquired the Canadian studio. Given the studio's history, it stands to reason that it could be hard at work on a new title starring characters from the Mushroom Kingdom. Recent Mario Sports titles have released based on golf and tennis, so a third Mario Strikers would be a perfect way to shake-up Nintendo's line-up.

Recent Nintendo sports games have focused on injecting sports with bombastic, high-octane action. Super Rush looked to spice up the typically slow sport with the additions of Speed Golf and Battle Golf modes. Similarly, Camelot's 2018 release Mario Tennis Aces featured more action-focused gameplay. Mario Strikers is a golden opportunity to add more explosive action to its sports titles. With fast-paced soccer gameplay that would make most Premier League managers blush and game-changing Skillshots that lit up the grass fields, Mario Strikers was always an absolute blast -- even when playing simple exhibition matches against the computer.

RELATED: Nintendo's 2021 Highlights the Switch's Diverse Strengths

Furthermore, the soccer genre is desperate for a shake-up. Aside from the odd challenger like Ubisoft's Pure Football in 2010, gamers have had to settle for choosing between the annualized FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer titles. With both of them focusing on simulation-based presentation, and despite FIFA's recent foray into futsal with the Volta mode, there is little variety for players looking for a fun soccer fix.

This is where a new Mario Strikers would slot in nicely. Nintendo could easily tap into the section of gamers tired of the like-for-like recreation of professional soccer, as well as fans looking for something a little different. Plus, with the accessible nature of Mario and his instantly recognizable friends, a third Mario Strikers has a much broader potential audience.

With that in mind, a new Mario Strikers could be exactly what Nintendo needs to add another smash hit to the Switch's catalogue. With the Mario Sports games needing some rejuvenation and a stagnated selection of soccer titles in the wider gaming sphere, Mario Strikers could make some much-needed waves. Whether the series is placed in the hands of Next Level Games once more or not, the time for another dive into frantic five-on-five soccer fun with Nintendo's favorite son at the center is now.

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Nintendo Direct: Four Games We Want Announced But Probably Won't Be

It's Nintendo Direct day and gamers are excited to see what the company has in store for the first half of 2021.

Nintendo confirmed approximately 50 minutes of announcements and trailers for Wednesday's online presentation and while we have our own list of games we expect and don't expect to see, we also have a list of games we'd love to hear about but suspect will be left out.

From long-standing franchises to games seemingly lost to time, here are five games we want to see announced during February's Nintendo Direct, but probably won't get.


We sometimes find ourselves hoping that Nintendo will surprise its fans and announce a brand new F-Zero game. The high-speed racing game has been a fan-favorite franchise for some time, but there hasn't been a new installment since 2003's F-Zero GX for the Nintendo GameCube.

The Nintendo Switch had a similar racing game in Fast RMX back in 2017 and it really lays the groundwork for what can be a proper F-Zero title on the console. While it would excite gamers to see a new F-Zero game announced, we aren't betting on it for tonight.


The Metroid Prime games are some of Nintendo players' all-time favorites, and when the fourth installment was announced back in E3 2017, fans were excited. However, it's been radio silent on the MP4 front ever since, aside from some delays.

Nintendo announced that Metroid Prime 4 was just about starting from scratch when it gave the project to Retro Studios—the studio behind the first three Prime games—in January 2019.

With 2021 being the 35th anniversary of the first Metroid game, it would be great to see Nintendo give fans something to celebrate. At this point, Metroid fans will likely be happy to get a re-release of the Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Nintendo Switch, but Metroid Prime 4 seems like a pipedream.


Mario Tennis and Super Mario Strikers are some of our favorite Mario sports games. Both offer fun and interesting takes on each sport, but the Mario Strikers games need a comeback.

From the over-the-top action to memorable character interactions, the series would bring a lot of fun to the Switch.

Nintendo announced earlier this year that they have acquired Next Level Games to make first-party titles for them. Next Level Games is behind titles like Luigi's Mansion 3 and the reboot of the Punch Out! series. The Vancouver-based studio is also behind the Mario Strikers franchise, so it could happen sooner rather than later.

However, with the recency of the acquisition, a new Mario Strikers game is more likely to come in 2022. This title is the most likely to be announced on Wednesday, in our minds at least, but we still don't see it happening this time.


We don't think we'll see anything Pokémon-related during Wednesday's Direct, as the franchise tends to get its own presentations. However, if we were to get a Pokémon-related announcement, it wouldn't be for the supposed Diamond and Pearl remakes that have been long-rumored.

Pokémon Day is a week away and if we're going to learn more about what The Pokémon Company has planned, it won't be during the Nintendo Direct, but rather during that dedicated time period.

Can we get an update on Pokémon Unite or New Pokémon Snap? Sure, but expecting a Diamond and Pearl announcement is folly no matter how much we want to see it.

What do you think we'll get and not get during this next Nintendo Direct? Let us know in the comments section.

Correction Feb. 19, 10:45 a.m. EST: A previous version of this story mistakenly said the game Metroid was celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2021. The game is actually 35 years old.


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How Mario Strikers Made Me a Bigger Mario Fan

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