When I found my copy of [i]Super Mario Strikers[/i] in my mailbox I was genuinely excited. I looked forward to popping it into my Gamecube and getting sucked into its multiple game modes and surprisingly deep gameplay for hours and hours. I soon found out this isn’t what we have come to expect from a Mario game. SMS is the latest in the Mario series of sports games. This time around Mario is trying his hand at soccer. The only question is: Will this title compare to the likes of Mario Tennis or Mario Kart?
Both visually and audibly, [i]SMS[/i] is just what you would expect from a Mario game. The visuals are polished, bright, and very “kiddie”. Character models are pretty simple but look nice and the stadiums are unique and very nicely done. The audio is much the same with nothing to complain about or praise. You’ll hear plenty of the usual sound bites, along with solid sound effects in-game as well as when navigating menus.
The game is as average is it gets. Unlike most other Mario sports titles this game doesn’t have any fun mini-games or handfuls of different modes. You are relegated to play now, play against a friend, or play in Cup Mode. You can work your way from the Flower Cup all the way to the Bowser Cup unlocking new arenas as you go. Once you take the Bowser Cup you will unlock one more tournament where, if you win, you will unlock the ONLY unlockable character in the entire game.
Now while this may sound fun, the game’s simplistic controls and extremely easy gameplay make it fly by in all its mediocrity. The game is played basically with just the left analog, along with the A,B, and Y buttons. If the opposing team has the ball all you need to do is slide tackle or just plain hit them to get it back. Once you get the timing of the “super strike” down you will score at will.
Now as I’ve sat here and written this review it feels as if I’ve missed something or left something out. Well, that’s the same feeling I get as I play through this game. It’s not a bad game, it’s a solid title to pick up and play when you need to kill 30 minutes before work, but it’s as if Nintendo forgot to put the rest of the game on the disc. It won’t keep your attention for long, but if you’re looking for a game for the young ones or to just kill time with here and there, this wouldn’t be a bad choice.