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Mario Strikers is one of the most stylistically interesting spinoffs among Mario sports games, if not the whole series, what with the tackling opponents into electric fences and all — but the original prototype was even more out there in a completely different direction, as revealed by former Next Level Games developer Mike Inglehart in a GameXplain interview.



Essentially, the team made what’s described as a “soccer platformer” where Mario and Luigi would apparently roll around on a ball like a circus performer towards goals inside castles. The strange setup was apparently born from NLG attempting to aim at an “eastern market” and make what they thought the Nintendo higher-ups desired. “It didn’t resemble soccer at all. Soccer was a means to an end,” Inglehart said. But eventually instead of trying to make a strange hybrid genre they settled on making a proper soccer game like Nintendo had asked for. In the end, of course, that worked out quite well.

The full interview is available through GameXplain’s Patreon. Mario Strikers: Battle League releases on June 10th.


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.