Super Mario Strikers (also known as Mario Smash Football in Europe and Australia) is Mario's first ever soccer game, for the Nintendo GameCube. The game features a version of soccer without referees and rules, and has Power-Ups and special strikes which count as two goals.
In comparison to actual soccer, the game features a smaller version of the soccer pitch, and each team has only five members, instead of the usual eleven-a-side rule. The match time can be manually set from 2 to 15 minutes, but is defined as 5 minutes by default. If necessary, a sudden death follows the regular game time. With this rule, no game ends as a draw.
Each team consists of a team captain and three sidekicks of the same type, as well as a goalkeeper. Every match of the game can be played in multiplayer. Up to four players can control a single team. If there are less than four players, they can switch their characters on the field, and the game switches control automatically to the next player when the ball is passed. Players can only control the goalie for a short time when he has the ball in hand. Because of this, the goalies are immune to all attacks by enemies or power-ups, and save most goals easily. The soccer fields are surrounded by an electrical fence which electrocutes anybody who gets kicked against it by another player or by a power-up. The fence also prevents the ball and players from leaving the field. Thus, there are no throw-ins, goal kicks, or corner kicks, as seen in actual soccer.
One of the most notable changes is the non-existence of a referee. As such, there is no offside position and fouls are not punished. Players are given a variety of commands to kick or hit each other, which is a major part of the gameplay. Items (also called Power-Ups) exist as a help to the player to score a goal. They serve a function similar to the items in the Mario Kart series. To obtain an item, the player has to shoot the ball fiercely towards the goalposts. A player also gets an item when one of his players, who does not hold the ball, is fouled.
The so-called Super Strike is a special ability of the team's captain. By performing it, the player can hit the ball straight to the goal. When the player manages to score a goal, it counts as two goals instead of one.
1. "Super Mario Strikers." Super Mario Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2013. <http://www.mariowiki.com/Super_Mario_Strikers>.