Mario Strikers Dev Pitched a Volleyball Meets Wrestling Game to Nintendo

Mario Spikers' combat meant it was not given the go ahead for development.


Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Punch-Out! developer Next Level Games prototyped a successor to its Mario Strikers Charged series that combined volleyball and wrestling, but the game was not greenlit by Nintendo.

According to a video from Unseen64, the title was tentatively called Mario Volleyball, before being renamed Mario Spikers to bring it in line with the studio's previous titles.

Next Level Games prototyped and pitched the game to Nintendo in 2007, likely intended for the Nintendo Wii. The game featured the same physicality to gameplay as Strikers, which allowed players to knock down others characters.

For Spikers, however, this was escalated with the inclusion of wrestling-like moves. As pointed out, Next Level Games previously worked on a fantasy wrestling game for now defunct publisher THQ called WWE Titans: Parts Unknown, and the studio was drawing on this experience for Spikers.

The contact mechanics eventually became a combat system complete with special moves and, ultimately, this is what is likely to have caused Nintendo to abandon the project.

Wrestling moves such as piledrivers and the general violence was deemed to be against the company's nature, and the project was abandoned.

Next Level Games has maintained a close relationship with Nintendo since then, producing a number of new entries in iconic franchises. At E3 2015, the studio's latest project was revealed to be Metroid Prime Federation Force.

The upcoming Nintendo 3DS title features a four player co-op mode, and is expected to release in 2016. For more of its announcements, take a look at GameSpot's E3 2015 Nintendo news round-up.

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