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Super Mario Strikers

Did you like Sega Soccer Slam, a game commonly compared to this one? I didn't.
Did you like NHL Hitz, which was made by Next Level Games? I didn't.
did you expect Super Mario Strikers to be your favourite Gamecube game this year? I didn't.

But it is. It just might be my favourite party game since Smash Bros Melee, a game released pretty much at the Cube's launch. This is a strong statement.

The actual game is just so fun! The items, the tackling, the speed, the electrified walls, Bowser, the super strikes (it takes either a real lapse in defense or a good play involving items to pull this off), just everything combines to make a game that's chaotic and frantic but still favours skill. The little things really put Strikers over the top.

This is the first Mario Sports game where more than one person (up to 4, actually) can play against the computer in the Cup modes. The Custom Battles mode is just incredible. It's a simple round robin, but the setup is so quick and the rules (3 points for a win, 1 point for a Sudden Death loss, 0 for a loss) work perfectly for a party. Just make some teams (one or two people per team), and choose whether you want to play every other team once, or twice. If you have enough teams, a Custom Battle will go long into the night.

But I don't want to go into review mode here. The bottom line is this game is extremely fun, the reviews for it (especially Gamespot's) have not done the game justice, and you/your friends should rent it and play it together and see how you like it.

Next Level Games... you guys are Gods! to what extent did Nintendo help you make this masterpiece of a game? Thank you for saving the Gamecube's... nay, the industry's holiday season (though Guitar Hero didn't do a bad job doing that either).

Oh right, buy Guitar Hero. Trust me on that.