Nintendo, more so than any other video game company, has a reputation for being pretty family friendly, and while there are exceptions to the rule like the now 20 years old Conker's Bad Fur Day, 2005's Super Mario Strikers is as PG as it gets. Perhaps this is why it's so surprising that the GameCube soccer title is the game that Nintendo chose to run with when deciding to get a little NSFW with its advertising. Please be advised that in discussing the story, some suggestive content is below.
For the uninitiated, Super Mario Strikers is a soccer game featuring characters from the Mushroom Kingdom, similar to Mario Tennis and other such sports games starring the plumber. The game spawned a Wii sequel called Mario Strikers Charged that was the first Mario game to get a T for Teen rating from the ESRB, but it was the first Strikers game that had an advertising tactic so M for Mature Nintendo eventually had to reject it.
Tucked away in the bottom corner of the ad in question is the Super Mario Strikers logo, with the text "You're gunna need a pair" featured square in the middle. Two soccer balls hang in a net above the text and make it pretty clear what, exactly, Nintendo thinks players need a pair of in order to play Mario Strikers. While the soccer title is often considered one of the better Mario sports game ideas, this advert for it was maybe better left on the drawing board.
Nintendo eventually scrapped the idea, which, of course, did nothing to prevent the image from making its way onto the internet. Intended initially as a magazine advert, the image recently resurfaced in a Reddit thread, spawning a few fun, if schoolyard level jokes as well as comments about how such an ad likely wouldn't be considered today. Just as some Nintendo games of the era no longer hold up, some of the era's advertising tactics are best left in the past as well.
Of course, Nintendo deserves some credit for not actually running the ad. The company tries to avoid controversy where it can, going so far as to remove innocently intended but suggestive looking hand gestures from Mario Kart 8, and even back in 2005 Nintendo decided the Super Mario Strikers ad was too provocative.
Earlier this year Nintendo acquired Next Level Games, the production company responsible for the Mario Strikers games, which has many fans excited about the possibility of another Strikers title being released. While there is no official word on whether Mario will be lacing up soccer cleats anytime soon, if the plumber does return to the field, the advertising probably won't be so suggestive.
The announcement of Mario Golf: Super Rush came as good news for many Mario sports fans. As great as it is, though, it also serves as a reminder that there are so many Mario sports titles still missing from the Switch's library.
Nintendo placing Mario and his friends in different sports titles is practically a tradition at this point, going as far back as the Nintendo 64. Many of these games feature an insane amount of variety and creativity that engage hardcore fans, even when it comes to gamers that have never picked up a sports game before. In recent years however, Nintendo seems to have taken a slight step back when it comes to Mario sports, focusing specifically on Mario Tennis and Mario Golf. Here are some of the Mario sports games that still haven't made their return on the Switch yet.
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