The success that Next Level Games saw with Mario Strikers Charged Football had seen Nintendo reward the Canadian studio with an expanded budget that had allowed them to experiment other sports that the Mushroom Kingdom could compete in.
Conceived as Mario Volleyball, Unseen 64’s Tamaki has shared another video discussing what became of Super Mario Spikers. Much more physical than what we would normally attribute to the sport, that later saw it warp into a hybrid version of volleyball and wrestling.
Player contact aspects were expanded into more combative scenarios where Mario and pals could perform piledrivers and aerial attacks, while stage concepts were inspired by wrestling arenas and TV shows.
However, when pitched to Nintendo executives the company felt that the game’s more violent animations weren’t in keeping with their honourable nature. It wasn’t to be greenlit, but Next Level Games went on to develop Wii’s Punch-Out!! and an unapproved Metroid concept that they pitched for Nintendo 3DS.