4 Super Mario Spikers
It’s near-impossible to make a Mario game that isn’t totally weird, but Super Mario Spikers could’ve been the strangest take of all: a volleyball game mixed with pro wrestling, starring a fat Italian with mushroom-based superpowers.
Originally a simple Mario-based volleyball game, Next Level Games eventually cranked up the physicality, turning it into a version of volleyball with elements of pro wrestling. Presumably, you could either punch the ball, or punch your opponent in the jaw. Concept art showed several awesome arenas and rings, including one with electrified ropes because this wasn’t just wrestling — it was hardcore wrestling.
Sadly, in 2007 Nintendo put a big spike in Spikers. For their image’s sake, Nintendo understandably didn’t want the kid-friendly Mario to get too violent, and this was exactly that. So Next Level moved on to develop Wii Punch-Out!! instead. You have to admire the studio’s dedication as no matter what, they were going to guarantee we got to punch some pixels.
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/mario-strikers-dev-pitched-a-volleyball-meets-wres/1100-6428526/ Source: GameSpot