Mario and Moogles play ball

Gamers in Japan are no doubt spending huge chunks of this week cramming flaming basketballs into Nintendo-themed hoops with Mario Hoops 3-on-3 - we'll get our chance on September 11, but perhaps one of the coolest features this Mario sports outing has is its cast of Final Fantasy guest stars.

By meeting certain goals, you'll unlock classic characters like the black and white mages, a ninja and moogle, and the annoying cactus creature, Cactuar. Each brings something different to the hardwood - the black mage, for example, is a tricky-style player while the white mage is a more technical ball handler. They'll also have special shots (much like last year's Super Mario Strikers) that should be nigh-impossible to block. Meteor, holy, the moogle dance... all the staple attacks are here.

The game's Japanese website spells all of this out, but there's still one page of details that hasn't been revealed - so there could very well be even more hidden characters to find. We're secretly hoping for a reunion of characters from the Super NES classic, Super Mario RPG.