Mario Strikers: Battle League Will Get Post-Launch Updates, Pre-Launch 'Test Kick' Demo
I recently had the opportunity to see an extended live gameplay demo of the upcoming revitalization of the long-dormant Mario Strikers series, Mario Strikers: Battle League. You can get my full demo impressions here, but at the end of the session, Nintendo floated a little bit of extra news our way regarding some pre-launch and post-launch content players will be able to enjoy.
First, Nintendo is launching a "Test Kick" that serves as a half-demo/half-online test. The original download will give players a taste of gameplay through the tutorial and basic play, but as we approach the June launch date, players will be able to compete in online matches during specific times. The Mario Strikers: Battle League Test Kick is available today to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
While getting our hands on a game prior to launch is great news, Nintendo also confirmed some good news for those who pick up Mario Strikers: Battle League. Nintendo announced that multiple post-launch content drops, including characters, will be coming to Mario Strikers: Battle League for free. Nintendo isn't ready to announce any additional details, but it's always great to know the company is committed to evolving the experience.
While Nintendo is remaining tight-lipped on which additional characters will be stepping onto the field following launch, if you look at the rosters of other Mario sports titles, you can probably make some pretty educated guesses. At launch, Mario Strikers: Battle League features Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Peach, Rosalina, Toad, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario, and Waluigi. If you look at the roster of recent Mario sports titles like Mario Tennis Aces and Mario Golf: Super Rush, you'll notice that several mainstays like Daisy, Toadette, Bowser Jr., Koopa Troopa, Diddy Kong, Birdo, Boo, and Shy Guy are absent, as well as many less-prominent characters like King Bob-omb, Pauline, Chargin' Chuck, and Dry Bowser.
We don't know how many characters (and what other content) the development team will add post-launch, but Mario Tennis Aces launched with 16 playable characters in June 2018 and received 14 post-launch characters in the subsequent 13 months. It remains to be seen how committed to Mario Strikers: Battle League's free post-launch content Nintendo and Next Level Games is, but we'll hopefully find out shortly after the game's June 10 release date.
For more on Mario Strikers: Battle League, read our in-depth preview here.