Mario Strikers: Battle League’s first big update will add a character fans have clamored for since before launch: Daisy. Yeah, yeah, the update also introduces some other stuff, but c’mon! Daisy!! Finally!!!
Daisy has long been a mainstay on the Mario sports games circuit, including previous entries in the Strikers series, Nintendo’s take on soccer. So when news broke about a month before the launch of Mario Strikers: Battle League that suggested Daisy might be excluded from the game, fans were furious.
Daisy’s absence turned out to be indicative of the broader problem with Mario Strikers: Battle League. First released last month for Switch, it received fair praise for its punchy, hectic twist on soccer games. But it got a collective red card for launching svelte on content: it included just 10 playable characters. And while Battle League came out of the gate with five distinct soccer fields, they’re all…pretty much the same, each one only a cosmetic alteration to the stadium’s backdrop.
The update, which is free, rolls out July 22 and beefs up Battle League’s content library, kinda. Daisy, skilled in technique and passing stats, is of course the headliner. One Twitter user succinctly captured fan reaction:
Fan second-favorite Shy Guy, who has even stats across the board, will also join the roster, bringing it to 12 total characters. (The previous game, 2007’s Mario Strikers Charged on Wii, featured 12 captains and eight sidekicks, for a total roster of 20.)
It will also add a new stadium—the sandy Desert Ruin—plus a set of gear themed after medieval knights. In Battle League, you can earn in-game currency through playing. You can spend that currency on specific pieces of stat-boosting gear for each of the playable characters. The new gear set improves the strength and shooting stats of any character wearing it. Give it to Wario!
One has to wonder what the reception to Mario Strikers: Battle League would’ve been if Nintendo delayed the game an extra month so all this stuff could’ve been playable at launch. The biggest dig against the game was, again, how thin on content it was. This obviously didn’t impact sales too much—according to sales-tracking firm NPD, Battle League was the top-selling Switch game last month—but there’s no data to clarify how much, or how little, time those players are actually spending in the game.
Speaking personally, I’ve already fallen off it: not enough there to prevent matches from feeling repetitive. But the introduction of two new characters and a new set of gear could revitalize things. While it’s not there just yet, with this week’s update, Battle League will finally start to match the full offerings of a standard Strikers game.
Nintendo says Battle League will receive two more updates before the year is over.