Let’s rip off the bandaid and be honest with ourselves: Mario Strikers: Battle League is doing awfully in terms of sales. This past week in Japan, the physical copies of the game have sold less than that of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles, which is a third party port for a game that’s already been out for other consoles for nearly 10 months. When the game with less sales is a first party title for a beloved spinoff franchise, it’s nothing short of disappointing. So what went wrong?
The answer is quite obvious: it’s the lack of content. The gameplay is quite fun and enjoyable, even in the demo. However, for a $60 game, it has very little content, even going so far (or so short) as to be missing a local multiplayer option. One major issue, however, was the lack of characters.
On release, the game only has 10 characters: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, Rosalina, Wario, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, Bowser, and Toad. It’s a cool cast, and seeing Rosalina added is very nice. But 10 characters is not enough, not to mention a fan-favorite for these types of games is missing from the main roster (I don’t need to say who, you all know who it is). They did confirm that more characters and stuff will be added soon through free updates, but nobody wants to buy a game and wait for things that should be in it from the beginning.
I really want the Strikers series to thrive, but Nintendo will need to add the right things for that to happen, including characters. That’s what I’m here to bring you, with 10 more characters that should be added to the game. This list will consist of four characters that should return to the series and four characters that will be new to the series. I’ll also mention two characters that you should be able to select multiple times for a team (like you can do for Yoshi and Toad), one old and one new. With that out of the way, let’s get into it.
If you somehow didn’t know who the fan-favorite character was earlier, you do now. Daisy not being in this game sparked quite a lot of outrage, and rightfully so. It’s Daisy, practically everyone loves her. It’s probably too little too late for some people, but I think it’d be a disservice to those that have already bought the game to not add Daisy in it.
I’m not sure why the recent spinoff titles have been adamant on adding Donkey Kong but just forget about his sidekick. Besides just making sense to have him in the game alongside Donkey Kong, Diddy would just be a fun character to bring back. There’s so much for him to do with his athletic abilities, and I’m sure Next Level Games would have fun implementing him into Battle League.
There’s not a whole lot of evil characters in Mario Strikers: Battle League (or many Mario spin offs, really), but with its plethora of enemies, they really should be represented more. And there’s not many better ways to help with that than to have the son of the main villain back in the game. I’d love to see how Shadow Mario is incorporated into his Hyper Strike attack, or if he gets the rest of the Koopa Kids for assistance.
It’s funny how all the characters here share a first letter in their name with another character here. Jokes aside, Birdo has been in the recent spinoffs very frequently, and she’s developed more of a personality in each of them. Nintendo seems to recognize Birdo as a big character in her own right, so having her in this game would be great. As much as it grosses me out to say this (because I’m not very fond of Birdo myself), with enough time she could become a staple spinoff character like Daisy and Waluigi.
One easy choice for a new character in the game is Pauline. The New Donk City Mayor has blown up in popularity, no doubt thanks to her presence in Super Mario Odyssey and the amazing song associated with her. She’s since made an appearance in Mario Tennis Aces and Mario Golf: Super Rush. I don’t think much more needs to be said here.
I haven’t seen this idea thrown around much. It makes sense, because it’s hard imagining Toadette blending into this game with its…not-so-cute nature. Despite that, I feel like this should be another easy pick for a new character. The difficulty of seeing how she’d operate in this game adds to the intrigue and interest of seeing it come to fruition. Plus, Toadette is just plain sweet.
Donkey Kong Country characters outside of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong aren’t new to starring in Mario titles. Even in the Strikers series, there were Kritters, the frequent green crocodiles of the series. Outside of that, there’s Funky Kong and Dixie Kong in the Mario Kart games. I think it’d be good for one of them to be added to Mario Strikers: Battle League. It could honestly go either way (even include other characters), but if I had to pick, I’m going with Dixie.
It’d be interesting to see Kamek make it to the Strikers series as a playable character. Would he fly on a broom the whole time? Or would he float like Rosalina? Would he sweep the ball across the court? Probably not that last one, but it’d be really funny and interesting to see what they could do with him and his magic. Maybe his Hyper Strike could have him make the ball gigantic, like he does to himself in Mario Tennis Aces. I’m sure Next Level Games could make something way more interesting though.
I’m not exactly sure what they’re called but I know that support characters were characters you could have multiple of in the past games. So I’ll just refer to them as such here, and list one character that could return in this role and one that could be new to the series as this role.
The white sharp-toothed ghosts of the Mario series are always a treat to see. They were also in the Strikers series before and were considered very broken. I’d like to see them return as support characters because, aside from personal bias, a team full of Boos would be hilarious and fun to be able to do. King Boo could be incorporated into their Hyper Strike in some way, and their regular gameplay could have them vanish in and out of sight as a dodge.
Another good support character would be Goomba. I once said that Goomba should be added to Mario Party Superstars. While I stand by that, I understand both how it doesn’t make sense and how difficult it’d be to do so. In Strikers though, Goomba would be a fine and sensible addition. They’d be right at home, having only feet to kick the ball and a head to do everything else. And having multiple of them would be fun as well, like the Boos.
Characters being added to Mario Strikers: Battle League is a good way to get people interested in buying the game. Of course, this should only be the start; the game needs more than new characters to be considered worth its price in my opinion, like more game modes and single player content. But that’s a topic to dive into for another time.
What did you think? Do you like any of the characters mentioned and think they’d be fun to have for the game? Are there any that you disagree with? How about characters I didn’t mention at all? Also, how do you feel personally about Mario Strikers: Battle League? I’d love to hear your thoughts.