Metroid Prime: Federation Force isn't due out on 3DS until August 19, but Nintendo pushed a free multiplayer demo to the eShop earlier today so you can sample the game.
The demo lets you play Blast Ball, a mode where two teams score points by shooting a giant ball and moving it toward their goal. It's a lot like Rocket League, only with giant arm cannons instead of futuristic vehicles.
You'll be able to keep playing the Blast Ball demo after Metroid Prime: Federation Force hits stores and Nintendo's eShop next month, and against players who bought the full version, until early September. After that, only the full version will have online support.
Rolling out a free demo now could be a move to give players just shy of a month to familiarize themselves with the game, or a calculated response to counter the backlash Federation Force met with from players clamoring for a proper Metroid game—either a 2D installment in the vein of beloved SNES classic Super Metroid, or another Metroid Prime-esque romp to follow 2007's Metroid Prime 3 on Wii.
David Craddock posted a new article, Try a multiplayer mode from Metroid Prime: Federation Force for free, right now
I'll check it out even though I don't particularly care about Blast Ball, if only to get an idea of how it runs and controls on my *OLD* 3DS.
But I'm looking forward to Federation Force with hope. All the content I've seen showing the coop campaign looks pretty solid once you get past the art style and the not being Samus thing.
It may not be the Metroid game core fans want but Prime games are really expensive and the core devs at Retro have moved on, plus Yoshio Sakamoto controls the mainline (2Dish) Metroid series and nearly destroyed the franchise with Other M. Worse, neither series sells anywhere near enough to justify staying the course.
I'm honestly shocked Nintendo is even making this, but I guess they aren't ready to give up on the franchise even if it barely makes money.
For the hardcore fans, be glad that it looks like we're getting the finished version of Another Metroid 2 Remake in about two weeks, that should be fun!
Hopefully Nintendo continues to look the other way on that project, on account of the franchise needing all the good attention it can get and that if someone wants to put in their own time and money to promote it in a positive way, then the more the merrier.
Nintendo has a history of protecting their IPs.