Now, let me start by simply saying that this is all my own opinion and nothing more. The characters I think the game should have. Not to say it is only characters I like, cause a few of them I am very indifferent to. No I mean the character that both deserve to be in the game and fit with the games overall theme.
Also let me state that this is based purely what I think would work. I have not read anything to suggest that any of this may happen so this is not false reporting or even speculation. It is just a roster that I think works and if by some amazing coincidence it is anything like what is actually used I will be happy
When it first came out for the Nintendo 64, SSB was one of the most creative, engaging and mind-blowing games I had encountered. Just the concept behind it was a dream come true: The flag ship characters of all the big Nintendo titles in the same game pitted against each other in a nature similar to the old DC vs. Marvel story. Then once you played the game you found that the execution lived up to the promise the premise made. Instead of just being a copy and paste street fighter with Nintendo character drawn in, each character behaved drastically different form the others. It felt very true to the reality that all the characters came from different games with different styles of combat and movement.
When its’ first sequel came out for the GameCube, it was everything great about the first simply with more. It gave even greater representation from each individual series and lots of little added nods to other games and franchises that wouldn’t really fit as fighter characters in the SSB style. However, when the version for the Wii came out, in many ways it felt that they were trying to outdo their selves. Some additions were welcome. The assist trophies allowed for even better nods to smaller more obscure games, and the final smash abilities (for the most part) made an excellent expansion to the fighting. However some characters from earlier games were looked over while new characters were added who really didn’t deserve to be a full-fledge fighter. Also, one last change to the original formula was added that I didn’t care for, but that will be addressed later.*
What follows are many changes, additions, tweaks and subtractions that in my opinion would improve the upcoming SSB to come to both the WiiU and 3DS. Now many of my suggestions may reach praise from some and jeers from other, but as this is only my opinion and will have no bearings on the actual game itself, then I am fine with just stating what I would think would make the game its’ best.
The following franchises I feel are already well represented and fit fine within the game without any additions or subtractions.
I’d say leave the Mario game characters exactly where it is: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, Bowser and Wario. That is already a good sized group and really all the characters that make sense for the format. Some people suggest Toad, Daisy and Waluigi, but none of them really bring anything to the table that would be useful or original. Best to leave things where they are
This franchise has many wonderful and memorable characters, but none of them (aside from the already included three) are fleshed out enough to justify becoming playable characters. I loved all of Kirby’s animal friends, but each would have to be expanded quite a bit to become main fighters and as they are all equal, picking one or two to add would seem like an unfair slight to the rest. So Kirby games get left alone as well.
Frankly, I think it is ridiculous to include characters from a racing game in a fighting game. Capt. Falcon gets to stay because of both his popularity and the fact the he was included in the very first SSB, but that is it. It’s an obscure series at best and whatever character they choose will be given moves that are in no way represented in the games they are from. When is the last time you won a race in F-Zero with a well-timed Falcon Punch? Never, because before the first SSB, Capt. Falcon never punched anything. Because he was DRIVING!
I know very little about these games and most people I know are just as clueless. I think they are frankly lucky that they got two characters in and that’s enough. Any other characters that are worth mentioning can be reserved for assist trophies.
Let’s be honest, when Brawl came out there was one game in this series with only one character that was even conceivably an option for SSB. They created a new game for Pit, but he is still the only character fleshed out enough to be a playable fighter. The only other recognizable characters would be Medusa or Palutena and they would have to be seriously de-powered as they are Goddesses. So Pit can stay, but that’s it.
I don’t know much about these games at all, but the three characters that have been featured seems fair to me. Honestly of the three pick the two you like most and include them and I won’t care at all.
One of the best things about the SSB games is finding out which of your favorite characters will be playable. However, you have to keep things balanced. Not only do you have to pick characters that don’t need to be powered up or down, but you also don’t want to overload the roster with characters from one particular series.
In suggesting the following characters I am not simply picking characters I like. There are many characters from Nintendo’s past that I am very fond but who simply wouldn’t fit in the nature of these games. Also, I am doing my best not to add too heavily from any one franchise. Heck I could think of an entire roster for a SSB Pokémon edition or Zelda edition, but as these games are meant to be a nexus of the Nintendo multi-verse, I want the representation of titles to be at least proportionate to the size depth and popularity of each franchise.
Ridley: He is really the only option I can think of. Metroid certainly needs at least one other fighter and Ridley makes the most sense. He is more or less Samus’ most memorable rival/antagonist and the only other options would be some of the other suited bounty hunters who would be too much like Samus as it is. He was a boss, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be tweaked like Bowser was to flesh him out into a leveled fighter. He has potential for many unique moves and for common moves other SSB characters use (specifically the glide move)
Krystal: She makes sense because she is the only character in the Star Fox universe that wouldn’t have to play like Fox with different speed parameters. She would have a completely different skill set that would reflect her mage/martial arts theme all while adding another much needed female character to the roster. I love Skippy, but he has now place on the battlefield.
Dixie Kong: They already mapped her out for Brawl but removed her at the last minute. So, all the work is already done transitioning her into a fighter and when it comes to the other Kongs, she has the best combination of popularity and flexibility. Kranky is a wonderful character, but would any of you believe for one second and decrepit old gorilla running and jumping about? Lanky Kong was one of my favorites, but who even remembers him besides me? So, Dixie’s in.
King K. Rool: Donkey’s big antagonist deserves a spot on the roster. In his past appearances he has used a variety of attacks that could be included in his move set. Also who’s to say his hoard of loyal minions can’t be included in his moves? What if one of his attacks is pulling a Klamp Trap (From wherever ) and throws it onto the stages floor to wander around biting anyone it crosses paths with. There are a lot of creative things to do with this guy.
Midna/Wolf Link Combo: For me, Midna was one of the best characters from the entire library of Zelda games. The two working as one character supplies for a wide variety of attacks. Wolf Link brings bites, pounces, leaps and scratches, while Midna can provide trapping the opponent in dark energy, tossing them with her hair hand, or teleporting her and Link to safety. And as final smash, she could use the fused shadows and turn into that multi-armed, spear wielding form to launch one massive attack before returning to normal. And you have to admit, Midna’s taunt move would be hilarious.
Skullkid wearing Majora’s Mask: As rich as the Zelda universe, they don’t have many memorable antagonists. There were lots of great boss battles, but none of them deserve more than an assist trophy. Sure you could argue that some of the sword wielding enemies could be turned into a playable character, but do you really want to play as some generic moblin or stallfos? However, Majora’s Mask gave us one of the most memorable antagonists that wasn’t just a lackey of Ganon. The Skullkid could use the mask's power for several different attacks and techniques and his movement style could be dramatically different from any other character. And what could be a more satisfying final smash then crashing the Terminian moon onto the stage?
Kid Link or Toon Link: This isn’t really a new addition, but I didn’t want to make a whole section for one change. I don’t mind either of these characters being in the next game, but I don’t think both being around is necessary. Whichever one they use I would simply suggest that they give him a different final smash than the one regular Link uses. If they use Toon Link, I suggest his final smash be him pulling out the Phantom Hourglass and freezing time. All other characters, stage hazards and items motionless (mid-air, mid-hit, flying off stage) while Toon Link is free to attack, hoard items, position himself away from attacks, whatever until the hourglass runs out after a minute or so. If Kid Link is chosen, I say his Final smash should be him putting on the Fierce Deity mask and transforming into a hyper-powerful version of Adult Link for a limited time.
Rival Trainer, other region Trainer or a Gym Leader: This is another either or (but with three) The Pokémon Trainer was probably the best addition made by Brawl. Not only did it allow for more pokémon to be used without flooding the roster, he was challenging because you had to be good with three separate move sets to be affective. With Zelda/Sheik if you were really good with one you could just keep battling in that form, but with the trainer you had to switch out so you couldn’t afford to be weak with one. My suggestion would be one more trainer with their own set of three. The Rival would have the type advantage starter for all of the Trainer’s pokémon. Meaning he would have Bulbasaur instead of Squirtle, Charmeleon instead of Ivysaur, and Blastoise instead of Charizard. The only problem with this is that it makes the pokémon representation very first gen heavy. If this is a problem, instead of the rival a trainer from one of the other regions could be used with a similar set up of starters. I Frankly I think Chikorita, Quilava and Feralligator would be the best selection from another region. The Third option of a Gym Leader is only there because then you would be playing a character with a name and a personality, as opposed to a generic place holder called “Pokémon Trainer”. The only problem with this is that all the Gym Leaders are type specific and they wouldn’t give the best variety of pokémon. But you have to admit, having either Misty or Lance as an option would be pretty cool.
Meowth: Since sequels stared, many of the flagship characters from the first SSB had their rival added: Bowser, Ganondorph, King Deedeedee, Wario. Not to mention the other ones I have suggested in this article. If Pikachu has rival, the only real contender would be Meowth and he would make a great addition as a playable character. Not only is he one of the most famous and recognizable characters from the franchise, but he also has a plethora of attacks that could easily translate into a SSB style. Slash (as a smash attack), Bite, Furry Swipes (as an infinite attack like what Kirby, Fox or Link have) Thief(is your opponent holding an item you want to use?) and of course his trademark move, Payday. Not sure what his final smash would be, but there are plenty of options.
Mewtwo: The worst thing about Brawl was the replacement of Mewtwo with the flavor of the week pokémon, Lucario. I have nothing against Lucario, but let’s be frank here, he was added because Diamond and Pearl were still new and he was the hot new thing. If he was just added that would be fine, but he was added in replacement of a much more popular, powerful pokémon who was a legendary. To add insult to injury Lucario was mostly a clone of Mewtwo with slightly different execution. Bring Mewtwo back and if you feel the pokémon roster is too big, then get rid of Lucario. However, if Mewtwo is brought back then one thing needs to be changed. In Melee all of Mewtwo’s cool attacks and unique fighting style was almost completely off-set by one crippling mistake. Because they wanted him to float instead of walk, he had no friction which made him very slow like the heavy characters, but because they wanted him to move through the air fast, he became extremely easy to toss away like the lite-weight characters. He was the only character to have the worst of both weight classes and the coolest move in the world couldn’t make up for it. Just pick on and go with it. If Mario is the standard for speed and thrown distance, then make him a little faster than Mario, but a little easier to toss away.
This section is for the playable character who already exist, but really aren’t enough to be a character all on their own. However they do deserve a spot in the “Who’s Who of Nintendo” For these few characters I suggest they not be removed, but reduced to assist trophies. Honestly, the only justifiable reason for the following characters to remain as playable characters
Ice Climbers: Yes, Pit was only in one game by the time he was included, and his game was just as obscure as the Ice Climbers game was, but there is a big difference that dictates why Pit can stay while the Nana Popo get a supporting role: Because when you play as Pit he isn’t pathetic, annoying and gimmicky. This may be mostly my opinion, but I haven’t met anyone who likes playing as the Ice Climbers. I’ve not met anyone who EVER wants to play as them or even thinks they are a cool character to have even if no one plays as them. As far as I am concerned they are stupid, worthless and taking up space that could be filled by a more deserving character. The guy from Excite Bike isn’t a character, nor should they be. An assist trophy is more than enough for them.
R.O.B.: First off, he isn’t even a video game, he’s an electronic toy. At best a video game accessory. Including him is a neat nod to Nintendo’s full history, but making him a playable character, with a move set and all, is just ridiculous. He has assist trophy written all over him.
Pichu: Cute? Yes? A reasonable pick for a playable fighter? Not so much. He was a faster, weaker and lighter version of Pikachu. On top of that, to tie him in with the game’s pokédex, they made it so he hurt himself anytime he used an electric attack. But even if you took that away he was just a faster Pikachu, and not fast enough to really make a difference. Stuff him in a pokéball to let him randomly appear and use a cool electric attack.
Wolf: The game doesn't need two clones of Fox. Falco at least looks different. For Wolf either make him a palette swap for Fox (like they did with For Peach giving her a Daisy color scheme as an option) or make him an assist trophy where he sicks his squadron on your opponent fighters.
Olimar: He never made much sense to me. I get that the Pikman serious is very popular, but turning him into a full-fledged fighter seemed like a bit of a stretch. Not as much of a stretch that was made for Capt. Falcon, but we don’t need to make the same mistake again do we? So he becomes an assist trophy where he can chuck pikman at your opponents while following you around. Or whatever he does best.
This section is for one character and one character alone, The one who I feel has no justifiable place in the SSB universe.
Snake: Calm down Metal Gear fans, I’m not saying he is a bad character (or that they are bad games) I simply mean he doesn’t fit with the feel, nature, and environment of the SSB games. First off he looks too realistic for the rest of the game. Snake standing next to Mario looks ridiculous. Even the more realistic human characters like Link or Samus are still done in an anime style so you would never think that they were meant to look real-to-life. Second, he is too hardcore for a lite-natured fighting game. He shoots people, stabs people, sneaks up behind them and slit’s their throats. To allow him to do these things to Mario and the others would be horrific, but to take them away really waters his character down and isn’t a fair representation of what Snake and the Metal Gear games are. Lastly, Snake isn’t even a Nintendo created character. If he was created, owned and exclusive to Nintendo, then I could see how, in spite of the earlier mentioned miss-fittings, he would deserve some mention. However that isn’t the case, so involving him at all makes no sense.
Third Party Characters*
Let me start by saying that I was not a fan of the idea of third party inclusions. One thing I loved abut SSB was the feel that it was a celebration of everything Nintendo. An exclusive party to display the history of the company in one brief volume. Including non-Nintendo characters just felt like it didn’t serve a purpose in that theme. However enough people love the idea so much that I doubt SSB will ever be without third party inclusions. In light of that, I felt it only fair to mention the characters who I feel deserve it if any.
Now I have a few rules regarding which third party characters I think should be invited along.
First they have to have not only been on a Nintendo system, but they have to have shined on that system. By this I mean that the game they joined Nintendo with has to be one of their memorable games. There have been many Final Fantasy games on Nintendo systems, but before FF VII no one pays much attention to them. There was an Assassin’s Creed game on the DS, but no one praised it for anything so that certainly shouldn’t be enough for Altair or Ezio's inclusion there.
Second, any included third party character should be very iconic in the world of gaming to justify breaking the Nintendo-exclusive rule. This means not only being the star of their respective games, but also having been in games that were remembered long after their release by a large portion of the gaming community. Bubsy was the star of his games, but who really remembers Bubsy and most those who do remember him don’t really remember him fondly. They should be a legendary character in the world of gaming who isn’t the poster child for any of the existing systems.
Third, their origins need to be from video games and nothing else. That means characters from movies, cartoons, comic books etc. who later got successful video game lines should be excluded. If they were allowed then there would be far too many to choose from and it would no longer feel like a collection of videogame characters. Ghostbusters, Batman, Ninja Turtles, all great characters all with great games, but none of them really belong in a game that is about games.
Fourth, the third party characters shouldn’t come from tournament fighter games. One of the fun things about SSB is playing characters who aren’t traditionally in tournament style fighting games. Ryu, Scorpion, Morrigan are all great characters, but putting them in SSB wouldn’t really expand or change them in any worthwhile way.
Lastly they need to fit with the feel of SSB. For the same reasons I excluded Snake, all other third party characters should be measured. There are lots of great characters who simply don’t belong in SSB. Some for being too realistic like Lara Croft. Others for being too graphic and violent like the Metal Gear or Resident Evil games. Some for just being too simple to ever translate into the SSB games. Pac man is probably one of the most iconic names in video games, but to turn him into a SSB fighter would stretch too far from his source material.
All that said, here are the characters I feel meet the earlier mentioned criteria best to deserve inclusion in the next SSB game.
Sonic: He was included last time and there isn’t much reason to remove him. His style and feel fits with the rest of the game and he was just as big as Mario was way back when. He has been in about as many games as any one character and brings a lot of signature moves and skills to incorporate. If nothing else he deserves to be here because otherwise he is kind of homeless. Not to make him sound like a charity case, but he is just too great of a character not to give him every chance to shine as possible.
Tails or Knuckles: One or the other. Tails as Sonic’s side-kick or Knuckles as Sonic’s rival (Not Shadow, he is terrible and should be forgotten. My opinion, but prove me wrong.) Why I say one or the other is that I don’t think as a third party, they shouldn’t have as much representation as some of the smaller Nintendo games. If Nintendo bought them, then they could add all three, but after that I don’t think any of the other Sonic characters would be important enough to include.
Earthworm Jim: He didn’t have nearly as long a game history as Mario or Sonic, but most of his games are extremely well remembered and liked, even outside his cult following. He is cartoony enough to fit well in the SSB atmosphere and has a wide variety of moves to pull from, be they different blaster attacks, worm whips and helicopter jumps. Personality, movements, nature all are a good fit. Furthermore he doesn’t have ties any stronger to any of Nintendo’s Rival companies. Not one of his games was ever without a Nintendo equivalent. Lastly he simply has no other place to go and deserves a cameo somewhere so he doesn’t disappear into obscurity. Besides, what could be more fun than watching his final smash as a meteor shower of cattle land on your opponents?
Mega Man: if any third party character deserves to be in SSB, it’s Mega Man. He was one of the biggest names in gaming who helped shape the foundation that most games today were built off of. He fits even better for SSB than Sonic. While Sonic’s most memorable games were when he was owned by Sega on their systems, all of Mega Man’s most memorable games happened on Nintendo systems (some along-side other system equivalents) His look, his style, his level of icon all fit wonderfully with SSB. Over the years he has accumulated some of the widest range of abilities that could all add to his move set. Beyond that, his main ability is his ability to mimic the attacks of his opponents. This could be treated in the same style as Kirby’s copy ability and would give the Blue Bomber moves he would never get to use outside these games. Lastly, like the others, poor Mega Man has nowhere else to strut his stuff. Every once in a while he gets a new game, but it is usually based on some anime that is being made in his name and is lacking a video game origin. As far as I am concerned, if Mega Man isn’t in the game (barring some resistance on Capcom’s side) then none of the others deserve to be there. Oh and Rush should be somewhere is his move set. His third jump, his final smash, doesn’t matter where but he should be there somewhere.
Roll: Now most people would suggest Proto Man as a second Mega Man character, but to me that would just be boring. Not only would he play just like Mega Man, but he wouldn’t look much different or sound different or anything. Roll on the other hand can have most the same moves as her big brother (as she had the same copy ability that he had) but some wild card moves could be given to her to help differentiate the two from each other. Imagine nullifying damage and effects of enemy projectiles buy sucking them up with her vacuum arm. Diverse enough from Mega man to justify another character but still one of the most constant facets of the Mega Man series.
So, that's it. What do you guys think? Too much, not enough? If the new Smash Bros games were like this, how satisfied would you be? Let me know.