A lot is riding on Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS. The series has always been a multimillion seller for Nintendo and has proven to cause the company’s systems to fly off the shelves when released.
Which is exactly why Masahiro Sakurai has to nail the game perfectly. It really seems like a make or break game for Nintendo, almost like how Super Smash Bros. Melee turned the GameCube into a solid system overnight after a few disappointing launch titles.
Along with every game in the series, the first and foremost aspect to be thrown under the microscope is the cast. Sakurai had confirmed that the game would feature a much smaller group of characters than the 39 available in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, leaving many to wonder who would make the cut.
If your favorite Nintendo character is not present in the roster, what are the chances you will end up purchasing it?
At E3, Sakurai and his team revealed many of the “safe” choices which will be headlining the game. 9 returning characters have been confirmed: Mario, Link, Samus, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Pit, and Bowser.
Alongside these veterans, Nintendo also announced two first-party newcomers, the Villager from Animal Crossing and the Wii Fit Trainer from Wii Fit. Nintendo revealed its sole third-party guest, the one and only Mega Man.
Following Friday’s announcement that Captain Olimar from the Pikmin series would be bringing the total count to 13, we are left wondering not only who would be making the cut, but also who would actually want to see make the cut. Here is the first part a quick rundown of 32 remaining Super Smash Bros. playable characters who remain unspoken for and if we are interested in playing as him again.
This high-speed racer from the F-zero series has been in every game since the original on the Nintendo 64. Although never playable outside of his car in his own series, the character has always been a popular choice thanks to his classic “Falcon Punch!” sound bit.
Shigeru Miyamoto claimed recently that he has no ideas on plans for continuing F-Zero, and Mario Kart 8 seems to be taking over the high octane racing genre that it used to fill. It remains to be seen if Nintendo will cut Captain Falcon as it cleanses its hands of the classic series.
OUR PICK: 100%, absolutely. Captain Falcon is a staple of the series and heads will roll if he is not included in the final roster. A Smash Bros. without “Falcon Punch” is like Metal Gear Solid without David Hayter…ohh….
Donkey Kong’s wannabe nephew has had a few high profile appearances recently, most noticeably in the Donkey Kong Country Returns games.
Nintendo is enjoying the resurgence in mojo for its oldest running series, and chances are they will want to make sure at least one other Donkey Kong character is front and center to show off Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Our Pick: We’d be leaning towards “no” if Sakurai was heading towards a more traditional use of the character. One hairy ape is enough. He struck gold with the action star spin on Diddy Kong from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, giving the character an entirely new feel. We wouldn’t mind seeing that Diddy get another shot…or two or three or four
Mario’s side job, which I’m not entirely sure he’s qualified for, only saw an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and even then, he was more of a palette swap than anything. His biggest difference was throwing pills instead of fire balls and moving a lot slower. To make up for the loss in speed, his uppercut did more damage and his attacks packed more of a wallop.
Our Pick: He’s only in one game for a reason. Mario is so much more fun to use as you’ve known him and loved him for 30 years. No need for this one again.
Fox’s insufferable wing man has appeared in the last two games as a slower and heavier version of the speedy Vulpes. Some point to his copy and pasted move-set as laziness on the developers part, while his longtime fans dating way back to the Super Nintendo praise his inclusion for the extra dash of attitude he gives the game.
Fox is the most high profile character confirmed in the game whose main series’ future is under a lot of question. The most recent was actually a simple remake of Star Fox 64 on the Nintendo 3DS, and beyond that, not much else. Not sure if the Star Fox squad has the draw to make the cut beyond the titular pilot himself…
Our Pick: …Which is exactly why he needs to be included. We’d like to see a little originality with the character’s move set, but he needs the exposure to show the newly initiated that Fox does not fly solo. “Gee, I’ve been saved by Fox. How swell.”
Demon thief and eternal nemesis to the people of Hyrule and its green-laden heroes. Ganondorf holds the position as yet another popular character held back by the fact that his moveset it a total clone. Only this time though, the character and the series are far more popular than the one he is based off of.
Hard to say, because I love Captain Falcon, but I’d say if it came push to shove to cut one or the other, then Nintendo would have no problem sticking to Ganondorf’s recognizability.
Our Pick: As much I would rather see the giant blue pig Ganon from A Link to the Past be playable, I know that is not possible since he would be too similar to Bowser. That being said, Link is the second most important character in the series, and he needs a slick villain to fight again. I’m not a huge fan, but he’s gotta be there.
These little pukes have made an appearance in each game since Melee. Nobody can argue that their tag-team gimmick isn’t original and interesting, but does anybody even like them anymore? The levels they bring to the table are more interesting than the characters themselves.
Their inclusion in the Smash Bros. series has had real-world negative ramifications as well. Nobody liked Ice Climbers back on the NES, and yet ever since Melee came out, it’s been a forgotten hidden gem and led a lot of rosey-eyed Nintendo fans to drop money on the rubbish through Virtual Console. Victims of revisionist history.
Our Pick: In case you haven’t guessed, no. These two should not make an appearance unless its plastered onto the bottom of Boswer’s scaly feet.
When you think Fire Emblem and Super Smash Bros., who do you think of? Roy and Marth right? The two are far more iconic than Ike, and their games were never even released in America. Shows how little impact this guy has had on the world around him. I mean, did his appearance awaken an entire half of the world to a long forgotten Nintendo franchise? Nope, it didn’t.
Fire Emblem on handhelds is a sure fire win. The console releases have not been as successful, and neither has Ike in achieving any long term fame in the Nintendo world.
Our Pick: No. At least one character from the series is bound to make an appearance, and it’s certainly not going to be this guy. Roy, Marth, or even Chrom from the far more successful Fire Emblem: Awakening would be far better suited for Nintendo’s needs.
Nintendo’s most adorable Pokémon has been with the series ever since its inception, but she is no longer “normal.” The little ball of fluff is now slapped with a fairy-type announced for the new Pokémon X and Y coming out for the Nintendo 3DS.
Jigglypuff is best known for the sleep attack and subsequent explosion her rolling attack can cause. It is best put to use in the challenge modes found in Melee and are considered kind of a game breaker.
Our Pick: There are fad Pokémon, and there are Pokémon built to last. Jigglypuff is the later. She is popular for her eternal appeal and cuteness, not because she was powerful at the time of her release or a wave of kids clung to her on announcement. Her reputation has lasted the entire 15 years of Pokémon‘s existence, and that is no small feet given how many come and go. Her original move-set is another plus. She stays.
Kirby’s sometimes friend, sometimes foe and overall incompetent King of Dreamland.. I’ve been a Kirby fan for nearly 20 years now and I’m still not certain what role this guys plays in the series.
The king uses a hammer as a weapon and within its head holds a wide variety of weapons and gizmos. King Dedede is also fat, making him really heavy and difficult to hit off the screen. He’s only appeared in Brawl, but he was originally planned to be in all three games.
Our Pick: As for that, I’m not very certain if I really need him in a Smash Bros. game. He’s more of a non-presence, and I still don’t think I’ve ever used him to this day. As cool as it is having a penguin on the roster, I say cut him.
Remember how I mentioned “fad” Pokémon. When the Wii was at the height of its popularity, I had just come to Japan for the first time and saw this dude everywhere. Posters, backpacks, phone straps, and cookies. Japanese kids were all over this guy and he became the big new Pokémon of the DS era.
Too bad the DS era is over and Nintendo has already moved on. It needs to find quickly another flavor of the week to exploit once Pokémon X and Y comes out, meaning this guy is going to be cut.
Our Picks: I might sound a little harsh because I like Lucario actually. He does have a slick design and his Fighting-Type matches the Smash Bros. universe, but I am in agreement that Nintendo should either stick to a new popular face for this iteration or pick a more iconic fighting Pokémon from the olden days. Hitmonlee!
A young boy from Mother 3 who is on the search for his adventurous father after his beloved mother croaks on him. Mother 3 is not exactly the most uplifting game ever created, but it does have the emotional highs and lows of a boy Lucas’ age.
Sakurai had intended for Lucas to continue on the tradition of Roy and Marth and shove a marvelous Japan-only game into the limelight. He succeeded in convincing everyone that Mother 3 is a game worth your time and checking out as soon as possible…everyone except Nintendo of America, who still refuses to acknowledge the game at all.
Our Pick: As much as I love Lucas and think Mother 3 is a superior game to Earthbound, Ness is still the cooler kid on the block. Nintendo is going to have to choose between these two, and Ness will be chosen. It’s the better choice, sorry.
He’s Mario’s young brother. He’s tall and skinny. He wears green.
Is there any doubt that Luigi will be making an appearance? This is the “Year of Luigi” after all, although it will be over by the time Smash Bros. comes out.
Our Pick: The far more intriguing question is in what capacity will Luigi be arriving? As much as I love Luigi, I hate using him in Smash Bros.. His builds are always slow, clunky, and boring. He would be served much better as the ghost hunting coward from Luigi’s Mansion or the weak-kneed sidekick from the Mario & Luigi games. He has more personality in those games than his classic appearance, and his relationship with Prof. E. Gadd could open up some interesting weapon ideas.
The original protagonist from the first game in the Fire Emblem series. He is the first in a long running in a series of lords out for justice, and he is more famous in the West for his Smash Bros. Melee appearance than he is for any game in his own series.
Nintendo might choose to go with a more recent character from the series as his back-up, but I doubt it will totally abandon Marth. For a lot of fans in the West at least, Marth is Super Smash Bros. He opened and entire series to American shores, is more famous for this series than his own, and he can swing that sword better than the iconic Link can.
Our Pick: Yes! Finding a suitable back-up for Marth, besides Roy, will be the tough part. Ike is lame and Chrom looks a little too much like him. A good choice might be Lucina. A female Fire Emblem protagonist from Fire Emblem: Awakening would be a good complement to all the other ladies in the group. However, considering she called herself “Marth” for a portion of the game, it might confuse some audience members.
Kirby’s armor-clad foe makes for a much more menacing antagonist than the silly King Dedede. Devil Wings, secretive mask, and a thorny sword. The guy couldn’t look more evil if he tried.
Meta Knight has only been around for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but he’s already considered to be a top tiered character, most useful for professional battles and casual fans alike. If he wants to stick around, I wonder if Nintendo will think to re-balance him or not. Can’t have the game swinging in favor of people who enjoy using the most evil little shrimp imaginable.
Our Pick: If we are sticking with a theme that the big characters need one of their iconic villains to fight again, then Meta Knight is definitely a superior choice over King Dedede. There just isn’t a decent bone in his body, and he takes the deviousness of the game to levels even Bowser or Ganondorf can’t.
At one point in time, Mewtwo was the most powerful Pokémon in the series. An omnipresent force always looming over the whole game as you slowly work your way to his reclusive cave with the vain hopes of catching him. Hope you saved that Master Ball, because you are gonna need it.
Mewtwo only appears in Melee, a little strange given how important he is in Pokémon lore, but there is a little more controversy to his not being in Brawl. Mewtwo is the victim of what I called “fad” Pokémon, meaning this incredibly important being had a Lucario skin laid over the top of his move-set, and Sakurai never went bad to include him.
Our Picks: Just how iconic is Mewtwo anymore, though? To old farts like me, his name still rings fear into our childhood hearts. A master Pokémon living at the back of a cave, and he can kill just about anything put in his way? To the kids though, he’s just another legendary Pokémon in a crowded list that just grows and grows with every generation. His inclusion will cement his legacy as the legendary Pokémon, and the one all others owe their existence too. He’s not only in, he gets a comeback!
That’s all she wrote! Join us next week for the second half!