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Monday, April 2, 2018

Characters I'd like to see in Smash Bros for the Switch

I have to give myself credit, no one's ever done something so creative like this before, lololol. No one's ever posted a list of their top hopes for Smash Bros characters. Don't even bother searching it on YouTube. Heh. (Yeah I'm bad at intros.)

Okay, seriously though, at the time of this writing, we have gotten nothing more than a single teaser trailer for the Smash Bros Switch game, and all we know for sure is that we're getting the Inklings as playable characters, and Link is getting a Breath of the Wild makeover (whether it's a costume or not, we'll see). And we're getting this game in 2018 probably.
That's literally it. We literally don't know a thing about this game. Is it a straight up port of the Wii U and 3DS games? Is it a straight up new game? It is in the middle ground of both? Will we be getting the same roster as 4 but with additional characters and modes, or will we get a smaller, tighter roster? We don't know, and I think we can all agree we won't likely know anything else until this year's E3. (Although, I've always felt that the Mii Fighter DLC costumes were be a possible hint as to who may show up this time around. Might be something to keep an eye on.)

And so, where to start things off? Good question. I don't know if it's because I can't afford a Switch or my mind's just in other places right now, but I'm finding myself not as 'invested' in Smash this time around.

On the one hand, I don't feel like we shouldn't get our hopes up, at least until we have more information about the game. But on the other hand, look at the roster of Smash 4. Yeah, characters like the Ice Climbers were sorely missed, but lets be honest, we did get a fantastic lineup of fighters.

Considering that we got Greninja, Corrin, Bayonetta, Cloud Strife, Ryu and friggin' Dark Pit, the "requirements" to join Smash has been pretty much thrown out the window at this point, and the realm of possibility has been ripped wide open. That being said, I am not holding my breath over the inclusion of Batman or Iron-Man. (Although, I have to admit, I wouldn't mind that at all.)

And that's the problem. The list of characters I really want in this game isn't as big as it once was. I find myself wanting more modes, more stages, more costumes. Oh man, with games like Super Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, Hyrule Warriors, that mobile Fire Emblem game, Miitopia, Miitomo, Tomodachi Life, Kirby Fighters Deluxe, Kirby Battle Royale, Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, the avatars from the 3D Pokemon games, and, perhaps above all else, the Splatoon games, Nintendo has no shortage of costume ideas to draw from. But, of course, we're talking about Super Smash Bros, and costumes are but one aspect of a gigantic system of skill and balance. Just with Miitomo's costumes alone, the Miis would be set. (It's not like Miitomo gonna need them...)

But let's not kid ourselves, we're all focused on the roster above most else. I mean, Smash Bros is a fighting game afterall, and perhaps moreso than any other genre, characters are the first thing people look at in fighting games.

Now, before I start fanboying about Smash fighters, I feel compelled to state that I am not going to follow any self-imposed rules as several YouTubers have done before. I'm not going to sit here and write every single character I'd love to see in the game, because I'd be here all week. Plus, I'm not too sure Sakurai would be on-board to have the Food Fighters go up against the Grossery Gang. There's just so many Nintendo franchises I have not personally played. So, if I don't talk about Rex & Pyra, it's not out of spitefulness, it's simple a matter of me being unfamiliar with those characters. (Though considering how much praise Sakurai heaped on Xenoblade 2, they're pretty much a lock.) We don't know what to expect from Smash for the Switch. And that is what's so magical about Smash Bros. (Hopefully the leakers don't spoil things this time around, I want to be surprised dammit!!) I could get every character I suggest, or I could get fifteen Dark Pits. We won't know until we know.

First character on the list would be a Monster Hunter from...Monster...Hunter. There's plenty of armours to utilize, plus the sheer amount of stages to choose from is limitless, I personally am leaning towards some environments from Monster Hunter tri. I realize it didn't show up on the Switch, but with Monster Hunter World being so ridiculously popular this year, the iron's never been hotter to strike. We could have both male and female Monster Hunters to pick from, plenty of recognizable armours for costumes and more than enough weapons to utilize for a moveset. Plus the stages. And the possibilities for monster-related stage hazards. This could be pretty fun.

With the perplexing yet successful crossover between Mario and the Rabbids, it's safe to say that the Rabbids are a shoe-in for Smash Bros, but I would much rather see Rayman as a playable character. He's been overshadowed by the prototype-Minions for far too long. On another note, considering Nintendo's embrace of indie games, the odds of us getting an indie character for a fighter has never been higher. Shovel Knight, Shantae and characters from games like Undertale, Azure Striker Gunvolt or Stardew Valley would all excel in Smash. Shovel must be a shoe-in this time around, plus we all know Shovel Knight was the first franchise to get an amiibo line, so there's that. I'm cool with Crash Bandicoot in the game, as well, as Spyro, especially if there was some way Spyro could have a Skylanders skin.

Next off is one of the 'big' ones, Ridley. If modders can make Ridley work in Project M, why couldn't Sakurai? It's rather odd to me that this character of all characters is where Sakurai drew the line. And I do NOT want to hear about Ridley's size! Kirby has been listed as six inches tall in his series, Bayonetta has been listed as seven foot seven inches tall. In Smash, Kirby comes up to her waist in height. And I recently discovered that, in the Pikmin series, Captain Olimar is less than half an inch!!! So, yeah, we can afford someone taller than Bowser who has flight, breathes fire and can swing his harpoon like tail. Plus, Ridley's appear in some fashion in every Smash game (minus the 3DS version) either as a background decoration or as a boss fight. He would be welcomed with open arms. (Unless your name is Samus of course.) And then for the next Smash game, everyone will ask for Kraid. And the whole thing will start again.

One of the most fun aspects of the Smash Bros roster is when an obscure character makes the ranks. I liked Wii Fit Trainer's inclusion, I loved Duck Hunt, so, why not add one of the fighters from Photo Dojo? For those of you who don't know, it was a DSi game where you took pictures of friends or objects in different poses and become the fighters in the game. There's more than enough to make a moveset, or at least the start of one, it's only a question of who would be the friends or objects in different poses. Does the Switch have a camera feature? Speaking of characters that utilize their consoles camera features, why not include the Face Raiders as Assist Trophies.

As you can probably already guess, I'm a big supporter of the "out-there" fighter additions for fighting games. So, when I hear that Funimation has officially supported Goku for Smash Bros, I'm on board. Modders and fangames have already made Goku work, Sakurai could surely do the same. Goku is one of the most recognizable characters in all of fiction, yet alone anime, and people tend to forget, Dragon Ball Z games started off on the NES. Surely if Sakurai can make Ryu feel like he was copy and pasted from Street Fighter into Smash Bros, he can make a large portion of Goku's abilities translate into a moveset. And if you think that Goku is a ridiculous suggestion and that he could never work in a Smash Bros game, just remember - James Bond was once considered for Smash Bros 64. Think Goku would look out of place next to Mario? Try Pierce Brosnan! 

The one strangest name that has popped up in recent weeks as a roster pick that had caught me off guard however, was the Nintendogs. As neat as it might be to potentially play as one of the dogs I've had in my life in Smash Bros, (Toby, Toby and Kirby), it would feel awkward to see them lose in a fight. (And we better be able to give them collars and scarfs!!!)

In terms of Pokemon, there are so many of them who would fit in Smash Bros extremely well as fighters. If we're getting Pokemon from Sun or Moon, I feel like Decidueye or Mimikyu would be shoe-ins, maybe Necrozma, but if there's one Pokemon that's almost as well known as Pikachu who's never had a shot at the big leagues of Smash, it's got to be Meowth. I'm down for most any Pokemon. But with regards to the possible inclusion of a Generation 8 Pokemon being included - meh. If it's not a fantastic design, I'm not too interested. You know, yeah, I want Squirtle and Ivysaur back, but if not, I'm find with a little variety of Pokemon, i.e., something other than Electric, Fire, Grass or Water types. Maybe a Rock type, or a Fairy type.

Namco Bandai was the company primarily responsible for developing Smash for the Wii U and 3DS, and the Namco side of that company was well represented with Pac-Man, the Bandai side of things not as much. When I think Bandai, I think more of licensed games than in-house properties. That's not to say that they don't have big IPs to draw fighters from, it's just that it be much easier for me to list off my top Namco picks. But, if I could choose any character from Bandai to join Smash, it would have to be Agumon. Agumon is arguably the most recognizable Digimon there is...and you can see where I'm going with this.

I'm not entirely sure how Agumon's Digivolved forms would work into a Smash game, since Nintendo's not trying to make characters work on the 3DS this time around, I don't think transformations would be an issue this time around. What I personally would do would give Agumon a "Warp Digivolution" meter, which when built up completely, would allow Agumon to become War Greymon. Come to think of it, Goku could use one too. It's just a matter of what form Goku would take. Super Saiyan is a safe bet. Ultra Instinct might be a stretch.

Nintendo hasn't had a lot of brand new franchises as of late, but the few new ones they've had have left an impact, the biggest of these being Splatoon. I feel like we will at least see a Nintendo Labo related character as an Assist Trophy, (although after this post on Twitter I'd be fine if Labo joined the Brawl) and we will likely see an ARMS character as well. The question being which one, because personally, I don't think Springman is that interesting a character. Personally, I'd be ok with any other ARMS character in Smash Bros. I admit, my vote would go to Lola Pop...for...reasons...but I think Dr. Coyle ought to be considered. Smash 4 had many more ladies but was still lacking in the villain department. I'll tell you what, if we can get the Robot Master Spring Man as an alternate skin, I'll be alright with Springman the ARMS combatant. Although I suppose that would remove the point of Springtron. Maybe I'm just thinking too much about it.

Since Tecmo's done so well adapting Zelda and Fire Emblem to their Warriors formula, why not include a Tecmo character in Smash? I'd love to see someone from Monster Rancher alongside Pikachu and Agumon. Back in the day, the Monster Rancher anime was awesome. Maybe the Mii Brawler could get Hayabusa and Kasumi costumes too?

If by chance Sakurai can't secure the return of Solid Snake to Smash Bros, maybe Konami would allow Simon Belmont? It might be a longshot, but most people automatically think Castlevania when they think of classic Nintendo games. And for good reason. Plus, the idea of having Simon, Pit and Mega Man on the same team is highly amusing to me. And might as well add Bomberman too.

The head of XBox, Phil Spencer, when asked about if he'd be willing to let Banjo and Kazooie in Smash Bros over Twitter replied "Yep." Although I missed out on the N64 era, for many game players out there, Banjo and Kazooie are a huge part of their childhood. And for good reason. There was a time Nintendo and Rare could do no wrong. Banjo and Kazooie would fit well in Smash. As much as I'd love to see more Rare characters appear in Smash, holding out for someone like Fulgore might be asking for too much. Though, as stupid as it might sound, seeing Yooka-Laylee next to Banjo-Kazooie might be fun.

So, should I add some more actual Nintendo characters to this list?

Ok......I'm going to list off a bunch of franchises and tell you guys who I'd personally pick to join Smash Bros. So, you can call this the lightning round. I'm leaving Mega Man, Sonic, and Final Fantasy characters out of the lightning round because there's just too many of them I'd want in Smash. Hell, Capcom and Sega in general.

Super Mario Bros - Pauline because of Odyssey. Waluigi because of destiny. Geno because why not? Dry Bowser and Meowser for Bowser skins. Fawful, Paper Mario, maybe even Daisy.

Legend of Zelda - Can we just give a sword to Ganondorf already? If not, can we have Ganon? Pretty please?

Donkey Kong - Dixie Kong, King K. Rool, Kiddy Kong, Klump, Krusha, Captain Skurvy, anyone other than that creepy Tiny Kong.

Star Fox - Krystal, maybe one of those characters that only showed up in Star Fox 2.

Kid Icarus - Medusa or Hades. Anyone but Dark Pit!!!

Kirby - Oh man, this is a hard choice. I want to say Galaxa Knight or Morpho Knight, but, are they even canon? Bandana Dee seems like a safe choice. And maybe Meta Knight's palette based off of Dark Meta Knight could look more like him, broken mask and all.

Earthbound - I'm not familiar with this game, but anyone who doesn't fight exactly like Ness or Lucas will be fine by me.

Fire Emblem - is well represented enough as it is.

Golden Sun - Everyone wants Isaac. Let's add him in.

Custom Robo - Any character at all, especially if they came from that Gamecube game.

Legend of Starfy - Starfy's overdue for a roster slot.

Any character from TeleroBoxer, Battle Clash and Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge, as a fighter or an Assist Trophy is fine by me. Maybe even a Garam skin for Donkey Kong.

Well, now we are at the end. So, what character shall I end this list with? Simple. A custom create-a-smasher. Basically, the Miis and the custom moves to the Nth degree. Although I feel like we'd end up having to pick between the Miis and the create-a-smasher. It's a controversial idea, but it might be fun in the future.

So, what else could we add to Smash Bros? How about having every amiibo not connected to a roster member unlock a corresponding trophy or a sticker? How about being able to turn off stage hazards without having to use an omega stage? A Subspace Emissary like game mode might be asking for a little much, but why not have something like Melee's Adventure mode? How about a Snipperclips or Nintendoland stage?

Honestly, as long as Smash Bros had that same level of excitement and surprise as we've had over the years, I think we'll all be happy in the long run. Add a mantis shrimp to the roster for all I care. Just keep the leaks to a minimum and keep me surprised.

Onwards to E3.

P.S., the first Toby was a German Shepherd / Husky, the second Toby was a German Shepherd / Black Lab, Kirby was a purebreed(?) Yellow Lab.

UPDATE July 21st, 2018; Ridley and Daisy, I got two

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