Can you believe it? A new Super Smash Bros. is on the way to the Nintendo Switch this year! Man, we didn’t need to wait seven years this time!
Now, of course, is the time when fans start to express what they hope to see in the newest entry in Nintendo’s crossover super-franchise. And although I usually try to refrain from getting too hyped about a game with so little information to it, when it comes to Smash Bros. I have to have a little bit of fun.
Here are – in no real order – ten things I hope to see in Super Smash Bros’ outing on the Nintendo Switch. I may make a list of my most wanted characters at some point. But for now, here’s ten different ‘things.’ Some are things I’d like to see added, others are things I’d like subtracted. Either way… All aboard the hype train! Toot toot!
10: No More Clones
Super Smash Bros. Brawl gets a lot of flak these days (some warranted, some exaggerated), but one thing it definitely had going for it was that it did a pretty good job at trying to make the characters distinct (Star Fox characters aside). Sure, Ganondorf was still far more Captain Falcon-esque than he should be, but at least it didn’t feel like a whole host of copycat characters were just thrown in.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/Nintendo 3DS, despite being the best all-around Smash Bros. so far, kind of took a step back in this regard, which made less sense than ever seeing as some characters (Bowser Jr./Koopalings and Olimar/Alph) simply swapped into identical characters. Yet, despite having a clear solution to the clone dilemma, we still had Dr. Mario, Lucina, Toon Link, and the nadir of the lot, Dark Pit (at least Toon Link and Doc Mario make sense, though they deserve better than the clone treatment).
Many will excuse the clones as they “take less memory to create” and thus “don’t take up any potential other character’s spot.” But that’s besides the point. The point is that clone characters are just creative laziness. And with the swapped characters introduced in Smash 4, there’s really no reason for clones to continue. Clones taking up their own spaces on the roster just feels cheap. Unless they feel distinct, just make them a palette swap. Best of all, it would get rid of Dark Pit. Talking of which…
9: Less Kid Icarus
Okay, time for me to be the bad guy… Kid Icarus isn’t that great. I know a lot of Nintendo fans think it’s cool because it was this series that was dormant for over two decades, and then it came back and was all anime and stuff. But maybe there was a reason Kid Icarus was dormant for so long? The NES original never had the depth of Mario or Zelda, and although Kid Icarus: Uprising on the 3DS at least gave the series something of an identity, it was far from one of Nintendo’s best.
Yet, Super Smash Bros. on Wii U/Nintendo 3DS just couldn’t stop representing Kid Icarus. It had three playable characters: Pit (who actually makes sense), Palutena (notably the only Smash fighter to have never been playable in their own series), and Dark Pit (?!). It boasted multiple stages, a myriad of items, and the far more enjoyable Metal Gear conversation Easter eggs of Brawl were replaced with Kid Icarus equivalents. And well, when one remembers that Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai also just happened to be the director of Kid Icarus: Uprising, the reasons for a series Nintendo didn’t care enough about to touch for over two decades suddenly getting so much spotlight quickly became obvious.
While I think that, overall, Super Smash Bros. Wii U is the series’ best entry to date, it does have a glaring element of vanity to it thanks to the convenient timing of Kid Icarus’ promotion in representation. Considering Sakurai – who also created Kirby – refrained from adding additional Kirby characters in the series’ first two entries out of humility, the Kid Icarus: Uprising self-appreciation becomes all the more jarring.
I’m not saying the Kid Icarus stuff has to disappear entirely. It’s still a part of Nintendo’s history, after all. But let’s focus more on making Super Smash Bros. represent Nintendo’s history, and less on making it feel like a vanity project.
8: Final Smashes for Mario Characters that are Actually from the Mario Series
What the hell is that Dragon Ball Z thing Mario has going on? Why does Bowser turn into a weird, giant version of himself that looks nothing like something you’d see in a Mario game?
Seriously, why does it seem like the Mario characters in Super Smash Bros. have Final Smashes that have nothing to do with the Mario series? We’re not talking about some obscure series with little to draw from. The super Mario series has a richer history than any other in Nintendo’s arsenal. There’s not exactly a shortage of Mario games to draw influence from.
Why not give Mario a Final Smash like Kuribo’s Shoe or something from Super Mario Odyssey? And why not give Bowser the Koopa Clown Car/Copter so he can go all Mario World final boss on everybody? It really shouldn’t be so hard to figure out.
Speaking of tweaking Mario characters…
7: A Revamped Mario
Why does Mario still have the F.L.U.D.D. as a special move? I’m gonna break a few hearts here, but Sunshine was always kind of a B-tier Mario title, does Mario really need a special move based on it in 2018? Couldn’t the F.L.U.D.D. just be an item or something?
It’s not just F.L.U.D.D. though, but Mario could use a bit of tweaking all around. Again, I have to bring up that Mario has no shortage of history, should so many of his moves still feel like they were ripped exclusively from Super Mario 64? I’m not saying Mario needs a total overhaul, but he does really feel like he needs (and deserves) a bit more by this point.
6: Some Relatively Obscure Characters (Even from Obvious Franchises)
I’m not one of those people who thinks Nintendo needs to showcase obscure characters in Smash Bros. for the heck of it, but I do think it would be fun if we saw this newest Super Smash Bros. pull a few characters out of left field, even when it pertains to prominent franchises.
Now, I’m also not one of those people who wants Waluigi and that godawful abomination Princess Daisy to be playable, since they only ever existed to fill up space in Mario Tennis. When I say “out of left field,” I mean something a bit more…meaningful. And Daisy is probably the worst Nintendo character who isn’t Fi, so she’s not what I would consider to be ‘meaningful.’
No, I’m talking about the Skull Kids and Fawfuls for franchises like Zelda and Mario. Characters who either only had a handful of appearances, or maybe only showed up in (relatively) smaller releases in their franchise. And for downright obscure characters, why not bring in someone like Muddy Mole or Stanley from Donkey Kong 3?
Seriously, anything is better than Dark Pit… and Daisy. Good heavens, keep Daisy far, far away from Smash Bros.
5: Third-Party Characters who Actually Make Sense
Time to break some more hearts, but Cloud from Final Fantasy VII was a lame edition to Super Smash Bros. on Wii U. I mean, what’s his connection to Nintendo that warrants being included in a Nintendo crossover game? I know some people like to point out how “he was a summon in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories on GBA,” but that’s a weak-ass reason for his inclusion. By that logic, we may as well have James Bond thrown into the mix because Goldeneye 007 was on N64. But it wouldn’t change the fact that James Bond would feel incredibly out of place… just like Cloud very much did with his baffling inclusion.
Call me a traditionalist, but I liked Brawl’s idea that third-party inclusions in Super Smash Bros. should still have ties to Nintendo. Snake was already kind of pushing it, but at least he did have legitimate history with Nintendo. Mega Man made perfect sense, more so than any other third-party character. Pac-Man made sense. Ryu made sense. Bayonetta made sense.
If we’re going to include more third-party fighters in Super Smash Bros., I’d like it to be more of that. Characters who actually have a history that justifies their presence alongside Nintendo characters. I may have greatly enjoyed Halo over the years, but if Master Chief were to show up, it would feel more random than jaw-dropping. Now, Banjo-Kazooie would be something that would make sense (provided legalities allow it), even though Rare games are now on Microsoft consoles.
I just don’t want Smash Bros. to start feeling like a fighting game with random characters. Just because people like to cosplay as Cloud doesn’t mean he belongs fighting alongside Mario, Link and Samus.
4: Less Anime Sword-fighting Characters
How in the hell did Fire Emblem get as many characters as Pokemon in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/Nintendo 3DS? I mean, I get that Fire Emblem has its niche, but it hasn’t earned as many characters as Pokemon in Super Smash Bros.
I could forgive the amount of Fire Emblem characters though, if it weren’t for the fact that most of them just pack on to the already overcrowded “anime sword-fighter” category of Smash Bros. characters. If we need more Fire Emblem characters (and we really don’t), can they at least be ones that use something, anything other than swords? Seriously, how many characters need to have a sword-counter attack as their B-down special, anyway?
It isn’t just Fire Emblem though, but Shulk and Kid Icarus also add to this overabundance. But at least Shulk is alone from his series and we really only have to give Dark Pit the axe for Kid Icarus. If Fire Emblem is going to have one of the larger rosters, at least make them feel more distinct from one another.
3: Dark Souls
I don’t care if it’s a fighter based on the player character from the Dark Souls games, or a more ‘proper’ character inclusion like Solaire from Astora. But now that Dark Souls will be coming to a Nintendo console, this is something that needs to happen. We already have the Solaire Amiibo on the way, so why not? Seriously, Dark Souls and Mario in the same game? That’s pure gaming heaven right there.
2: More Donkey Kong Representation
Donkey Kong is Nintendo’s oldest franchise. The series in which Super Mario is a spinoff. Aaannnd it only has two characters in Super Smash Bros…
Granted, I’m not saying DK has to have a dozen characters or anything, but it’s certainly earned the right to have a lot more characters than many of the series that already do have more (seriously, Star Fox has had more Smash Bros. fighters over the years. That just feels wrong).
Dixie Kong is a character who already feels like she should have been in this series a long time ago. She’s a fan favorite, debuted in DKC2 (which instantly makes her amazing), and importantly, she has a potential moveset that would make her stand out not only from the other DK characters, but from anyone else already in Smash Bros., due to her prehensile hair. King K. Rool is another DK character who feels like he’s earned a spot, and would also add to Smash Bros’ surprisingly lacking field of villain characters. Not to mention he could have a Kaptain K. Rool alternate costume (seriously, DKC2!). And it feels like Sakurai kind of owes it to the fans at this point, after the Mii Fighter Costume nonsense last time around (more on that later).
I’m not just talking about characters though, but it seems like DK could use some more representation in stages, items and – most notably – music. Donkey Kong Country has some of the best music in gaming (screw you, Zelda and Final Fantasy!), and yet all we ever seem to get are more remixes of DK Island Swing. It’s a great piece of music, to be sure, but DKC has so much more to offer in the music department. Whether it’s the original tunes or Smash-ified remixes, more music from Donkey Kong Country can only ever be a wonderful thing.
That Mii Fighter Costume stunt was nothing short of a middle finger to fans. After years of being one of the more requested characters to join the fray, the best representation Super Mario RPG gets is a lousy costume for Miis. Blech!
If we were able to get Cloud and the likeness of Geno for Smash Bros., clearly Square is softening up with their relationship towards Nintendo. So instead of milking Final Fantasy VII nostalgia and teasing fans with the perpetually on-the-horizon Kingdom Hearts 3, how about Square just lets Nintendo use the original Super Mario RPG characters for a change of pace, if nothing else. It’s not like Square’s doing anything with them, anyway. People want SMRPG’s characters to return in some form. Geno was a fan favorite that people have wanted in Smash for years. And he has a moveset that writes itself!
Because after that Mii Fighter Costume BS, Geno would be all the more special.
I just…I really like Super Mario RPG…