My Complete and Utter Disappointment with the Final Smash Bros. Direct

Sakurai

So the final Nintendo Direct dedicated to Super Smash Bros. is done. And it sucked.

The good news is that Bayonetta is in the game. The bad news is… everything else.

Along with more information on the previously announced Cloud, we got one additional new character… Corrin! Who’s that, you might ask? It’s the main character from the upcoming Fire Emblem Fates, a game that’s currently only released in Japan. That’s right, another Fire Emblem character. Because lord knows there aren’t enough anime swordfighters in Smash Bros. already. At the very least it’s not more damn Kid Icarus characters, I guess.

Let’s do a head count though, we have Marth, Ike, Roy, Lucina and Robin all from Fire Emblem in the game. And now with Corrin, that’s six characters. That ties it with Pokemon in represented characters, and is surpassed only by Mario. I’m not going to complain about the Mario and Pokemon characters, because their series are relevant enough to Nintendo to justify that many characters, not to mention that each of their represented characters are pretty distinct. Aside from Robin, all of the Fire Emblem characters are basically in the same category. A category that is also filled by Pit, Shulk, and that useless waste of space called Dark Pit.

Meanwhile, Donkey Kong and Metroid are still only at two characters apiece. And Metroid’s two characters are just variants of the same character. Forget that they’re two of Nintendo’s most iconic and acclaimed series. They get two. Kid Icarus gets three, and Fire Emblem gets a small army.

No new DK characters, no new Metroid characters. No newly represented franchises (Inklings please!). But that’s not the worst part.

No. The grand crescendo of this Smash suckage was the reveal that Nintendo and Square-Enix had come to an agreement on another addition to the series. Yes, they finally revealed Geno is coming to Super Smash Bros!

As a Mii Fighter costume…

"Proof that Sakurai hates us all."
“Proof that Sakurai hates us all.”

A freaking Mii Fighter costume. After years and years of hoping, wanting and dreaming. This is how Sakurai decides to represent the beloved classic, Super Mario RPG? This is nothing short of a kick to the crotch and a snidely middle finger raised on Sakurai’s part.

Yes, Bayonetta being added to Smash Bros. is cool (she apparently won the fan vote). But the increasung ignoring of classic franchises, and the constant slap to the face of more deserving characters (K. Rool costume!) has greatly soured me to Super Fire Emblem Smash Bros. Yeah, the game’s still great, but it’s hard to get very excited fir it anymore when its becoming less of a Nintendo fighter and more of a Fire Emblem/Kid Icarus one.

My Disappointment in Cloud Being in Super Smash Bros.

*Warning! Angry rant approaching!*

My nightmares have become a reality, as Cloud from Final Fantasy VII has been announced as an upcoming DLC character for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS.

The November 2015 Nintendo Direct was mostly solid, with the official confirmation of Twilight Princess HD for Wii U, a release date for Star Fox Zero and a number of other titles, and some interesting news on updates for already-released games like Splatoon. But then it ended in the worst way possible (for me, anyway).

A new Smash Bros. character reveal is usually an awesome thing, so I was happy to see the Nintendo Direct ending with the words “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS” showing up. But then, the horror of it all, it was followed up with the words “X Final Fantasy VII.” My reaction was something like this.

NOOOOOO!

Quickly followed by this.

Anger

After naming Cloud as one of the five third-party characters who should never be in Super Smash Bros., it’s suffice to say I didn’t take kindly to the character’s addition to the series. There go my hopes of Smash Bros. ever getting a good Square-Enix character.

"This is the only cloud I want to see in Super Smash Bros."
“This is the only cloud I want to see in Super Smash Bros.”

Cloud’s inclusion in the game just doesn’t make any sense. Weren’t any possible third-party characters in Smash supposed to be characters who have significant ties to Nintendo? Sonic, Pac-Man, Ryu and especially Mega Man all make sense. Even Solid Snake made sense. But Cloud? His biggest appearance in Nintendo’s history were a handful of cameos in those handheld Kingdom Hearts games that people like to pretend don’t exist.

There are just so many more deserving characters out there. Simon Belmont comes to mind. Or how about Bayonetta? Banjo-Kazooie? Hell, there are actual Nintendo characters who have yet to make the Smash Bros. roster (Dixie Kong). Yet Cloud makes it in?

Besides, don’t we have enough anime sword characters in Smash already? We already have a small army of Fire Emblem and Kid Icarus characters. Cloud is little more than white noise at this point.

"DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!"
“DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!”

 

*This has been a comical rant intended to exaggerate my harmless opinion of a video game character, and you shouldn’t have your feelings hurt over it. Take a joke, people.*

Top 10 Wii U Games (So Far)

Wii U

The Wii U is a devastatingly underrated system. It’s ousted the GameCube as Nintendo’s least-selling home console of all time. Because of that, gamers all over the internet, true to their  cynical nature, see that as a reflection of the quality of the system itself (of course, they also dismissed the original Wii because it sold well, so go figure). But despite being the butt of jokes on the internet and its less-than desirable sales figures, the Wii U actually boasts a really impressive library of games.

Sure, Nintendo really needed to emphasize the console over the controller in its early marketing strategies, the Gamepad needed to be used more effectively in more games, and one can’t help but think that simply naming the console “Wii 2” could have helped boost sales by itself (because seriously, what does the “U” mean?). Despite this questionable decision-making and marketing, the Wii U has ultimately proven to be a terrific console where it counts, and that’s the games.

Yes, the Wii U had a slow first few months, but once it started picking up steam around mid-2013 it’s released some of the best games in recent years. Arguably the best part is that you can’t play them anywhere else. Though console exclusives are becoming rarer on competing hardware, they often prove to be the more definitive titles of their generations, and it’s an area in which Nintendo always excels.

Though the Wii U still has some big games on the horizon (including a new Star Fox and The Legend of Zelda), I think it’s safe to say that rumblings of Nintendo’s next console, codenamed “NX,” means that its days as a priority for Nintendo are slowing down. Sure, Nintendo has stated that they’ll still support the Wii U even after NX launches, but I think the Wii U’s underwhelming sales will make it a short-term continued support (Wii U might have a good few months and a couple of big games after NX, but I can’t imagine it would go much farther). I feel now is a good time to reflect on the many great games the Wii U has provided over the past three years, even if I may have to make a revised edition after the last waves of big games hit the console in the year ahead.

Despite Nintendo being backed into a wall in regards to the Wii U, or perhaps because of it, Nintendo has ended up creating some of the greatest lineups of games in their history for the console. It’s given us the most balanced Mario Kart, the most intricate Smash Bros. and the best version of the best 3D Zelda yet made. But which Wii U games are the best?

The following is my list of the top 10 greatest Wii U games. The ten Wii U titles that are the most fun. The 10 most definitive. The 10 games that all those people who still refuse to get a Wii U are missing out on the most. Seriously people, stop using the whole “waiting for Zelda” excuse as a crutch. Nintendo consoles are more than just a Zelda title.

One final note, I have decided not to include The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD in this countdown. Despite being one of my favorite video games, it would feel kind of cheap to list a remake here with all the original Wii U titles, even if Wind Waker HD has some of the best uses of the Gamepad.

So without further ado, the top 10 Wii U games! But first, some runners-up! Continue reading “Top 10 Wii U Games (So Far)”

Top 5 Third-Party Characters Who Should NEVER be in Super Smash Bros.

I’ve already written lists of characters I’d like to see added in Super Smash Bros. as DLC, and specified my top five most-wanted third-party characters. But with the Smash Bros. character ballot ending today, I’d figured I’d make another, much more unpleasant list. These are the top five third-party characters who I fear some troubled souls have actually voted for, despite their not belonging/deserving to be in the series, or just flat-out being lame characters.

 

5: Master Chief (Halo series)

"Take it easy, Master Chief! You're still cool!"
“Take it easy, Master Chief! You’re still cool!”

I love Halo. I really do. It’s one of the most consistently fun and deep FPS series out there. So much so that it’s an FPS series I still enjoy playing despite my overall loss of interest in the genre.

But why exactly should Master Chief be in Super Smash Bros? There are still a fair number of people who want him in there, but why? He has literally zero connection to Nintendo, and putting him in the game would just be advertisement for a competing console. Not to mention Nintendo is adamant about no guns in Smash Bros. (save the ray gun and Super Scope 6). When Solid Snake was in Brawl his guns were removed in favor of the more tactical side of the character. But Master Chief is all guns. What could they do with him?

A cool character from a great series. But he has no place in Smash Bros.

 

4: Any Indie Character Who Isn’t Shovel Knight (Various)

 

"Go on and cry because YOU DON'T BELONG HERE!"
“Go on and cry because YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!”

I get it. Indie games are a thing now. But just because most of them seem to replicate the same kind of old school feeling of Nintendo games doesn’t automatically give them Smash cred. Just because they have a tendency to take the blueprints of Super Mario and add in a heap of pretentiousness their own twists doesn’t mean they’ve earned their spot.

The only indie game that I feel perfectly captured that “Nintendo feeling” is Shovel Knight. In fact, I might say that it’s the only modern game that can rank among the best 8-bit games. It’s the best NES game never to have been released on NES.

But as awesome as Shovel Knight might be, even he might be a bit early in his resume (seeing as he’s not a Nintendo character) to be put in Smash Bros. against some other contenders. But at least he’d fit in, seeing as he comes without the self-righteousness or quasi-gross out humor of his indie contemporaries. You know who I’m talking about!

 

3: Sora (Kingdom Hearts)

 

"NO!"
“NO!”

Sure, Kingdom Hearts has had various spinoff titles on Nintendo’s handhelds, but who cares? Notice how Kingdom Hearts 3 is being treated like the return of a long-dormant series, even though there’s been a small army of Kingdom Hearts titles released since Kingdom Hearts 2. That’s because no one cares about the handheld spinoffs (except for the lot who has the Bizarro World belief that anything Tetsuya Nomura touches is good). Sora’s presence on Nintendo consoles has been nothing but filler, and has only served to send the convolution of the series’ plot into the stratosphere.

Do I even need to bring up the fact that his buddies Donald Duck and Goofy are way cooler than he is? Even Winnie the Pooh is more badass! And don’t even get me started on the legalities between Square and Disney.

Plus, do we really want another spiky-haired anime dude in Smash? Do we not have enough of those already?

 

2: Cloud (Final Fantasy VII)

Cloud
“Hey look! It’s every Tetsuya Nomura character ever!”

 

 

Don’t give the weaboo what they want! Don’t do it, Sakurai! They don’t deserve to be catered to!

Look, I understand that Final Fantasy VII is a beloved game (if maybe more than a little overhyped compared to many of its predecessors and successors). But seriously, his only presence on any Nintendo console have been bit parts in the aforementioned handheld Kingdom Hearts titles. And well, see above.

Besides, it’s not even like Cloud would be the best Final Fantasy representation for Smash Bros. I know  those Nomura fanboys would whine about this, but honestly, the best Final Fantasy representation in Smash Bros. would just be a basic Black Mage or White Mage or something along those lines.

Not to mention Cloud is more commonly associated with Playstation. So again, what incentive does Nintendo have to add this character over so many others? Need I repeat… Spiky-haired anime dude! No more! Please!

"At least when Cloud looked like clumps of dough he had some charm about him..."
“At least when Cloud looked like clumps of dough he had some charm about him…”

 

1: Shadow the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog series)

 

*Cue long, drawn-out sigh*
*Cue long, drawn-out sigh*

Lord help us all if Shadow the Hedgehog gets voted in.

Cool to 12-year old boys, creepy Sonic weaboos, and no one else, shadow the Hedgehog is the bottom of the video game character barrel. Not only is he just another member of the infinitely tired anime trope of a “dark” lookalike of a main character (a spot that’s already needlessly filled in Smash Bros. by Dark Pit), but the downward spiral of the Sonic the Hedgehog series can be linked to the character’s introduction. At that point, it seemed like Sega’s main focus was no longer making good Sonic games, but introducing a bunch of goofy animal characters and giving them generic anime personalities that they magnified by emphasizing story over gameplay.

Not to mention that Sonic already kind of has the least imaginative moveset in Smash Bros. (he spins… a lot!), and it’s easy to imagine Shadow would just have a cloned moveset. But, y’know, “dark and edgy.” Uggh.

For one thing, there really doesn’t need to be any more Sonic characters in Smash Bros. But if there were to be another, it should be Dr. Robotnik. Or Eggman. Whatever he’s called. He’s fine.

Shadow already tainted one series, we really don’t need him doing the same for another.

Top 5 Third-Party Characters I’d Like to See in Super Smash Bros.

I already wrote a list of characters I’d like to see added to Super Smash Bros. via DLC, but of course I realized there were a few other characters I failed to mention. Two of the characters I listed belong to third-parties, but some of the characters I failed to mention also fall under that umbrella, including one that I personally feel guilty for not listing.

Now, some people will give the usual “too many third-party characters” argument, but I’m not saying all these characters will be added to the game, or even that I’d like to see them all thrown in at once. It’s merely a list of five third-party characters I’d like to see. Nothing more. Besides, I’d rather see more third-party characters than any more anime swordfighters by this point (spoiler alert: Lloyd Irving isn’t here). So at the very least, the characters listed here would bring some added variety to the mix.

Keep in mind I’m sticking with characters who have a history with Nintendo. So while I love Halo as much as the next guy, Master Chief has no place here. I should emphasize that these characters have strong ties to Nintendo, so Cloud’s cameos in those handheld Kingdom Hearts games amount to nothing here.

Although Rayman games are fun (if maybe a bit overrated), I don’t particularly care for the titular character, so he’s not here, either. Finally, Solid Snake was already in Super Smash Bros. at one point, so while I wouldn’t mind him returning to the series, this list is solely for potential newcomers.

Feel free to vote for any of these characters on the Smash Bros. character ballot if you haven’t already!

Anyway, let’s get onto the list. But first, an honorable mention. Continue reading “Top 5 Third-Party Characters I’d Like to See in Super Smash Bros.”

Super Smash Bros. Really Needs More Donkey Kong Characters

Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash BRos. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS saw another major update recently, with a lot of additional content including Tournament Mode, the ability to upload videos to YouTube, and DLC stages and costumes for the Mii Fighters.

Unfortunately, one of those Mii Fighter costumes includes King K. Rool, the recurring antagonist from the Donkey Kong series. Why is this unfortunate? Because K. Rool has been one of the most requested characters to join the Super Smash Bros. roster, and him being included as a Mii Fighter costume almost feels like a mere token. He’s included as a Mii costume, so will Sakurai just stop there?

Now, it is possible that if K. Rool (or anyone else) gets enough votes in the Smash Bros. character poll he could potentially still be added. But that really depends on how many new characters the poll will allow. It’s an uncertainty.

I understand it’s difficult to write coding and add a whole new character to the game, so I understand people can’t get every character they want as DLC. My problem though, is that the Donkey Kong series, one of Nintendo’s premiere franchises, is sorely underrepresented in Super Smash Bros. DK shouldn’t have to wait for DLC.

"Not like this... Not like this..."
“Not like this… Not like this…”

Donkey Kong and Diddy are great characters in Super Smash Bros. But considering the series’ importance to Nintendo’s history (it was their first full-fledged franchise, the Mario series itself is a spinoff from it, I could go on), having just two characters when it has more to work with seems unfair to the beloved series. Especially when one considers that Kid Icarus, a series that didn’t even have a new entry for over two decades, has three characters. And don’t get me started on the small army of Fire Emblem characters.

I’m not even saying that the game needs to include the whole Kong family (no one wants Chunky Kong), but Dixie Kong should have already been in Super Smash Bros. some time ago. Not to mention her prehensile hair could give her a unique moveset. King K. Rool would also be a great addition, since he’d not only bring more DK representation, but the series could use some additional villain characters (the current games only have Bowser, Bowser Jr., Ganondorf and King Dedede filling the villain roster), and K. Rool could add to that category nicely. Even Cranky Kong makes more sense than a lot of the characters who actually made it into Smash Bros. (because seriously, Dark Pit)!

Metroid is another series that is sorely underrepresented in Smash Bros., also having only two characters (both of which are two versions of the same character). But I understand that Metroid has a bit less characters to work with. So while Metroid definitely deserves more characters, it isn’t quite as baffling as DK’s underrepresentation. There’s no shortage of material to work with when it comes to Donkey Kong.

Again, there is still some shred of hope for the DK faithful with that character poll. But the big question is, why should Donkey Kong, one of Nintendo’s greatest franchises and one of gaming’s most iconic series, have to rely on the character poll just to get one additional character?

Hopefully, the K. Rool Mii Fighter costume is just an appetizer for something better for the DK crew around the corner, and not just compensation.

Most Wanted Smash Bros. DLC Characters

Nintendo has officially opened up a character ballot for potential DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. For the first time in forever, Nintendo fans can officially make suggestions for characters they’d like to be added to the series, with the possibility of some suggestions becoming a reality.

If you want to vote for your favorite characters, you can do so by going here. Nintendo’s setup is simple enough: Name the character, the game/series they appear in, and give a brief reason why they should be in the game.

Naturally, I have already voted a number of times. There are some characters I wanted for a while that actually ended up in the game (Rosalina, the Duck Hunt dog), but there are some other favorites that didn’t make the cut. Some of my choices are a little more obscure, but some are characters who should have been in the series by this point. At the very least, they all make more sense than Dark Pit.

 

Dixie Kong

Dixie Kong

From: Donkey Kong series

Why she should be in Super Smash Bros: A better question is why hasn’t Dixie Kong been in Super Smash Bros. already? The Donkey Kong series, despite being Nintendo’s earliest franchise, as well as one of their most popular, is grossly underrepresented in Super Smash Bros. With DK and Diddy already in the game, the next logical choice would be Dixie Kong. She debuted in the second (and most beloved) Donkey Kong Country game, was the star of the third entry, and has remained a series mainstay. She was even the most useful partner in Tropical Freeze!

There really is no reason why Dixie hasn’t been in the series yet. She’s a fan favorite and represents one of Nintendo’s biggest series. Best of all, her prehensile hair could give her an incredibly unique moveset.

Fawful

Fawful

From: Mario & Luigi series

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: Fawful, having appeared in the first three Mario & Luigi games, is one of the more recurring antagonists in the Mario series. Smash Bros. could use a few more villain characters (Bowser, Bowser Jr., Ganondorf and King Dedede being the only ones in Wii U and 3DS), and Fawful is a great candidate. He quickly became a fan favorite due to his odd characteristics and bizarre speech patterns, and he can represent the ‘spinoff’ side of the Mario series proudly. He to, could have a unique moveset (imagine Wario meets Snake from Brawl) that could add some extra humor to the series.

Also, he has fury.

Geno

Geno

From: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: Few characters have been as requested for Smash Bros. as Geno (especially by me). The reasoning is simple enough: He’s the most popular character from one of the most beloved Mario games, and he, like the rest of Mario RPG’s original characters, have yet to return in another game. People want Super Mario RPG to be acknowledged, and Geno becoming a Smash Bros. fighter would skyrocket that game’s recognition.

Plus, Geno’s moveset writes itself! He could be a very unique, and very effective addition to Super Smash Bros.

Of course, we must address the elephant in the room: Square-Enix. Square still owns the character, and they’ve never been the most compliant of developers. The fans can request Geno all they want, and Sakurai could listen, but Square also needs to give the okay.

I certainly hope enough people request Geno as to open the eyes of both Sakurai and Square-Enix.

 

King K. Rool

King K. Rool

From: Donkey Kong series

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: Again, Super Smash Bros. seriously needs more Donkey Kong representation. And it needs more villains. King K. Rool therefore fills two holes in the roster. Similar to what happened with Dedede in Brawl, he has a moveset more or less ready and waiting for him from his various boss fights throughout the years.

Also, if K. Rool were to make the cut, he needs to have a Kaptain K. Rool palette swap. Because pirate crocodiles.

Granted, it’s hard to say just how good K. Rool’s chances would be, considering he hasn’t even appeared in a Donkey Kong game in years. But if he were to make it, he’d be a great addition.

Nights

Nights

From: Nights series

Why he/she should be in Super Smash Bros: While most Sega fans clamor for more Sonic characters to be added to the mix (God help us all if the Shadow fans have their way), the other Sega character I would like to see would be Nights. Given the nature of Nights’ games, I could easily see him/her being an aerial-based character.

Nights is a bit of a long shot, but no doubt he/she would make for a fantastic addition to the Super Smash Bros. roster.

 

Paper Mario

Paper Mario

From: Paper Mario series.

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: First thing’s first… NOT A CLONE!

With that out of the way, I have to point out that Super Smash Bros. doesn’t exactly shy away from having multiple versions of the same character on the roster (Mario and Dr. Mario, Samus and Zero Suit Samus, etc.), and Paper Mario seems like one of the few characters who would fall under this category who would be a welcome and unique addition to the series.

He could have something of a Game & Watch style visual look, and his moves could be based around his partners from the Paper Mario series or something. Just don’t ruin him with a Sticker star gimmick.

Toon Ganon

Ganon

From: The Legend of Zelda: The wind Waker

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: There are two primary reasons I want to see the Wind Waker iteration of Ganon added to the mix. The first is that The Wind Waker is, bar none, my favorite of the 3D Zelda games (Ocarina of Time be damned). It was like a culmination of what Ocarina started, with a style that was distinctly its own. Twilight Princess felt creatively restrained as it pandered to fans, and Skyward Sword branched out in some creative ways, but the results could be a mixed bag. But Wind Waker had it all figured out, and its only got better with age. Clearly, I just want more Wind Waker representation.

The other reason I’d like to see Toon Ganon is, well, I still can’t stand that Ganondorf’s moveset in Super Smash Bros. is cloned from Captain Falcon. Sure, Brawl and the Wii U/3DS games have ironed him out a bit, but the core of his character is still a Captain Falcon clone. Ganon deserves much better. Given Ganon’s penchant for duel-wielding swords in Wind Waker, I can only hope that could be used to make him a more unique character.

There are a few other characters I’d love to see, and maybe I’ll write about them later. I obviously do not expect more than one or two DLC characters to come out of Nintendo’s character ballot, but it’s fun to think of all the possibilities. Some of these characters should already be in the series. And given some of the characters who have made the cut, it makes the character ballot seem all the more desirable. Because seriously, Dark Pit…