The lights are on
The current roster for Nintendo's premier character fighter already sits at over 30 characters. Nintendo has reached pretty deep into its well of icons (Wii Fit Trainer anyone?), but that doesn't mean it couldn't surprise us with one or two more character announcements before the full roster is finally revealed. We round up a wish list of some of gaming's most iconic faces and speculate on the likelihood that they'll be throwing down with Mario, Link, and Pikachu anytime soon.
For more stories like this check out our list of Namco Bandai characters ripe for Super Smash Bros., which correctly predicted Pac-Man as a playable Super Smash Bros. fighter.
Ryu Hayabusa – Ninja Gaiden’s star is possibly one of the most popular ninjas in all of gaming, and he would easily slice and dice his way through much of the Smash Bros. roster. An arsenal of shurikens would allow him to hit foes from a distance, but his swordsmanship would make him a dangerous up-close fighter. Just watch out for his Ninpo magic attacks, which let him summon fireballs and blistering hurricanes.
Likelihood of becoming a new challenger: 2:1As a character in Team Ninja's Dead or Alive series, Ryu is no stranger to the fighting game scene, and given Tecmo’s current dealings with Nintendo for Hyrule Warriors, this doesn’t seem totally out of the realm of possibility.
Rayman – Smash Bros. features a lot of iconic platforming characters, but there is still a Rayman-sized hole (or holes, as the case may be) in that roster. We'd love to see Ubisoft's limbless platformer smacking Sonic and Mario around. He could perform long-range attacks where his arms and legs fire across the screen, and his twirly bird hair would prevent him from flying off the screen.
Likelihood of becoming a new challenger: 3:1Rayman fits right in with the rest of the cast, and Nintendo just announced him as a trophy, so they're obviously working with Ubisoft already. However, why would they announce him as a trophy before revealing him as an actual fighter?
Professor Hershel Layton – This might sound like a curious addition at first, but Level-5's cutesy puzzle games have been some of Nintendo's best handheld adventures over the last several years. Renowned for his puzzle-solving skills, Layton would confound his opponents with a series of hat and sword-based attacks. His final smash could be some kind of puzzle that hits any opponent who can’t solve it quickly enough.
Likelihood of becoming a new challenger: 3:1We think Professor Layton fits right into Smash Bros.' eclectic cast, and Nintendo has even helped publish a few of his games here in the U.S.. However, he never really struck us as an aggressive guy, so he might sit this brawl out.
Simon Belmont – Konami’s original vampire killer would dive right into the fray with a series of quick whip attacks. We imagine that Simon would even be able to tie other characters up for a moment before pouring holy water on them (which would hurt bad guys more). His axes would help him nail enemies in the air, and his boomerang could hit multiple opponents before returning to his hand. We think his ultimate smash could be some kind of time-stopping attack that let’s him wallop on his foes before they can move. Bonus points if Nintendo went with his old school 8-bit look.
Likelihood of becoming a new challenger: 5:1Much like Mario and Mega Man, Simon is a classic character from the NES era, so he could be on Nintendo's list of possible characters, and Nintendo has already worked with Komani to get Solid Snake in the game. However, Simon Belmont isn't as big of a name these days, and people are probably more familiar with Castlevania characters like Alucard and Dracula these days (who we'd also like to see in the game).
Commander Shepard – Veteran soldier of the Systems Alliance Navy military and first human Spectre, Commander Shepard is easily one of the most iconic new characters of the last generation. Nintendo could access Mass Effect’s list of biotics to allow Shepard to warp across a stage or create powerful singularities that send the rest of the battlefield spinning around him like a tornado.
Likelihood of becoming a new challenger: 10:1We love Commander Shepard and he/she could easily hold his/her own in the ring, but Shepard doesn't really fit the more lighthearted Smash Bros. mold. While Shepard definitely has the chops to be in the game, we don't think Nintendo would see Mass Effect's heroic commander as Smash Bros. material.
Cooking Mama – Office Create's premier mother really heats up a kitchen, so maybe she would do the same for Smash Bros. Armed with a collection of knives, meat mallets, and whisks, Cooking Mama wouldn't be a fighter to laugh at. Actually, we would laugh, but only until she slapped us with a frying pan and then threw chopped onions in our eyes. Her final smash could be shaming her fellow opponents for not taking out the trash.
Likelihood of becoming a new challenger: 12:1Cooking Mama is an oddball character like Wii Fit Trainer or Mr. Game & Watch, which Nintendo occasionally likes to throw our way. However, Cooking Mama is far from a big name, and hasn't been around for awhile, so we doubt Nintendo will bother with the licensing hassles for this one. Mama probably won't make this game better.
Ezio Auditore da Firenze – We really want to see Ubisoft's hooded Assassin jump off the top of one of the Smash Bros. stages and knife Kirby in the back. While most stages probably wouldn't offer Ezio much hiding space, he's a capable swordsman and could occasionally call in reinforcement from his Brotherhood. For his final smash, Ezio could pull out the Apple of Eden and instantly
annihilate everyone on screen (might be a little over-powered).
Likelihood of becoming a new challenger: 20:1While Ezio has enough costume changes to allow for multi-Assassin battles, his stealthier approach to combat doesn't really complement the rest of the Smash Bros. crew. Also his name is just too long to appear in the character select screen.
Batman – DC Comic's Dark Knight is an experienced detective, but he's everyone's favorite superhero because he doesn't suffer fools. If you've played any of the Arkham games then you know that Batman has more cool gadgets than the U.S. Army. His bat grapple would have him zipping across the battlefield, but it's Batman's peerless fighting prowess that would leave Mario and company rolling on the ground groaning.
Likelihood of becoming a new challenger: 100:1This is a tough one. Everyone loves Batman, and his inclusion would likely help boost sales, but Nintendo probably doesn't want Batman in the game because he'd win every match.
Horde of Zombies From Resident Evil – While it would be cool to see Jill, Chris, or Leon step into a Smash Bros. ring, imagine how awesome it would be to see a zombie – or even a horde of zombies – shambling their way towards Star Fox, Gannon, and Samus. Sure these guys are slow, but they could make up for it with mass; knock a few off the screen and a dozen more come chomping towards your face. And once they attacked one opponent, they would turn that character against everyone else, until the entire screen was zombified...and then they would infect the characters who weren't even fighting...and then they would infect the rest of the games in your library, and then possibly the world.
Likelihood of becoming a new challenger: 1,000,000:1It could happen!
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