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Nintendo is a great company. And despite minor recent missteps, you can't fault them for much, since they near single-handedly built much of classic video game culture. Nintendo alone has fathered more iconic classics than you can count on two hands, an impressive feat for a singular company.
Given they have such a rich history to work with, the release of Super Smash Bros. in 1999 made a lot of sense. It payed homage to Nintendo's most successful characters, and allowed for fans to "duke it out" amongst their favorites. The Super Smash Bros. idea proved a fantastic one, and has spawned continued iterations of the franchise on Nintendo's successive consoles.
As I'm sure many of you know, the Smash games offer a suite of varied unlockable characters. From Jigglypuff in the original, to Sonic the Hedgehog in Brawl, the teams behind the games have a wealth of properties to draw inspiration from. And the latest trailer for *New* Super Smash Bros. got me thinking. Brawl opened up a lot of possibilities, with the inclusion of third party partner's and the revival of long-forgotten characters. Perhaps, just maybe, they'll push the line even further with suprises in the next game?
The Villager, Mega Man, and the Wii Fit Trainer are some pretty out-there ideas, after all.
So, I'd like to come up with some roster additions and improvements for the next release, in the internet's favorite blog form... A list! Masahiro Sakurai already stated that he wants to keep third-party characters to a minimum, so I'll draw a little more inspiration from Nintendo's more 'passed over' games.
A NEW CHALLENGER APPROACHES
Nabbit is a very recent and unique character who has a minor role as pesky thief in New Super Mario Bros. U, but has become a star of the cast as a playable character in New Super Luigi U. In those games, he's been shown to have some interesting qualities, being that he doesn't take damage from environmental enemies, and can pick up Mario and the gang's power ups.
This could mean some interesting mechanics. While probably to over-powered a trait, Nabbit in Smash. could possibly resist damage, or have a temporary invulnerability move. And, similar to how Animal Crossing's Villager can garb opponent's ranged attacks and reflect them, Nabbit could snatch up thrown items and use them for his own gain. An agile, resistant character, although weak, could more than make up for it with his utilization of the field's items, much like Pichu in Melee.
I'm not entirely sure what Tom Nook would add as a fighter amongst Super Smash's cast. Since The Villager was added, I thought that it might be interesting just to add another character from the same universe as a counter or addition to keep things interesting.
I'm expecting the Villager to be a medium-class weight, so Nook could fair on the heavier side, while maintaining his frantic storekeeper speed, creating an interesting dynamic of traits. This guy might actually be better off just acting as a pure clone to The Villager, with some varied objects, like dropping a piece of his furniture in place of The Villager's bowling ball.
Nintendo has quietly set a trend starting in Melee, of adding unlockable Fire Emblem characters that coincide with the star of their most recent or major release. Ike was a major player of the Wii's Fire Emblem, and Chrom is a main protagonist of Fire Emblem: Awakening on the 3DS. Roy in Melee was replaced by Ike in Brawl, however keeping similar playstyles.
I'd like to see Chrom features as an unlockable counter to Marth, acting as the slower and heavier variant, much like Roy and Ike. Instead of maintaining their traditional fire effects attributed to their movesets, I'd like to see a different element applied to Chrom, just for the fun of it. Ice, perhaps?
It's not too out-of-the-park to go into Nintendo's more casual territory, now that they gently trolled audiences with the inclusion of the Wii Fit Trainer. The mainstay avatar of Nintendo's consoles since the Wii is much more identifiable than the Trainer I'd say, and could give the classic crowd a lot of excitement.
The Mii could play as an easy-class character to get newcomers on board, much in the same way Mii's were used to introduce the Wii's motion controls to people worldwide through Wii Sports. And yes, that means Wii Sports would be a part of his/her moveset. The Mii's could box with gloves using standard 'B', serve a tennis ball with 'Left B', and bowl a strike using 'Down B'. My favorite idea is the inclusion of a jetpack, a la Pilotwings Resort for the 3DS! Used as its Up Special move, a Mii could fly a jetpack back onto the stage. The Mii's moveset is pretty varied, so traits would be mitigated to average speed and weight.
Golden Sun had a pretty good run on the Gameboy Advance back in its heyday circa 2001. I say, give it a good charge in the arm and feature the name of Isaac in the next Smash. He already received a trophy cameo in Brawl, so that's a step in the right direction, right?
Isaac, a naturally gifted leader, has a rather versatile collection of weapons, capable of using a long sword, short blade, axe, and even mace. Perhaps a little too heavy-handed for Smash, I could see the axe and mace offering some different kinds of playstyles to the fray.
The main protagonist from Nintendo's Custom Robo series doesn't have a real name, other than the "Hero". I didn't ever play the Robo games, but I've seen enough Gundam to understand the general gist of the mech concept involved.
Hero could become the answer to Samus in Super Smash Bros., being the only other character who has an exo-suit capable of sweet abilities, as well as ranged and melee skills alike. Missiles, lasers, and powerful punches could catalogue his wealth of mech-aided powers.
This guy would be a really great addition, simply because Scribblenauts provides an obscene amount of creativity available for abilities. There haven't really been too many abstract fighters in the Smash games, other than maybe Olimar in Brawl, or Mr. Game & Watch.
The fact that Scribblenauts allows for the creation of anything as long as your imagination allows would mean that some restrictions would come up by the limited nature of Super Smash's fighting mechanics. His Up move could be a rocket, jetpack, hover vehicle, helicopter, whatever. Directional attacks could include paper airplanes, to water guns, or any sort of projectile. Down Arrow could be like dropping a cow, or even people, on someone.
I think it would be best of Maxwell had numerous animations for each special move, but they all had the same function to them, so people would get more of a Scribblenauts vibe from his playstyle.
My last idea for a new addition, the funny little chibi man from Nintendo's 3DS game Pushmo could have a quirky, silly playstyle that could especially cater to the advanced, just for the heck of it.
While, in terms of abilities he doesn't have many, I'd consider him a fan favorite just for the animations that Nintendo could create to add some personality to the game.
If there's anything that I get frustrated about when playing Brawl, is that there's a wealth of clone characters, who offer very little in differing traits and abilities. Fox McCloud alone had Falco and Wolf mimicking his abilities, and other than a slight trait difference, have the same moves, and even the same Final Smash. Ness and Lucas, Link and Toon Link, Mario and Luigi, Captain Falcon and Ganandorf, Marth and Ike.
Yes, they do have slight differences, but the most dramatic of those bunches would be Marth and Ike, simply because they are on opposite sides of the spectrum, and actually have different moves/animations.
Luigi does have a few traits specially catered to him. His fireballs are green, and he has a charging headbutt ability that proves surprisingly useful in battle. If there's anything I'd like the Smash devs to do with him, is continue to advance his traits to the awkward float-y style of Super Mario Bros. 2, to further differentiate him from Mario. It would just be great. Also, pay some treat to his starring role in Luigi's Mansion. Giving him a vacuum cleaner for a weapon would prove highly useful in stopping players or countering moves.
For this Super Smash mainstay, a re-balancing is in dire need. Lucas proved better than Ness in every way in Brawl, so I claim to drop Lucas in the new iteration of the game and give those character traits back to the main guy. It just works. And instead, we can add...
Yet another main protagonist from the Mother series, Jeff is very unique in that he used guns to fight his way from alien invasion. This is a huge change of pace from the classic PSI moveset of both NEss and Lucas, and could offer an interesting, "grounded" playstyle, rather than the speedy, low-damage Fox McCloud style.
It's time the guy-with-the-identity-crisis figured out what he's supposed to do. In Melee, he was Young Link. Brawl, he progressed to Toon version. This was a step in the right direction for differentiation, but mcuh more could be done.
Toon Link has starred in his own major, cel-shaded adventures. Instead of using the exact same moveset as his grown-up self, how about he picks up his long-forgotten Wind Waker baton? It's fitting, considering the HD re-make releasing later this year. In addition, he could utilize the Spirit Flute from his Spirit Tracks adventure, released on the DS. This could create a very abstract set, allowing for possible ailments on opponents like confusion, or some control of a weather mechanic.
Throw in a Minish Cap, while we're at it.
While we've yet to learn the official name of Mewtwo's new form, it's a fitting return back to Melee, and coincides with the release of Pokemon X & Y. The best possibility, is to give him a transformation between his two forms, either by the player's control, or as an effect of his Final Smash, similar to Samus Aran's Final in Brawl.
The Fox/Falco/Wolf trio is too similar to pass by. I say, drop Wolf, but add his character traits into Falco, so that we have two more "individual" characters from the samegame family. Wolf had some cool differentiations, like his Left/Right dash having a slight upward projection, as well as slightly slower, and more powerful. If Falco gained these traits, or Wolf stayed and Falco dropped, the roster culd stay down and contain more diversity.
Since Nintendo has now partnered with Sega, the relationship to closely use Sonic is better than ever. Sonic Generations had me thinking that you could either change his skin between the two character designs in the menu, or offer some kind of tag-team feature as a 'Down B' move. In addition, the revival of the Somersault and Bounce Bracelets from Sonic Adventure into the upcoming Sonic: Lost World could be some great variety boosters for Sonic's move set. Previously, he was limited to spin dashes and homing attacks, which could be split between the two generations of Sonic, respectively.
Both Kirby and Yoshi have "Epic Yarn" games. I say, either provide an alternate costume to make them have the aesthetic, or provide a move that is inspired from their star roles!
So, that's the extent of it. Super Smash Bros. Brawl featured 32 playable character. If the new game used my ideas and kept everything else the same, there'd be a roster of 40. Not bad, I'd say. Seems like a reasonable number, and not too crazy of a leap from the previous generation's title.
What do you think of these ideas? Any characters that have been missing that you'd be dying to see included?