Dream Team: What We Want In A New Smash Bros.
Nintendo has always crammed its Smash Bros. titles with as many references to its stable of heroes as possible. But 2008’s Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii was packed tighter than a college student’s suitcase, so who’s left to include in the upcoming Wii U entry? We have some ideas.
[This list was put together with the assistance of GI staffers Jeff Cork, Ben Hanson, Tim Turi, and Dan Ryckert]
Nintendo has made it clear that Miis will be a big part of the Wii U, and the idea of injecting yourself into the combat of Smash Bros. is too enticing to pass up. Your character will most likely have an array of sports paraphernalia for attacking opponents (like a tennis racket and bowling balls), but thanks to Wii Sports Resort your character will also be handy with a bow and a sword.
Waluigi (Mario series)
While he still hasn’t received his own game, Waluigi has been a mainstay in Mario sports titles since Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64. We think the lanky, evil counterpart to Luigi would be a natural fit in Smash Bros., and we’d expect him to have some serious reach with his kicks.
Prince Fluff (Kirby’s Epic Yarn)
Since he was originally the star of Epic Yarn until Kirby was injected into it, the next Smash Bros. is the perfect opportunity to let Prince Fluff shine. His yarn-whip would be the perfect weapon and his car form could make for some adorable hit-and-runs.
Paper Mario (Paper Mario series)
We got Dr. Mario in the last game, but one of Mario’s coolest incarnations was in 2001’s Nintendo 64 title Paper Mario. A Paper Mario version of Mario could turn sideways and almost disappear from view (a power that could cut both ways if players lose sight of their own character), get caught in the wind and drift upwards, or slip between a character’s legs to immediately start attacking them from behind.
Toadstool (Super Mario Bros. series)
Toad’s had to suffer the indignity of being Peach’s human (?) shield for some time now, which is why this little 'shroom is ready for prime time. He’s proven that he can take a beating, and the roster could benefit from having another small, speedy character a la Pichu. Shouldn’t he be allowed to prove for once and for all that he truly is the best?
Bowser Jr. (Mario series)
King Koopa’s delinquent child has hassled Mario and his friends enough to earn a spot on the Smash Bros. roster. This bandana-wearing baddie could possibly morph into Shadow Mario, summon his dad’s minions, and pilot the flying Koopa clown car.
Quote (Cave Story)
Cave Story’s protagonist would be a great addition to the game. His pixelated weapons would make for a ranged but lethal opponent. He could use his machine-gun jetpack as a hover mechanic and have King the Mimiga fly out of his blade for a final smash.
Epic Mickey (Epic Mickey)
Epic Mickey was one of the biggest third-party games for the Wii, and it’s been reported that Miyamoto used to idolize Walt Disney. If Disney was all right with Junction Point creating a dark and twisted world called Wasteland for Mickey to explore, you would think the company would happily allow its mascot to go up against Solid Snake’s Nikita Missile or be eaten by Kirby. Mickey could use his paintbrush to create objects and platforms for himself or just throw his paint thinner in the eyes of an opponent. We could only hope that his choice of weapon would change his appearance from noble Mickey to scrapper Mickey.
Brawl’s Pokémon Trainer character is a great template for Doc, who could summon a variety of fighters from the Punch-Out!! series. It might not make any sense to have Little Mac’s corner man backing swappable fighters like Bald Bull, King Hippo, and Glass Joe, but we’d like to see an exception made just this once. It is Smash Bros., after all.
Alucard (Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night)
Solid Snake made his Smash Bros. debut in Brawl, but if we were going to pick a second Konami character to join the Smash Bros. ranks it would have to be Castlevania’s Alucard. Not only does Dracula's son have a mean sword arm, he could change into his wolf form to charge across the screen, or phase through an enemy attack as mist. He may only be half-vampire, but Alucard is all bad ass.
Birdo (Super Mario Bros. 2)
Birdo made an appearance in the Super Mario Bros. 2 stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but we think it’s time that the egg-spitting creature gets his moment to shine as a playable character. Or is it her moment to shine? Either way, this tube-snouted chimera could lob volleys of eggs onto the playfield. Heck, Birdo could even create a few hatchlings for itself, creating another zookeeper-type class like Pikman exploiter Olimar.
Mega Man (Mega Man series)
The Blue Bomber may have gotten the shaft in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but we’d happily accept his power-stealing tactics in a new Smash Bros. We imagine he’d absorb powers like Kirby and blast them out of his mega buster. “Mega Man received Samus’s Ice Beam.”
Ridley (Metroid series)
We got to play as a giant Bowser and jump inside Star Fox’s Landmaster ground tank in Smash Bros. Brawl, but how awesome would be to control a giant space dragon in the next game? The fact that Ridley is the size of a houseboat and can fly does pose some balancing problems, but we’re hoping Nintendo figures out some ways to circumvent those issues for the sake of awesomeness.
Rayman (Rayman series)
Rayman Origins was one of the best games nobody bought in 2011, and we imagine the series’ titular character will have some time to spare in 2012. He’s demonstrated a knack for dominating a 2D plane, and he’d fit right in among the rest of the Smash Bros. crew. We see him as an alternative to Mario, for folks who like throwing limbs instead of fireballs.
With all of our proposed roster additions, a few well-known faces will have to leave to make some room. In this case, Nintendo has an opportunity to merge two of the series’ worst characters into something that could actually resemble an improvement. Newcomer Pit and continual nuisance Peach should merge their DNA through the failed teleportation technology featured in the Jeff Goldblum classic The Fly. At the very least, this parasol-wielding archer starts off with a punny name.
Kung Fu Panda (Kung Fu Panda series)
Let’s just go for it! Why does Smash Bros have to be confined to just video game cameos? Let’s think outside the box, and get some other funny, charming, and physically capable opponents into the ring, such as Jack Black’s Kung Fu Panda. If you want to be a real brat about it, Activision did make a Kung Fu Panda game, so this doesn’t seem completely out of the realm of possibilities…not completely.
Skyloft Stage (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)
As the hub area for all of Skyward Sword, this seems like the most likely addition for a stage in the next Smash Bros. The size of the classic Zelda II Temple stage from Melee and Brawl, imagine a condensed version of the town with the Goddess statue on one side and Batreaux the demon/human poking his head out below. Also, there could be the potential of a Loftwing saving you if you fell off the stage.
Planetoid (Super Mario Galaxy)
The Smash Bros. series has never had a spherical stage, and the Super Mario Galaxy games provide the perfect excuse to include one. Players could run all the way around the planet and occasionally jump into the launching star to travel to another radically different planetoid.
Submarine Stage (Steel Diver)
Well the game wasn’t great, but everybody still loves submarines…right? Plus, you’d get to hear that great AH-WOO-GA sound as the entire stage lowered in the water.
Find Mii Castle (Find Mii)
StreetPass-addicted 3DS owners have spent a lot of time in the fortress of Find Mii. This cookie cutter castle could make for a great zoomed-out stage, something like Luigi’s Mansion from SSBB. Add in the ability to play as your Miis and you’ve got a natural fit.
Balloon Fight Stage (Balloon Fight)
While the music and giant demon fish from Balloon Fight have already appeared in previous Smash Bros. games, we think the Wii U edition would be the perfect opportunity to introduce a full stage based on the NES classic. It would need to include the lightning-spewing clouds and an even bigger and hungrier demon fish.
Excite Bike (Excite Bike series)
We’ve seen the Excite Bikes appear as an assist trophy in Brawl, and we’ve also seen racetrack-themed stages based on F-Zero and Mario Kart. A tribute to this classic NES racer wouldn’t surprise us.
Mimiga Village Stage (Cave Story)
Including the underground central town in Cave Story might just be an excuse to watch the adorable Mimiga-bunny race go about their business in the background, but the 2D architecture would be perfect for a sprawling Smash Bros. stage.
Pushmo Stage (Pushmo)
From the team behind Fire Emblem and Advance Wars, Pushmo is a massive and fantastic downloadable puzzle game for the 3DS. The multilayered tower puzzles would make for a colorful stage with upbeat music as Mallo (the game’s main character) pushes and pulls the landscape to shake things up.
Mega Man 2 (Mega Man 2, duh!)
One of the most popular entries in the Mega Man series, the Blue Bomber’s second game would be a great location for a new stage. All eight unique levels, along with Wily’s Fortress, could cycle in and out like the Pokémon stadium arena. Imagine four fighters duking it out while traversing floating blocks in an attempt to escape Wily’s gigantic dragon-bot.
Likelihood: 10% (unless Mega Man is in the game, then Likelihood: 90%)
Victini (Pokemon: Black and White)
They replaced the Pokemon Mewtwo in Melee with Lucario in Brawl, and I bet they are going to replace Lucario with Victini. As the most memorable Pokemon addition from Black and White, Victini can use fighting and fire-type moves and also turn invisible.
Slippy Toad (Star Fox)
Slippy isn’t the most skilled pilot on the Star Fox team, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. The way we see it, if players pick up a Slippy assist trophy, they would radio the hapless frog for help, and Slippy would then fly in shooting at their foes, but accidentally crash into the level instead. However, it might be equally as funny if – after calling for Slippy – you had to somehow save him from enemy fighters.
Eggplant Wizard (Kid Icarus)
Kid Icarus’ Eggplant Wizard is one of the most annoying enemies in all of gaming, which is why we want him here. With the wave of a wand, he could turn Pit into a helpless walking eggplant. That curse wouldn’t require laborious amounts of backtracking in Smash Bros., but it would leave its victims wide open for a boot off the nearest ledge.
Chargin’ Chuck (Mario series)
One of Mario’s oddest enemies, Chargin’ Chuck is a football player that throws baseballs more than the pigskin. Still, summoning in a few Chargin’ Chucks to toss some fastballs at your foes would be a great way to get the upper hand.
Master Higgins (Adventure Island)
Nintendo has teamed with Konami in the past thanks to Solid Snake’s inclusion, so Hudson wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. We’d love to see Adventure Island’s skateboarding hero fly by and toss some bone hammers at our enemies.
Goemon (Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon)
Konami’s Japanese blue-haired hero is nasty with a metal pipe and can summon gigantic fighting robots. We’d love to see this quirky adventurer make come out of retirement to bash some skulls and throw some yen at fools’ faces.
Mike Tyson (Punch-Out!!)
We’d love for the ear-biting former champ to make an appearance, but logic says it would never happen. Still, it would be awesome to grab an assist trophy that caused his Punch-Out model to appear and destroy your opponents with one devastating uppercut.
Jeff Cork (Smashed)
If you’ve seen the Smashed documentary that follows our quest for a Guinness World Record, you know about Jeff Cork’s legendary sitting skills. Just imagine an assist trophy that sits on your opponents for the duration of the round, rendering them immobile.
Tanooki Suit (Super Mario Bros. 3)
Pick up an innocuous raccoon suit, and you’ll find yourself in control of one of gaming’s best power-ups. Swat back projectiles with a twirl of your tail, soar into the sky to get away from battle, or turn into indestructible stone if things get too hairy. Bonus: Kirby would look absolutely adorable in this getup.
Kart (Mario Kart)
Some Smash Bros. levels are pretty big; a character could use some wheels to quickly close the gap between cowardly opponents. Like Sonic, Mario’s go-kart might be hard to control, but it would plow through a group of foes like they were bowling pins.
Gust Bellows (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)
Unless you’re rooted to the ground, a few blasts from this windbag will send you flying. Considering that sending your foes flying is kind of important in this series, Link’s latest power-up is right at home on our wish list.
Cloud Suit (Super Mario Galaxy 2)
Maneuverability is king in Smash Bros., which makes Mario’s Cloud Suit a shoe-in. This fluffy outfit grants its wearer several additional jumps – perfect for staying alive or just annoying your competitors. It may not seem fair, but keep in mind that this game also has that annoying fan item.
Virtual Boy (Virtual Boy)
Nintendo’s failed ‘90s “handheld” would probably be best used as a weapon. Characters could throw the Virtual Boy at their opponents like a sticky bomb. Once the Virtual Boy was attached to a character’s head, it would begin to shoot red lasers into their eye, which would slowly give them a migraine as it sapped their energy and made them dizzy. Nintendo might not like to acknowledge the Virtual Boy’s failures, but this would still be brilliant.
Likelihood: 44% (likelihood it will be used the way we want: 0.2%)
Odama may not have been Nintendo’s most well-received GameCube title, but it’s hard to forget it once you’ve played it. Nintendo should pay tribute to its large-scale-pinball-game-set-in-feudal-Japan misstep with a scaled-down version of the stone ball, which could flatten anyone foolish enough not to get out of its way.
Portal Gun (Portal series)
When we dream, we dream big. Few things could be cooler than if Nintendo integrated Valve’s iconic portal making device into their game. The benefits of a Portal weapon are obvious. Players could use the gun to make quick escapes from powered up opponents, shoot out the ground from under their foes, or paste portals above them and drop companion cubes on their heads.
That's what we want in a new Smash Bros. What about you?