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Analyzing The New Super Smash Bros. Characters

by Jeff Marchiafava on Aug 25, 2014 at 01:39 PM

The Smash Bros. series has always pulled together a diverse roster of characters, and Super Smash Bros. is no different. While rumors continue to surface of potential additions, Nintendo has already confirmed a host of newcomers. How will they stack up to the series' veterans? Let's find out.

I haven't played nearly as much Smash Bros. as some of my obsessed co-workers, but I am unrivaled when it comes to analyzing video game characters. I've assessed dozens upon dozens of the enslaved gladiators of Nintendo's Pokémon series, as well as the enemies of BioShock Infinite and even the fighting roster of Sony's PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Assessing some new Super Smash Bros. characters should be a cakewalk, so let's get to it.

Newcomer #1: Robin
Robin comes from Nintendo's Fire Emblem series, and although I'm not super familiar with the tactical RPGs, I do have eyes, and I can see that Robin is bringing a book to a free-for-all melee brawl. To be fair, it does appear to be a magical book, so he'll probably be able to cast a bunch of lightning and fire spells, and maybe even every nerd's go-to D&D attack, the magic missile. Robin may be the stereotypical androgynous JRPG protagonist, but that still makes him more of a threat than some of the hopeless losers in Super Smash Bros.
Battle Assessment: This bookworm can probably hold his own.

Newcomer #2: Pac-Man
Speaking of hopeless losers: Nintendo has also confirmed that Pac-Man will be joining the roster. At least they chose the version that has arms and legs, but they don't seem to be helping him much – apparently his special move is boring his opponents with reminders of Bandai Namco's other forgotten arcade games. Kirby just looks like he feels sorry for Pac-Man; he probably identifies with him on some level because they share the same body type. Also, why the hell does Kirby have a nose all of a sudden? Anyway, I guess the fact that Pac-Man can eat ghosts gives him some street cred, but unless he's constantly munching power pellets, I'd consider him an underdog.
Battle Assessment: He's a yellow circle, for crying out loud.

Newcomer #3: Palutena
Confession: I had to look up who the heck Palutena is – apparently she's from Kid Icarus: Uprising. The only characters I remember from Kid Icarus are Kid Icarus and that jerk who turns you into an eggplant. Regardless, Palutena looks pretty formidable. She's got a shield, which gives her more defensive power than pretty much every other character in the game, and her staff looks magical – not to mention way more intimidating than the book that nerd Robin is brandishing. In Kid Icarus lore (which is now something I have sadly wasted minutes of my life looking up), Palutena is the Goddess of Light and the benevolent ruler of Skyworld. That probably means she won't be as aggressive as Super Smash Bros.' more cutthroat characters, but then again, you don't really have to be when you're a goddess.
Battle Assessment: Never bet against a goddess.

Newcomer #4: Miis
Miis are a great addition to the Super Smash Bros. roster that will finally allow players to live out their dream of partaking in battle against their favorite Nintendo characters. That won't stop them from getting wailed on, though – your dopey, pie-eyed doppelganger is no match for the likes of Mario, Link, and Samus, even if you can ape their powers. Think about it: They've been going on harrowing adventures and saving the day for decades – all you do is sit on your couch in your underwear (probably) and play video games. Your Mii's cutesy demeanor won't change the fact that it's going to be a slaughter.
Battle Assessment: Face it, you suck.

Newcomer #5: Greninja
I'm not familiar with this Pokémon, but as far as Nintendo's goofy pocket monsters go, this one isn't half bad. Greninja is a ninja frog, which I want to say is stupid, but then again I grew up watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons, so what the hell do I know. Regardless, it's a universal fact that ninjas are awesome fighters, so Greninja should hold up well against the other contestants. At first I was a little skeptical of the fact that he uses his own tongue as a scarf, but I'm guessing it probably confuses and disgusts his enemies long enough for him to beat the crap out of them. He still ain't got sh-- on Pikachu, though.
Battle Assessment:  That's one formidable frog.

Coming Up Next: The best of the best, and the worst of the losers...

Newcomer #6: Little Mac
Now we're talking! Little Mac is such an obvious contender that I can't believe Nintendo hasn't made him a playable character until now. He beat up Mike Tyson, for crying out loud; does anyone seriously think the likes of Kirby or Diddy Kong will stand a chance? Just look at how Little Mac is walloping Mario – he doesn't know what him! On the downside, boxers aren't as well-rounded as other fighters, and I'm guessing Little Mac won't be able to pick up items while wearing his bulky gloves. I'm guessing that won't stop Little Mac from KO'ing his way to the top of pack.
Battle Assessment: Don't mess with Little Mac.

Newcomer #7: Rosalina & Luma
Hoo boy. Palutena comes to the fight with a shield and a magical staff; Rosalina is packing a wand and a pudgy star. Still, magic is magic I guess, and I wouldn't want to get slapped across the face with a star – those things burn at like a billion degrees! I'm guessing her magic-based attacks are all brightly colored and twinkly, which should do a good job of humiliating her beaten foes – an important component of any fighting game.
Battle Assessment: A potential ego bruiser.

Newcomer #8: Villager
Wait a second – are we scraping the bottom of the barrel already? You'd have to be a fool to pick the little kid from Animal Crossing. What are his attacks? Picking fruit and moving around furniture? Even this promo screen for the character makes him look stupid; is his final smash tripping with a potted plant while his opponent takes a nap? Miis look downright deadly compared to this dweeb.
Battle Assessment: Waiting to be evicted.

Newcomer #9: Mega Man
Wow, Capcom clearly isn't messing around with its spot on the roster. Mega Man is the perfect addition Super Smash Bros., and should give even the most grizzled veterans a run for their money. Look at the expression on McCloud's face – that fox is clearly dead. Mega Man sports the abilities of a variety of different robot masters, but do you really need them when you've got a Mega Buster? Unlike other the strong newcomers such as Little Mac and...Little Mac, Mega Man is already a pro at platforming, which should give him a leg up during battle
Battle Assessment: The obvious choice.

Newcomer #10: Wii Fit Trainer
So this is what it's come to. Nintendo has added the Wii Fit lady to its brawler – she doesn't even have a name! Is she doing yoga to sidestep Link's lunge attack? There's no yoga in Smash Bros.! Well, at least we know she's got the stamina to stay in the fight, and her ghostly complexion and indistinct features might creep out her opponents. Still, I don't know how maneuvering your body into awkward poses constitutes a fighting style. Hopefully she's got more than groin stretches to assault her enemies with.
Battle Assessment: Might just pull a hammy.

Super Smash Bros. is coming to 3DS on October 3, and at a still undetermined time for Wii U. For more on the game, read our trio of hands-on impressions from this year's E3.