(originally posted April 17th 2015)
Who should be playable in the next Super Smash Bros? It’s a question that many have asked and even more have answered. Every time a new instalment is announced, people immediately begin debating as to who should make the cut. No other fighting game series seems to generate this much discussion. Smash Bros is kind of like the videogame equivalent of Hollywood; everyone’s desperate to make it there.
Pretty much everyone on the Internet has made it clear who they would want to see in the game and given the recent addition of Mewtwo and Nintendo’s own Smash Bros ballot, I figured I’d throw my hat into the ring. So here are ten characters I would love to see either as DLC or in a new instalment. There are three rules for this list:
1. They have to be a videogame character. As in, they originated as a videogame character. So no Goku.
2. They have to have appeared on a Nintendo console at least once. So no Master Chief.
3. No characters that have already made an appearance. As much as I’d love to see the Ice Climbers, Wolf or Snake make a return, I want to keep this list fresh.
Now enough blathering. In alphabetical order, let’s begin.
1. Amaterasu ( Okami )
Okami may have started as a PS2 title but for me and no doubt many others, our first experience with it was on the Wii (which I feel is the perfect system to play it on). I could go on about how great the game was but that’s not the point of this list, is it?
Duck Hunt Duo and Ivysaur both showed that quadruped characters could work in Smash Bros. Not to mention that, despite being a wolf (technically a goddess in wolf form), Amaterasu had a diverse range of attacks. She wielded swords, used chains of beads and even attacked with a discus that doubled as a shield. And of course, there was her Celestial Paintbrush. That could easily be incorporated into her playstyle, whether it be for attacks or recovering.
I know there are some people that would love to see Link’s wolf form from Twilight Princess be playable but if any wolf’s gonna be in Smash Bros, it should be the Sun Goddess herself.
2. Banjo & Kazooie (Banjo-Kazooie series)
It may seem unlikely for this pair to ever make it into Smash Bros considering their parent company, Rare, is owned by Microsoft, one of Nintendo’s main competitors, but ever since Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox Division, tweeted that he wouldn’t mind seeing them appear, their chances went from “never gonna happen” to “just maybe.”
I unfortunately don’t have much nostalgia or experience with the original game on the N64 (I am ashamed to say it scared me as a child) but I am aware that Banjo and Kazooie are considered by many to be among the Nintendo All-Stars, despite not being Nintendo characters. There’s something about them that just fits with the Nintendo universe.
Aside from that, they naturally possess a great moveset. Banjo himself comes across as a strong guy but with Kazooie, he can fire eggs as projectiles, use the bird as a blunt weapon and recover to the stage should he get sent flying. Smash Bros helped a lot of great videogame characters get to relive their glory days and given their recent history, I think Banjo and Kazooie are deserving of that.
3. Bayonetta (Bayonetta series)
I know it’ll probably never happen but it’s my wish list, okay? Let me dream. But I will say that anyone who says they don’t find the idea of Bayonetta laying the smackdown on the likes of Mario and Link is either lying or doesn’t understand the concept of fun.
I have yet to actually play either of the Bayonetta games but the witchy protagonist, from an outsider’s point of view, comes across as a very entertaining character. She’s overly sexualised but she kind of seems aware of it. Like she knows she’s attractive so she’s going to flaunt it and have fun with it. Plus she’s just kick-ass. Platinum are known for creating high-octane action games that make the player feel awesome by giving them the ability to do awesome things and that helps make the character in question come across as this one-woman army that has no problems taking down the forces of both Hell and Heaven.
Plus, Bayonetta has access to a variety of weapons and skills that could easily be melded into a playstyle for Smash Bros. Guns, swords, giant demon fists coming out of portals; she has the works. Admittedly, if she were to get into the game, she would have to be toned down quite a bit. She wouldn’t be able to swear or make any innuendos and she definitely cannot do that thing where she gets almost naked by turning her hair into a demon thing. That may sound like a bad thing to some but I think it’s possible to do that while still keeping her original personality.
Then again, the latest Smash Bros has Palutena do a stripper pole dance as one of her taunts so…
4. Groose (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)
I am aware that a lot of people do not like Skyward Sword for perfectly justifiable reasons. But there is one thing that I will defend about it and it is that Groose was the best character due to his development from pathetic bully to a hero in his own right, and he should’ve been allowed to be reincarnated throughout the timeline alongside Link and Zelda.
But personality alone doesn’t get you a spot in Smash Bros; you need to be able to fight to some degree. And while Groose didn’t really fight in Skyward Sword, I still think he could handle himself in a scrap. He’s a pretty burly guy after all; maybe he could use bombs as well given how he built a catapult to fire said bombs; a device that actually managed to help fight back the demonic beast known as the Imprisoned.
I picture him as being a joke character of sorts; kind of like Dan Hibiki in Street Fighter. He seems like he wouldn’t be able to match the likes of his opponents but, somehow, through sheer determination and luck, manages to come out on top. And let’s not forget, this is a game where Jigglypuff can beat up Ganondorf.
5. Klonoa (Klonoa series)
When it was announced that Bandai Namco was going to help with the development of the new Smash Bros, there was really only one choice of character that would represent them, and that was Pac-Man. But if I could have another Namco character join the fray, it would definitely be Klonoa.
This is mostly nostalgia on my part but I love Klonoa 2; it’s one of my favourite games ever, and while I wasn’t overly fond of the Wii remake of the first game, it was still fun and I hoped it would do well enough to bring Klonoa back for good. Sadly, that wasn’t the case and the poor guy has fallen into obscurity once more. So what better place to make a reappearance than Smash Bros? The series has regularly introduced people to strange and bizarre characters from other games; Klonoa would be perfect for that.
He may not have had a lot of fighting talent in his own games, but he has demonstrated combat prowess in Namco X Capcom and Klonoa Heroes, where he could use his ring to fire Wind Bullets or use as a blade of some sorts. Sounds like he’d have an interesting fight style to me. Plus I just want to see him again. Is that too much to ask?
6. Paper Mario (Paper Mario series)
On paper (hah!), having another Mario is just ridiculous. If there’s one thing some fighting game fans don’t like, its clone characters; characters that play exactly like another character but with a couple of visual or gameplay tweaks. Mario in Smash Bros technically has two of them: Luigi (who has slowly evolved into his own character) and Dr. Mario.
However, I argue that Paper Mario wouldn’t play exactly like regular Mario. For starters, he’d be a lot lighter and probably easier to KO since he’s, you know, made of paper. Next, he’d actually have a weapon in the form of his hammer. And, he could even summon the many partners he’s had throughout his games as his attacks. He could throw Admiral Bobbery to catch his opponents in an explosion or use Lady Bow to make him invisible and temporarily invulnerable or have Parakarry carry him back to the stage should he get knocked off.
I know there’s a slight overabundance of Mario characters in the series thus far, but I think if we can afford one more, it should go to the character that offers a creative and unique moveset (sorry Waluigi fans).
7. Phoenix Wright (Ace Attorney series)
I remember when Phoenix was confirmed to be a playable fighter in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I was so annoyed. “Phoenix can’t fight!” I cried, “It doesn’t make sense! This is just because of the bloody OBJECTION meme thing!” I then watched the trailer that first showed him off and within seconds, I was won over. Rather than just repeat the same joke over and over, his entire playstyle was hilarious and one big callback to the Ace Attorney series.
So why not Smash Bros? That game is notoriously silly when you think about it and Phoenix did make his start on Nintendo consoles. When people think of the original DS, Ace Attorney is usually one of the titles brought up. And given his experience with fighting games, he already has a moveset to draw inspiration from.
He could throw evidence as projectiles, have Maya help him with smash attacks with her spiritual powers and, of course, knock opponents out with one of his trademark lawyer shouts. His Final Smash could involve the Psyche-Locks and him breaking them with a mighty TAKE THAT! Let’s face it, though, I don’t need to convince you. You probably already want it.
8. Professor Layton (Professor Layton series)
It’d be unfair to suggest Phoenix without also including his intellectual rival. Professor Layton instantly became one of my favourite gaming characters when I played his first game and, similar to Phoenix, he’s been hotly demanded for a chance on the Smash Bros roster. And just like Phoenix, I was initially against it until I realised how badly I wanted him in it myself.
Most people know that the Layton series are puzzle games, so the idea of having its protagonist being in a fighting game will seem bizarre to them. But as me and my fellow Layton fans know, while he may be a gentleman, he will not hesitate to wreck you should you do something to make him mad. He has demonstrated exceptional fencing skills (he has even fenced using a pipe – twice) so he already has basis for a traditional fighting style.
But, of course, that can’t just be it. This is Smash Bros, after all, so things need to get a little kooky. I don’t know how but maybe he could incorporate the various knick-knacks and gadgets he’s collected throughout the years (like that machine-gun he made from slot machine parts that fired coins). His Final Smash could involve him solving a puzzle. How great would that be? And when he comes out victorious, he just calmly sips his tea and quotes “A true gentleman knows how to Smash.”
9. Reyn (Xenoblade Chronicles)
I can’t help but feel that Reyn was kind of shafted in the last Smash Bros. When Shulk was confirmed as being playable and that party members Dunban and Riki would join him in his Final Smash, I figured that would mean Reyn would get the Assist Trophy role. But no, Riki wound up taking that too (which is fitting of his character). This kind of irked me since it felt a bit weird seeing Shulk without his best bud. But this also means that Reyn does stand a small chance at being playable.
Admittedly, he’s not my favourite character from Xenoblade Chronicles (honestly, if it wasn’t for Shulk’s Final Smash, I’d have voted for Dunban) but I feel like Reyn has potential. His weapon is a weird cross between a sword and a shield, meaning he can deal a lot of damage and take it at the same time; he could primarily be a defensive character, with some counter potential. Think of how Ike plays; I imagine Reyn being a bit like that.
However, if I’m being honest, I want Reyn in because I just want more cheesy British dialogue in the game. Xenoblade Chronicles is known for its over-the-top performances and Reyn arguably had some of the best lines. Shulk has them too but me and fans of the game know that nothing would make us happier than seeing Reyn jump into the battlefield with a cry of “It’s Reyn Time!”
10. Yu Narukami (Persona 4)
I am so sorry. Yes, I know the odds are very unlikely but I’m a massive Persona 4 fanboy and I want to be able to dream. Persona is not really a series that is associated with Nintendo and Atlus are owned by Sega now, making the odds even less likely but this is my list and Yu fits the criteria I’ve set.
From appearances alone, Yu seems like another bog-standard sword user, something that Smash Bros currently has a lot of: Link, Pit, Shulk, the Fire Emblem characters; some might be opposed to another one. But Yu stands out because his sword isn’t his main weapon. That would be his Persona, which he could summon in order to use his Smash attacks and special moves.
Plus, Yu is special since, in his own series, he has the power to wield multiple Personas, which means in a fighting game such as this, he could have a diverse range of moves, perfect for a beginning player. Or he could just stick with his main Persona, Izanagi, and be a powerhouse focused on blasting his opponent with thunder magic. Either way, I want him in the game. Again, I know it’s unlikely, but he does stand a better chance than Ridley.