As any good Nintendo fan knows, Smash Brothers games are currently in development for both the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS, so now seemed like as good of a time as any to put together a wish list of characters that I would like to see appearing in these games.
This originally started out as a single list, but I quickly realized that I was coming up with way too many awesome characters to limit myself to just ten. Furthermore, mixing 1st party and 3rd party characters forced me to try to balance what I thought was a more realistic approach (lots of new 1st party characters, only a few new 3rd party characters) with the fact that itís just plain fun looking at potential 3rd party characters since, barring Sonic and Snake, the vast library of 3rd party games on Nintendo platforms has been relatively untouched by Smash Brothers. So I broke my list into two; Iím going to give you my 1st party picks in this list, and my 3rd party picks in another list in the near future. And for the sake of this list, Iím counting 2nd party titles under the umbrella of ď1st partyĒ.
New characters are just part of the fun of Smash Brothers though, right? So as a nifty added bonus Iím also going to throw in some ideas for stages based on the franchises of each of my choices. Why not?
With that said, you didnít come here to listen to me drone on and on, you came here to see my picks. Letís do it!
If you have never heard of Pushmo you either donít own a 3DS, or hate playing awesome games. The latter of which is just another way of saying that you donít own a 3DS, I suppose. Pushmo is a spectacular puzzle game that released on the 3DS eShop at the end of 2011, and with the (semi-)recent release of Crashmo, we now have a franchise on our hands. Considering that Nintendo seems to want to take their digital downloads seriously (finally!), and this is Nintendoís biggest and best digital download franchise to date, I think it makes sense for them to get it into Smash Brothers in some form.
However, the protagonist of the series, Mallo, isnít exactly the most compelling character that Nintendo has created. Itís difficult to imagine what his attacks would be, considering that essentially all that he does in Pushmo and Crashmo is run around pushing and pulling blocks. Well, and he has the power to reverse time, I guess. That could be an interesting mechanic to add into Smash Brothers.
A Pushmo and / or Crashmo stage could be pretty interesting. The games are played by, as mentioned above, pushing and pulling blocks which then create platforms for you to use to move around the environments, and there are all sorts of fun things thrown into the mix as well, such as switches and warps. This seems to me to have a lot of potential to become a truly dynamic, ever-changing Smash Brothers stage.
LIKELIHOOD:5/10. Nintendo seems to want to push their digital platform more, so this guy could be a possibility. However, in the end, I just donít think that Pushmo and Crashmo are big enough to make their way into Smash Brothers.
Wart (Super Mario Bros. 2)
Super Mario Bros. 2 is an odd Mario game, which makes sense, because it wasnít originally a Mario game at all, it was a game called Doki Doki Panic that Nintendo threw a Mario skin over to bring to the West. Except now Iím reading that it was originally a Mario game that got turned into Doki Doki Panic in Japan? Whatever. Even though it turns out that the entire game took place in a dream or something, a few of the characters have migrated into other Mario games, most notably Birdo and the Shy Guys. Wart, on the other hand, has had a small cameo in a certain Zelda game and not much else. Itís about time that he gets some respect.
Wart is a big dude so he could obviously be a very powerful fighter, although the Smash Brothers development team would need to find a way to make him stand out from Bowser and King Dedede, both of whom already fill the role of the ďplatformer end boss powerhouse fighterĒ. Obviously he would have a bit of a long-range talent as well in the form of his patented bubble attack.
Super Mario Bros. 2 has already had some Smash Brothers stage representation with the Mushroom Kingdom II stage in Super Smash Brothers Melee (oddly named, since Super Mario Bros. 2 didnít take place in the Mushroom Kingdom), so Iím not sure that this game really needs another stage. However, there is potential in there somewhere. Preferably, it would utilize the transition between the normal world and the alternate reality of Subspace.
LIKELIHOOD:7/10. Nostalgia is all of the rage nowadays, and Super Mario Bros. 2 holds a special type of nostalgia for many gamers. It is also a game that has had a stage in Smash Brothers, but not a character. However, more likely than Wart appearing is Birdo or a Shy Guy sneaking their way onto the playable roster.
Kyle Hyde (Hotel Dusk: Room 215 / Last Window: The Secret of Cape West)
Guillaume is going to hate me for this choice, but what can I say? Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and Last Window: The Secret of Cape West are Nintendo published (developed by the now-defunct Cing) DS point and click adventure games that stand apart from the Nintendo staple franchises in many ways, the most visible one being the pencil sketch art style that is used for their characters. This franchise could add a lot of visual variety to Smash Brothers.
So what would Kyle Hyde, the protagonist of both of these games, do in Smash Brothers? Good question. The games are point and click adventure games, so there isnít too much in them that could be directly drawn from for inspiration for attack moves. He does carry a briefcase full of assorted items everywhere, maybe he could pull random things out of his briefcase to whack the other fighters with?
Likewise Iím coming up a bit blank here trying to figure out what his stage would be. Iíll just throw this ball in Smash Brothers producer Masahiro Sakuraiís court. If anyone can figure out how to make a point and click adventure game into a stage for a fighting game, it is Sakurai and his team. Perhaps you would run around clicking on different objects to find things? That sounds erm... fun... right?
LIKELIHOOD:1/10. This was never a very popular franchise to begin with, and Last Window didnít even release in North America. With the death of Cing I think any chances of a future game in the series are pretty much dead, and thus nearly all hope of any characters or stages showing up in Smash Brothers dies as well.
Every Smash Brothers game needs to introduce at least one ďwild cardĒ character, a character that plays in such an oddball way that you never quite know what to expect when using them, or going up against them. In the original Smash Brothers it was Jigglypuff, in Melee it was the Ice Climbers, and in Brawl it was R.O.B. and Mr. Game & Watch. Who should be the next weirdo? Why not Biker from Excitebike? Yeah yeah I know, there is already an assist trophy involving Excitebike bikers, but who cares? Make Biker a playable character.
Yes, Iím calling him Biker, because he has no name. Heck, we donít even know if he is a he, Nintendo could pull a Metroid and we could find out at the end of the game that under that helmet, he is a she. My move set for Biker is kind of obvious; give Biker all kinds of motocross bike trick attacks. Wheelies, flips, tailwhips, you name it. Biker would be ridiculously fun to play as. With all due stress on the ďridiculousĒ part of that statement.
An Excitebike track as a stage could be pretty neat, although I fear that it might end up too similar to the F-Zero and Mario Kart stages. Still, one thing that Excitebike has in much greater volume than those games is ramps. Throw in all kinds of crazy ramps with various bikers jumping all around you while you fight, and it could stand out.
LIKELIHOOD:3/10. Although Nintendo has shown a lot of support for Excitebike in recent years, including three! new games in the series appearing on the Wii (Truck, Bots, World Rally), the lack of a single, defined mascot character hurts its chances. ďBikerĒ probably wouldnít be enough.
Dark Samus (Metroid Prime series)
There are all kinds of Metroid characters that could be chosen for Smash Brothers, and you may be wondering why I went with a ďboringĒ choice. Well, first and foremost, I donít think that Dark Samus is a boring choice. Dark Samus is awesome! But secondly, Iím trying to at least be sort of realistic with some of my list here, and we all know that the Smash Brothers team often uses ďmirrorĒ characters as a way to add new characters without having to design an entire move set from scratch. Dark Samus could be a mirror of Samus.
If you have never run into Dark Samus before, that means that you have never played the Metroid Prime trilogy, which means that I hate your guts. I mentioned above that Dark Samus could be a mirror character, but thatís only half true. Dark Samus could have the general movement / speed / etc. as Samus, but she would need to have a bunch of her own attacks as well, as she does in the Metroid Prime games.
Some of you are going to really dislike my stage idea, as some of you really disliked Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, but at least give it a shot. Remember how in Dark Aether your energy was slowly drained by the poisonous atmosphere unless you were standing within the light? Imagine a Metroid Prime 2 stage with that same atmosphere that is constantly raising your percentage unless you can activate and stay within the various light beacons scattered about. That would make for some intense, up close and personal battles!
LIKELIHOOD:6/10. Honestly, this one would probably be incredibly unlikely if not for the fact that the Smash Brothers team seems to like creating mirror characters. Metroid is a big enough franchise that it will eventually call for a second character in Smash Brothers, and if they get a bit lazy, Dark Samus may end up being that character.
Eddy (Fluidity: Spin Cycle)
Fluidity debuted on WiiWare at the end of 2010, and was instantly praised as one of the best games on the service. By the few people who played it, anyway. However, it was not until the recent sequel, Fluidity: Spin Cycle, that it became not only a franchise, but a franchise with a mascot character (as opposed to a mere sentient puddle of water.)
Admittedly Eddy is a bit lacking as a marquee Nintendo character. So why pick him? Well, what he lacks for in charisma, he makes up for in playability. In the Fluidity games, Eddy is a water spirit that can transform into the three states of water; liquid, solid (ice), or gas (cloud), each of these forms complete with its own unique abilities. This could make for one of the best ďtransformingĒ characters in Smash Brothers yet.
For a stage idea, Fluidity is a very physics-based game, and a lot of the areas are set up with this in mind. I think this could make for a pretty interesting Smash Brothers stage. Push gears into machines to start them up, swing around on chandeliers, ride on windmills, etc. There are plenty of cool concepts in the Fluidity games to draw upon for a stage.
LIKELIHOOD:2/10. As awesome as Fluidity is, and as wicked of a fighter as Eddy could be, I just donít think that this franchise is big enough to get any attention in Smash Brothers. Even if the eShop does get representation, Pushmo would probably be the more likely candidate.
The Happy Mask Salesman (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majoraís Mask)
Iím sure that I donít need to explain what this ďThe Legend of ZeldaĒ thing is to anyone reading this. Do I?
The Happy Mask Salesman debuted in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I guess, although he really gets his time in the spotlight in The Legend of Zelda: Majoraís Mask. What is his role? To be a weird dude who sells you masks. A very weird dude. Who is always smiling. Always. Oh god, why wonít he stop smiling?!
With his vast array of masks that can transform him into many different wonderful and powerful things, The Happy Mask Salesman could be a formidable warrior. Yes, Iím imagining another transformation fighter. But what if other fighters could steal some of his masks from him and use the masks on themselves? Thatíd be a pretty neat idea which hasnít been explored too much in Smash Brothers, outside of Kirbyís power-stealing erm... power. Wait, what would happen if Kirby tried to steal the power of someone whose power was stealing pow... this is starting to sound like something that Matt most likely made a comic about for Brawl in the Family.
Majoraís Mask has already gotten its own stage in Super Smash Brothers Melee (Great Bay), but I wouldnít mind another. My idea involves the very core concept of the game itself. Why not create a stage where the moon is slowly descending, and after a certain amount of time, it crashes into the stage, causing massive damage? That could be pretty novel.
LIKELIHOOD:4/10. Smash Brothers already has a ton of Zelda characters, and even if they add some more, The Happy Mask Salesman is probably nowhere near the top of the list of potential candidates. But he should be!
Little Mac (Punch-Out!! series)
Punch-Out!! is a franchise that I had assumed was doomed to be a memory of the past until the Wii version came along, the first new Punch-Out!! game in 15 years. It also performed pretty well both critically and in sales numbers, and there have been rumblings of another Punch-Out!! game ever since. Furthermore, it is one of Nintendoís longest running franchises, debuting way back at the beginning of the original NES. So why doesnít this franchise have its own character in Smash Brothers?
Little Mac is the star of the show, known mostly for his underdog status. Heís tiny, but he sure packs a mean punch, especially when his star meter has filled up. And he never fights dirty, so I wouldnít expect anything below the belt. His move set would be punches, punches, and more punches, until he fills his meter and can use a star punch. A fighter in a fighting game that only punches? Hey, it worked for Balrog, didnít it? If you ignore his illegal head butts.
For his stage, why not just have a boxing ring? Sometimes the simple stages work the best in Smash Brothers. Have a nice-sized ring, throw some flexible ropes around it for some bouncy fun, and if you get knocked outside of the ropes, youíre out!
LIKELIHOOD:8/10. I actually think that this might be one of the most likely candidates from my list to appear in the next Smash Brothers. Punch-Out!! was a great success on the Wii, and if they are really thinking about continuing the franchise moving forward, it wouldnít hurt to get Little Mac into Smash Brothers. The main thing that works against his appearance is that he has already appeared in Super Smash Brothers Brawl as an assist trophy. But thatís no excuse to keep him from being a main contender this time around.
Andy (Advance Wars series)
Ah, Advance Wars, one of the best Nintendo franchises that no one plays. Ok thatís not totally true; it has a decent following, but it should have so much more! I guess being a handheld-only franchise works against its visibility, but then again, Nintendo sells like a billion handhelds so thatís not the best explanation for why Advance Wars is so criminally underplayed.
Andy is kind of the unofficial mascot character of the Advance Wars franchise. Heís one of the youngest army commanders ever, but he is very strong-willed, tenacious, and he gets the job done. He is also kind-hearted; at least, when he isnít approaching war like it is a video game, paying little attention to the masses of casualties he is racking up. Anyway, his main power in the Advance Wars games is fixing / healing units, which is kind of boring, so instead I say pull an Olimar and give him a few different unit types to follow him around that he can command to attack.
I have a unique idea for an Advance Wars stage that is either the best or the worst idea ever. Andyís stage would take place on a battlefield, of course. That has plenty of potential on its own... soldiers, tanks, planes, etc. However, what if in the middle of fighting, a few fighters would take cover somewhere that others fighters couldnít get to, and they would have to battle it out quick in a turn-based strategy mini-game using the GamePad while the other fighters kept on fighting? It would have to be a very simple map and players would get a limited amount of time to make their moves, because it would need to be able to take place in about a minute or so, otherwise it would kill the pacing of Smash Brothers. Maybe this is completely infeasible. But in my mind it is pretty sweet!
LIKELIHOOD:6/10. I really donít know on this one. Advance Wars is a pretty big franchise for Nintendo, especially in Japan where it has received nine major games in the series on a variety of platforms since the original NES. And yet it has mostly been ignored for Smash Brothers in place of multiple Fire Emblem characters. I guess the odds arenít too good on this one, although I have no idea why this should be the case.
Shulk (Xenoblade Chronicles)
Come on, you had to know this was coming. Xenoblade Chronicles is easily one of the best new Nintendo games in a long time, and with the announcement of ďXĒ, it is working its way to becoming an established Nintendo franchise. What better way to prepare the general gaming populace for X than by getting the Xeno series into Smash Brothers?
As much as we all want to hear ďNow itís Reyn time!Ē over and over in a Smash Brothers match, Shulk is the obvious character choice here (but there is always room for a Reyn assist trophy!) Not only is Shulk an all around likeable guy, but he wields the Monado, which, for those who have not played the game, is essentially a huge, badass lightsaber. Additionally, he has a bunch of powers he gains through the Monado, although Iím not sure how his ability that lets him see (and change) the future could work easily into a multiplayer game. Whatever the case, Shulk and the Monado could join in on some wicked sword duels with Link and the Fire Emblem cast of Smash Brothers.
Then again, Reyn does make a pretty convincing argument for himself...
As for the stage, Iím generally not a huge fan of the ďlargeĒ stages in the Smash Brothers game, but I think this one needs to be pretty big. The stage would start off with the camera zoomed in fairly close, and only when the fighters start moving away from each other would the camera zoom back and give you the full scope of what is going on. At this point you would see that you are fighting on top of the Bionis and the Mechonis, who are in the middle of their own epic battle against each other. Best... Smash Brothers... stage... ever?
LIKELIHOOD:7/10. I want to believe. Xenoblade Chronicles seems like an obvious choice in some ways, but it is also a game that we had to fight to get released in North America. The sequel seems off to a better start, so maybe Nintendo is taking the franchise more seriously now? And what better way to show that you mean business with a franchise than by putting it in Smash Brothers?
So there you go, my list of 1st party Nintendo characters that I would like to see in Smash Brothers. However, since I was also doing stages, Iíd like to add another stage, even though I donít have a character to go along with it. I feel very strongly that the next Smash Brothers needs to have a Super Mario Galaxy stage which has various planetoids with their own gravity, allowing players to duke it out as they run completely around the planets. I realize that this would require some new, probably complex programming to allow for battle interactions taking place at angles that you could never get to in the previous Smash Brothers games, but hey... itíd be worth it. Make it happen Nintendo!
And that is that. Is there anyone that I forgot? Who would you have chosen?
PS. Here are some characters that almost made my list: Saki / Airan (Sin & Punishment), Issac (Golden Sun series), Pious Augustus (Eternal Darkness), Iggy (Animal Crossing), Chibi-Robo (Chibi-Robo! series), Francis (Super Paper Mario), the Elite Beat Agents (Elite Beat Agents)
If they could create a new move set for him, I'd like to see Paper Mario show up as his own character. Use all those crazy paper transformations and what-not for battle. Maybe his "Final Smash" would be calling in his partners for a mega-attack, or he could "paper-ize" the battle arena and use an Object Sticker like he does in Sticker Star.